I mean, come on. Do you really think that advanced civilisations have nothing better to do than sort out the sorry mess humans have gotten themselves into? Like, enlightened civilisations, with advanced technologies, able to cross interstellar space and - what? They are going to come to earth to give us some friendly advice on where we are going wrong?
Weirdly enough, that’s exactly what happened. It was quite a big project and took a lot of planning and what was really funny was that Frank, a big fat nobody, was one of the people they came to see. Crazy, right?
Anyway, if you want to find out what happens, read No One Gets Out Alive, by Harry Tinders. You’ll also find out why Michael wants to kill Frank and murder thousands of people at a concert, across the other side of town.
Murder, mayhem, politics, philosophy, religion, fascism (the real kind), love, death, social justice, sex and the meaning of life. That’s quite a lot packed into just 139 pages, so grab a copy before it gets famou, they make a film of it and the prices go up.
If they give you any hassle, tell them Harry sent you.
No One Gets Out Alive by Harry Tinders is subtitled Morality, Terrorism and IPA. It is a book that is difficult to categorize. It has aliens, quite likeable creatures who, unlike most aliens in fiction, are not bent on the destruction of our precious planet - rather they are here to help, which is nice. A good portion of the tale takes place in a well-appointed, quiet bar with comfortable booths and a good supply of India Pale Ale, which is also nice. One of the characters has developed a dastardly plan to kill a rather large number of people, which is not so nice. That having been said, the book is not a science fiction tale nor a thriller, and even though Frank, the central character, has feelings for the barmaid of the said bar, it is not a romance. So, having said what it is not, how does one go about describing this book to a potential reader? I think that the author, Harry Tinders, has set out to explore the inconsistencies and sometimes ludicrous contradictions in our various belief systems, be they political, philosophical or religious. He first takes great care to describe his characters, their personal histories, background and outlook. Then taking their interactions within their families, peer groups and the world in general, he uses the various juxtapositions to highlight some of the absurdities of our prevailing philosophies and thought systems. This is done in a hugely entertaining way, with the narrative moving along at a brisk pace, crammed with bright insights and flashes of sometimes acerbic humour. This novel will challenge and entertain you at the same time, a rare combination and well worth the time spent on it.
Let me say right away that I thoroughly enjoyed No One Gets Out Alive. It is a fine book written by an intelligent, thoughtful, talented author. It was a joy to review, well-written in a clear, uncluttered style, and at the end, what I really wanted was to be able to sit in a nice quiet bar with Harry Tinders, armed with a couple of pints of IPA, to discuss some of the points and assertions he makes in the book. To say it is thought-provoking would be an understatement, but that is not to say the narrative is heavy going. Tinders manages to handle his sometimes complex subjects with good humour and a light touch. If I thought the ending was a bit abrupt, his inclusion of some additional material was a pleasant surprise and an apt conclusion. Highly recommended - No One Gets Out Alive deserves a broad readership.
In No One Gets Out Alive by Harry Tinders, as planet Earth faces a huge catastrophe regarding their future survival with segregation, inequality and violence still prevalent, an alien from a different part of our galaxy is sent to help. Q'aa'l's mission is to advise one human who has become an involuntary participant in a possible terrorist attack. Meanwhile, on planet Earth, Michael a devout worshipper of God, walks into a bar, armed, dangerous, and looking to exact his revenge. His target is Frank, a well-known online atheist and podcaster who debates with his listeners on subjects of principles and morality. Michael offers Frank the chance to choose who will live and who will die in his imminent terrorist plot. Will Frank save the many people attending a nearby concert or his sister and her children? As Frank is faced with this impossible decision, Q'aa'l enters the bar and offers Frank some profound advice.
No One Gets Out Alive by Harry Tinders is so compelling it is definitely worth a second read as the subjects raised are powerful, thought-provoking, and profound. Recent issues such as immigration, inequality, capitalism, and the environment are covered in depth with great points of view from both sides of the debate. The author has also included many historical events too, such as the Holocaust and the Ottoman Empire. I loved the inclusion of detailed backstories to the characters of Michael and Frank as this explained so much of their views, behaviors, and thought patterns. Both characters held such opposing moral and religious views and this made for a fantastic debate on principles and morality. The discussion over religion versus science was made perfectly, especially on Frank's podcast. The dialogue flowed beautifully and, at times, was extremely poignant. I also loved Q'aa'l's lively, intelligent, and hilarious personality. I was so impressed with how the question of freedom of choice, culpability, and responsibility for actions was covered. The ending was a surprising twist and absolutely excellent. This would make a superb book as a springboard to any moral debate.
Rodica Grigore; Lucian Blaga University
I've just finished reading, no one gets out alive. I really like it.
At first, I thought it would be another story about extraterrestrial visitors combined with a contemporary history regarding men with guns, bearing grudge to each other and dreaming of revenge... But, after reading a few more pages, I realized that, in spite of the fact that it appears to be light and funny, the book is also witty and deep, stressing some very actual issues -- even if at times using some comic strategies. The novel is not so much about an encounter between the human race and some extraterrestrial visitor(s), but especially about our contemporary human condition and the challenges we have to face: immigration, the relationship to God or religion, and violence. The characters Frank and Michael are exquisite, so convincingly structured -- and funny, too. Their opposite positions as far as religious matter is concerned, their encounters and their past life (and personal history!) are compelling and I have to confess I couldn't put away the book. The immigrational phenomenon is also an aspect that fascinated me and the way the characters reflect our own fears and preoccupations. So, much more than a book with or about extraterrestrial encounters, this novel is a story about us, about all of us and about the world we live in. And also about our chances to get better -- from the spiritual and intellectual point of view. A perfect reading for the times we live in.
Reviewed by Grant Leishman for Readers' Favorite
No One Gets Out Alive: Morality, Terrorism and IPA by Harry Tinders is a deep dive into the world of philosophy, morals, ethics, relativism, and aliens as it attempts to answer the biggest of all the age-old questions: Why are we here? What difference do we make? and are we alone? Michael was a man on a mission. He had come to Canada when he was just a boy, as a refugee from the Middle East and yet now, ironically, he was desperately fighting to keep further immigrants out of HIS Canada. Fervently religious, Michael had two great passions; stopping what he viewed as the pernicious spread of a new religion, The United Churches of Abraham, which aimed to bring together all the disparate religious sects, who all believed in the ONE God, under the same banner. Michael believed these people were perverting his true religion. Second, he was determined to meet and put to the test, Frank, whose mission in life was to spread the word of atheism and anti-religion as far and wide as he could via his website, his blogs, his podcasts, his Vlogs, and his writings. Throw into the mix a bunch of aliens who just want humanity to stop, take stock of the mess they’ve made, and get onto the right track for future development before the next “filter” event that will potentially wipe them out and you have the makings of a deep, philosophical dilemma.
No One Gets Out Alive is a funny and, at times, slightly cynical look at the human condition. Author Harry Tinders has created two wonderful characters in Michael and Frank who are both instantly recognizable if we look around at our associates. They are both drawn to extremes and somewhat intractable which, if we are honest, describes most people’s stances, views, and attitudes in this sharply polarized world we live in today. I loved the fact that the author used the terrorism situation as an opportunity to ask those questions about morality, ethics, relativism, and what is the “greater good?” I found myself just devouring this story and was saddened when it came to an end so quickly. I particularly enjoyed the perspective that the alien brought to the conversation and the corollaries he used to help Frank and Michael understand their place in the Universe. The message that resonated with me the most was the idea of race, religion, nation, and culture all being totally human constructs and that they had no real meaning within the wider sphere of the Universe, the human condition, or the future. This is a highly readable book that questions everything you’ve convinced yourself may or may not be right about life and makes you think about it as part of an interesting fictional story. This lifts the book above its compatriots in the genre – philosophy mixed in with a bit of action. You can’t go wrong with that. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and can highly recommend it.