Thursday, July 21, 2016

The Punishments by J B Winsor

As a Christian, I found this to be a thought provoking novel. I did not appreciate the graphic sex and torture scenes, however, and the vulgar language. But the plot gave me much to think about.

When the novel opens, some time in the future, fundamentalist Christians are already in control of the U.S. Government. We find out later in the novel that Americans had been living in fear of additional acts of terrorism. They had also been disgusted with the ineffective nature of government. Not wanting to be involved themselves, citizens allowed Christian fundamentalists to work their way into power, beginning at the county level then all the way to the presidency. The average American did not think the fundamentalists would carry through with their plans but now there is a very serious move toward theocracy and return to Old Testament laws. The fundamentalists even use the trump card that God's laws supersede man made laws.

Winsor has done a good job creating characters that propel the plot. The head of Virtues is a power hungry and, I think, evil man. I would like to say that is not possible, to preach morality, to enforce morality, but then to be so immoral. But we've seen it. He even claims to hear from God, thus claiming ultimate rule.

There are fundamentalists who insist on living to the letter of the law, including making women stay in the home and taking away their vote. There are a couple of senators who try to oppose the fundamentalist agenda but their life means little to those who hunger after power.

I think this novel is thought provoking because it deals with an issue higher than just that of fundamentalist Christians in power. The chilling reality could come to pass with any religion where extremists gain ultimate power. I would recommend this novel, except for the graphic sex and violence it contains. Nonetheless, the novel is very thought provoking.

My rating: 4/5 stars.

J B Winsor was a businessman, building a media network. He fought to preserve great ecosystems, founded an institute exploring new communication technology, is an outdoor enthusiast, and avid story teller. He and his wife split their living between Boulder, Colorado and a ranch in Wyoming. They have three children and eight grandchildren. You can find out more at

Boulder Digital Publishing, 308 pages.

I received a complimentary egalley of this novel from the publisher for the purpose of an independent and honest review.

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