Reviews from Lord Taylor of Glencoe
The Wave: Morton Rhue, March 27—28, 2015
My rating: ♦♦♦♦◊
Was Nazism an insane blip in humanity? How did it happen, and could it happen again? These are the questions Ben Ross’ history class ask him, and ones he attempts to answer. He experiments by beginning a fascist mini-community within the class, lights the torch paper and watches as “The Wave” comes to life.
You may criticise the plot for being simplistic or far-fetched, but The Wave is based on real events in a 1960s American school which were not discussed for three years after the fact. Artistic license aside, this happened, and The Wave is suddenly terrifying.
Rhue considers the events from all angles: teachers, parents, supporters and dissenters; the popular kids who lose their standing and the unpopular ones who gain equality, to an extent. However, running to just over 150 pages, they aren’t done justice. The book could explore the complex nuances in more detail and a volume three or four times the sizes wouldn’t be excessive. Rhue does appear to tap into the adolescent mind, but the dialogue is a little Home And Away cheesy.
The Wave is a chilling dramatisation of shocking events, told well but with some missed opportunities.