Fracktured by Lance Simmens is a political novel following the lives of three people: a politician and his wife, and a madam, all trying to navigate a world in which the political system is broken, affecting all our lives. Primarily, the book centers around the fossil fuel industry, and society’s addiction to oil. Far from touting “Drill, Baby, Drill” this is an anti-fracking novel to the core, exposing how toxic fracking has become: both in what it does to communities, and how toxic the political discourse has become.
There’s a danger in a policy wonk writing a work of fiction that it will come across as wonkish, but that’s not the case here. This is a vibrant, character-driven piece about important issues that doesn’t come across as preachy or partisan. Simmens, who has a long history working within government, including at the presidential level, gives this book great authenticity and authority. Unfortunately, the prose is marred by grammatical issues – most often, the lack of proper comma usage – which mar the book overall. The cover could use a tweak as well, as the illustration comes off as somewhat whimsical when that’s not really the mood of this intensely politically-driven novel.
If you look past these problems, Fracktured is a deeply affecting work. The fact that this is a work of fiction, rather than a non-fiction screed about the dangers of fracking, makes the book all the more human and persuasive. It’s an important novel about an important subject, which hopefully finds a large readership.