Midwest Review, by D. Donovan, Senior Reviewer, Midwest Book Review. Scheduled for the November 2020 Issue.
The Flip creates a fictional pandemic world set in 2020 and revolves around an ongoing struggle to survive in a world that began changing when illness hit in 2016. The world now has ten percent of its population, yet its survivors still struggle to life.
Dinky is one of those people in a lawless America with his wife, who depends on a medicine that’s run out. Determined that she should live, Dinky undertakes a journey that is less than a hundred miles (but, in this world, might as well be thousands) to get her medicine.
The Flip charts his road trip through this topsy-turvy world. Surprisingly, it includes not just challenge and danger, but joy, as Dinky observes and appreciates his environment: “In the new topsy-turvy world, the one thing I loved, almost as much as Baby Girl and our Blue Heeler, was the fragrance of the southern outdoors at daybreak. On a spring morning, the aromatic smell of the flowers mixed with a hint of marsh bog create a false atmosphere of pre-Pentacle home. I knew it was one of those mornings as I took in a deep breath.”
Given that this novel has appeared amidst one of the most virulent pandemics to hit the world, many of its fictional backdrops, history, and observations feel strikingly true: “There were around seven and a half billion people on Mother Earth the year that the NV-17 virus wreaked its havoc. In an effort to contain NV-17, the quarantine and lockdown mandates crippled the global economy. The cure became almost as bad as the disease.”
Doyle Weldon Knight also infuses his story with Southern culture and perspectives. This adds an extra layer of social inspection to the story as Dinky encounters others, and readers absorb the kinds of instant families formed by the bonds of adversity and Southern hospitality: “Baby Girl settled him in Darrell’s old room, and he showed the respect and gratitude of a southern gentleman in her presence at all times.”
Another difference between The Flip and other stories of worldwide apocalypse and death is Knight’s attention to every facet of these survivors’ experience, including the changed smells of the world and different reactions to small pleasures, such as a basement refuge: “We went inside the basement, and for the first time in almost three months, we did not smell the strong essence of decay. The only scent of decay was when someone got close enough to you that you caught a slight drift from their clothes. It was better than Christmas, and Baby Girl was happier about the basement than she was about the shampoo and conditioner. When things got rough over the next two to three months and as fall set in, we would clean up and go down into the basement. I would purge the room and we would breathe the compressed air from the cylinders. For a few hours we could minimize the constant odor that stifled and threatened to smother us.”
These facets enhance the story line, add to its realistic and compelling draw, and contribute to the surprisingly upbeat gratitude of the narrator, who takes obvious pleasure in small successes and experiences: “It had been a good day; I have a new daughter. I drifted off that night like every other night, the most fortunate man in the world.”
Knight’s ability to inject this air of positivity and human connections into Dinky’s survival story gives it an added attraction much needed by 2020 readers and beyond.
These elements place The Flip above and beyond most stories of pandemics or apocalypses. It’s especially recommended as a tool for modern times, offering a dystopian journey that will leave readers both engaged in the characters’ changing lives and the outcome of the broken world they move through as Dinky and Baby Girl love, live, and do everything they need to do in order to survive.
The Authors Show: Interview September 29, 2020:
The planet population depleted, human interaction mostly avoided, no one to assist you in an emergency, the world you had known has Flipped. You’re on your own.
Released August 1st, 2020. Available in eBook and Paperback thru Amazon.com
The Flip: Press Release
True Southern Gentleman Publishing
Doyle Weldon Knight / Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
TSGP Announces the Release of Fiction Novel, The Flip
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Alexandria, LA – True Southern Gentleman Publishing is proud to offer the debut novel from Doyle Weldon Knight, The Flip, available in eBook and paperback on Amazon.com August 1, 2020.
The Flip is a heartwarming tale, focused on survival in a post-apocalyptic society stemming from a global pandemic.
The Flip, is the story of a southern man beginning in the spring time somewhere around 2020. By fate or by grace, Dinky was within the 10% of the global population that was immune to the killer virus called Pentacle. He is in the unique situation that his wife, Sarah was also immune. The story is set in the fourth year after the devastation.
Sarah, a.k.a. Baby Girl, had been diagnosed and was under medication prior to the Flip that kept her illness in remission. That medication supply has run extremely low. Dinky exhausted all the local avenues for procuring the needed medication and embarks a journey on foot with his faithful canine Blue with the intent of finding it in a larger town about thirty-five miles away.
The story tells of the joys and the perils associated with the journey. In reflections of the past, pre-Flip and post-Flip, the gentleman recalls moments of enlightenment, pride and pain within his life that cemented the character of the man he became.