The Warehouse

Mysterious Book Report No. 392

by John Dwaine McKenna

Seldom, if ever, does a genre novel manage to hit as many topics at once as The Warehouse, (Crown, $27.00, 355 pages, ISBN 978-1-848-2379-3) by Rob Hart.  The story is altogether plausible, frighteningly real, and a possible roadmap to where the world is heading if we don’t do something to corral the corporate monsters that are gobbling every small business in sight growing fatter and fatter in our midst . . . while Congress does nothing.  The prescience of this enjoyable and very readable novel is breathtaking.

The story begins when a broke young man named Paxton applies for a job at a Master Cloud facility.  It’s a shipping center for an on-line company called the Cloud Corporation . . . . commonly “The Warehouse.”  It’s only one of many such facilities, a place so large that once inside, it’s impossible to see where the walls begin or end, while outside, the fleets of delivery drones are so massive that they blot out the sun.

Paxton is hired as a security guard and becomes one of three narrators who’ll tell the tale.  The other two are a young woman on a secret mission, whose name is Zinnia.  She’s a picker . . . someone who retrieves items throughout the voluminous building . . . and sends them on for shipping.  The third, and last of the protagonists is Gibson, the founder of the Cloud Corporation.  He’s writing his memoirs as he travels the country in a luxury custom built bus, visiting various Mother Cloud centers and polishing his image . . . as he’s dying of cancer.

Together the three disparate points of view reveal the whole account of a turbocharged Amazon-like company on steroids.  It’s one that has first readers, other writers and commentators of all kinds raving . . . while at the same time scaring the rest of us out of our shorts, because it appears to be so close to actuality.  Read the Warehouse for yourself and see why Publisher’s Weekly calls it “Rob Hart’s Break out book.” The MBR agrees. It’s the most thought provoking of all dystopian thrillers we’ve ever reviewed!

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John Dwaine McKenna