The global economy is in tatters not because of humanity’s faults but because of its accomplishment. The country of Shan Won, a small island state off the coast of China, has cured all of our ills, and like a black hole, a piercing singularity of perfection, it’s sucking the world dry of its stability and leadership and power.
Human traffickers become overwhelmed with smuggling hordes of North Americans across to Asia for a better life. And for Richard, for whom growing up seems to have solved nothing at all, escape seems to be his only option. But when he become reacquainted with Mia, the girlfriend of his twenties, he’s no longer certain about just what’s the problem and what’s the solution. He only knows that he’s running out of time.
“Kerkhoven’s writing is flawless, his dialogue exact. The book’s pace is wavelike: Richard drifts tidally between each breaking moment. All characters and events are described through his distancing eyes. He notes everything, participates in nothing. You know the characters in the book as Richard knows them, precisely, accurately, but not intimately. The tension between the action – and a lot of stuff happens – and Richard’s dissociated description of it makes for a fraught atmosphere. By the latter part of the book I was feeling physically tense as I turned pages, waiting anxiously for “the next thing” – I knew it was coming, and I had no idea at all what it might turn out to be. And readers, you’ll have no choice but to go through that tension. Trying to ‘cheat’ and turn to the last page won’t help you a bit. You’ll go through it just as I did – as Richard does – step by indeterminate step. And, when you get to the end – well, just go read the book. I’ll wait. Five Stars.” Big Al’s Books and Pals
“I was hooked from the very first page. There was just something about the story and the direction it took that made me eager to continue. I wouldn’t be satisfied until I had read every page. Although not at all what I anticipated, the ending was satisfying in its own way. My questions were answered, but not in the manner I was expecting. Instead, my questions were answered in a way that forced me to think about my own life choices… The Lowdown: I would recommend this book. It’s one of those books that stays with you even after you’ve clicked past your last page. I finished the book Thursday night, and I’m still thinking about it on Saturday. What would my Shan Won look like? Would it be worth leaving everything in my current life? Which character’s actions most closely resemble the actions I would likely take? Most importantly, what choices do I need to make to put myself on the path to my own personal Shan Won?” Motherlode Book Reviews
“I found the writing style of this author to be excellent. I enjoyed the natural dialogue, and the imagery was sharp.” Red Adept Reviews
“After watching Obama’s presidential address, and Boehner’s (Republican Majority Speaker of the House) laughable follow up, on the great debt debate currently gripping the nation and stalling our economy, I found an even stronger parallel between current events and a book I recently finished reading. The Year We Finally Solved Everything by Rudolf Kerkhoven , in a nutshell, is a book about making a choice to either face reality and deal with what you have been given or run in search of what you hope will be a magical solution to all your problems. I highly recommend this book for your summer reading list, especially if your job address ends with D.C.“ CorrineCan
“What if there were one perfect place on the planet: a place without sickness, hunger, work, or worry? How would the rest of the world respond to that perfection? In The Year We Finally Solved Everything, author Rudolf Kerkhoven attempts to answer these questions – and I think he comes pretty close to the truth… In the end, this reader was left saddened but not surprised by the world’s reaction to Shan Won. But what is life when we have nothing left to strive for? The Year We Finally Solved Everything will make you ask that question and many more.” Writing, Reading, and Everything in Between (Susan Wells Bennett)
“At heart, this story is about the yin and the yang of existence. As Shan Won, the perfect place, grows, the rest of the world decays. The balance of the world is upset… there was never a moment when I thought I should put it down and try something else for awhile. And the end was completely unexpected.” Shawn Davis Writes