Lily Pad Roll: Journey to the Outposts of the Empire
by Gaither Stewart
Trepper & Katz Impact Books, 344 pp, $12.45 (Paper)
Also available in electronic format at $6.99
Reviewed by Branford Perry, Hipographia
I just finished a second reading of Gaither Stewart’s explosive and highly disturbing new novel, Lily Pad Roll, volume two of the Europe Trilogy.
At the end of such a novel I like to sit in silence, in semi-obscurity if possible, and let the atmosphere sweep over me in order to feel the sum effect of my reading and the residue and the mood I know I will feel come over me each time I think of the work in the future.
In this case the sensation is one of unease caused by both this well-told story of major aspects of American imperialism related by a master story-teller, but, above all in particular, of the enmity towards and the fear of the Russian bear on the part of the American eagle, whose evil presence overshadows Lily Pad Roll like Predator drones—because of America’s terrible and terrifying arms sufficient to destroy many times over the entire planet Earth, its highly trained special forces and aggressive policies supported by a chain of vassal states and satraps such as no other aspirant for world dominion has ever possessed. Neither Napoleon nor Hitler could have dreamed of such military power. Nor of commanding a nation-people standing so solidly behind their Fuehrer, a people filled with a sense of Exceptionalism and destiny tailored by God for world dominion, reminiscent of the “Manifest Destiny” of these transplanted Europeans to exterminate whatever stood in their path, even if it meant the extermination of the great indigenous nations of North America. (The “manifest” part would soon extend well beyond America’s continental limits to embrace much of the globe, apace with its growth in industrial might and military muscle.)