This is the third and final “Blue Ant” novel, which circulates around a few recurring characters like a musician turned brand specialist and a Dutch advertising entrepreneur.
In this book, we focus on the world of wildcat clothing design, specifically underground denim design. A mysterious denim designer has been doing guerilla product drops in order to avoid the world of fashion and our business exec Hubertus Bigend puts Hollis (our musician) and a another older character Milgrim on the task of finding the designer. Milgrim is now a recovering drug addict who is taking an experimental drug treatment. He effectively has lost his last decade to pills, but retains his ability to recognize patterns and languages innately. It emerges that Bigend is looking for the designer to try to facilitate military uniform design contracts and have them design them, which would be a recession-proof business.
What this book really feels like is the attempt to understand the landscape of post-Bush and post-9-11 America not when then upheaval the attacks changed everything, but when the new, stable reality that has settled in has taken hold. It also feels like a very very very pre-Trump kind of book. Trump here representing the final push (putsch) away from the belief that the US even remotely cares about maintaining the fictions of democracy. The world we live in here is worldwide and almost anti-nation state. But it doesn’t know that nation states aren’t done with us yet.