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Consumption of alcohol: Illegal.
Football and other "violent" sports: Illegal.
Ownership of guns, chain saws, and/or large dogs: Illegal.
Body piercings, tattoos: Illegal.
It's late in the twenty-first century, and the United Safer States of America (USSA) has become a nation obsessed with safety. For Bo Marsten, a teenager who grew up in the USSA, it's all good. He knows the...
Consumption of alcohol: Illegal.
Football and other "violent" sports: Illegal.
Ownership of guns, chain saws, and/or large dogs: Illegal.
Body piercings, tattoos: Illegal.
It's late in the twenty-first century, and the United Safer States of America (USSA) has become a nation obsessed with safety. For Bo Marsten, a teenager who grew up in the USSA, it's all good. He knows the harsh laws were created to protect the people. But when Bo's temper flares out of control and he's sentenced to three years of manual labor, he's not so down with the law anymore.
Bo's forced to live and work in a factory in the Canadian tundra. The warden running the place is totally out of his mind, and cares little for his inmates' safety. Bo will have to decide what's worse: a society that locks people up for road rage, or a prison where the wrong move could make you polar bear food.
Sharp objects do not belong in your ears or near your eyes. Protect your senses!
-- Sammy Q.
Gramps, who was born in 1990, once told me that when he ws my age the only way to wind up in prison in the USSA (back when it had only one S) was to steal something, kill somebody, or use illegal drugs.
"Illegal drugs? You mean like beer?" I asked, pointing at his mug of home brew.
He laughed. "No, Bo. Beer was legal back then. I'm talking about heroin, marijuana, and cocaine. Drugs like that."
"They sent people to jail for that?"
"They sure did," he said, sipping his beer. Gramps's home brewed beer was one of our family secrets.
"Why didn't they just regenerate their dopamine receptors?"
"They didn't have the technology back then, Bo. It was a different world."
"Yeah, but sending them to a work camp...that sounds kind of extreme."
"No more extreme than putting a person away for littering," Gramps said.
"Littering is only a class-four misdemeanor -- you don't get sent up for that."
"Mr. Stoltz did."
"That was for assault. Melody Haynes got hurt."
"But all he did, really, was litter. He dropped an apricot when he was unloading groceries from his suv."
"Yeah, then Melody slipped onit and got a concussion."
"She should have been wearing her helmet. My point is, Bo, all the man did was drop an apricot and they sent him away for a whole year. A year of hard labor on a prison farm. For dropping an apricot!"
"But if he hadn't dropped it, Melody wouldn't have gotten bonked," I said. Sometimes my grandfather could be kind of dense.
"Maybe so, Bo," he said, "but the fact remains, the poor man lost a whole year of his life for one lousy apricot."
Gramps could get real stubborn when he'd been drinking.
Back then there were five of us Marstens serving time: my father, my brother, two cousins, and an aunt.
My dad got put away for roadrage back in '73. Some droog pulled out in front of him, and Dad caught up with him at the next traffic light and jumped out of his car and pounded his fist on the hood of the guy's suv and made an obscene gesture. It would have been no big deal except that it was his third roadrage citation, so he was sentenced to five years under the three-strikes-you're-out law.
Last year my brother Sam went to an unauthorized graduation party and got in a fistfight. The kid he fought lost a tooth. Sam was seventeen at the time.
Like father, like son -- they sentenced Sam to two years. If he'd been an adult, he would've gotten five years, minimum.
I never found out why my aunt and cousins were locked up. Most people don't like to talk about their jailed family members. It's embarrassing. But having five close relatives in the prison system is not that unusual. According to USSA Today, 24 percent of all adults in this country are serving time. My family was only slightly more criminal than average.
Dad got sent to a prison aquafarm down in Louisiana. He wrote to us that by the time he is released, he will have shelled twenty million shrimp. That message included a thirty-second clip of him standing at his workstation, blue gloves up to his elbows, ripping into a bin of crustaceans. Sam was on a road gang in Nebraska, middle of nowhere, patching holes on the interstate.
Of course, without people like us Marstens, there wouldn't be anybody to do the manual labor that makes this country run. Without penal workers, who would work the production lines, or pick the melons and peaches, or maintain the streets and parks and public lavatories? Our economy depends on prison labor. Without it everybody would have to work -- whether they wanted to or not.
Anyway, here's my point: Given my family's history I should have known to keep an eye on my temper. Lose control for one tiny chunk of time and bam -- next thing you know you're ripping the legs off shrimp. But at the time...Well, if you look at history, you will see that I was not the first guy to do something really stupid over a girl. Look at how many Greeks died for Helen of Troy. How much self-control do you think they had?
Copyright 2006 by Pete Hautman
I was never very good at school things. Historical events didn't stick in my head. Science and math bored me. As for dealing with people, forget about it. I could never have been a counselor, or a doctor, or a politician. I didn't have the patience.
I was no better at the arts: Painting, sculpture, and music didn't do it for me. Not that anybody else was any good at those things. All the best art got made back in the last millennium, before we learned how to fix depression and schizophrenia and stuff. These days, with everybody more or less sane, the new art is about as interesting as oatmeal.
According to my sixteenth-year Career Indexing Evaluation, my top career choice was correctional worker. I guess that meant I'd make a good prison guard. Or maybe a good prisoner. Either way, with penal institutions being such big business I'd have no problem finding work if I wanted it.
The only thing I'd ever been really good at was running. I could run faster than anyone else on Washington Campus, with the possible exception of the intolerable Karlohs Mink. I could run a 50-yard dash in eight seconds, and 100 meters in under 14 seconds.
In fact, on the day I got into it with Karlohs Mink, I had been hoping to break the 100-meter school record of 13.33 seconds.
Karlohs was never my favorite person. Even before the first time he looked at Maddy Wilson, I hadn't liked him. For one thing, the way he spelled his first name was really irritating. And I hated his wrinkly minky smirk. And his stupid-looking asymmetrical hair: so pretentious; so 2060s. The only thing I liked about Karlohs was his last name. Mink. It was perfect that he had the name of a diminutive, beady-eyed, nasty-smelling member of the weasel family.
But I never set out to harm his smirking minky face. At least not at first. Not until he started his minky sniffing around Maddy Wilson.
I had called Maddy that morning and told her I was about to set a new school record for the 100 meter.
"Oh, Bo," she said, her laughing face filling my WindO, "you are so funny."
I don't know why Maddy did it for me. Something about her mouth and eyes lit me up every time I saw her. I wanted desperately to impress her.
"I'm serious, Mad. I'm gonna set a new school record."
"I think you and Karlohs are simply ridiculous."
"Karlohs? What's he got to do with it?"
"You're both just so competitive."
"Maybe so. But I got the bear after me."
"Oh, Bo, you and your silly bear!"
* * *
Back when Gramps was in high school, kids ran faster. Gramps claimed to have run 100 meters in 11 seconds, and the mile in 4:37. That was before the Child Safety Act of 2033. Now every high school runner has to wear a full set of protective gear -- AtherSafe shoes with lateral ankle support and four layers of memory gel in the thick soles, knee pads, elbow pads, neck brace, tooth guard, wrist monitor, and an FDHHSS-certified sports helmet. We raced on an Adzorbium track with its five centimeters of compacted gel-foam topped by a thick sheet of artificial latex. It's like running on a sponge.
Before the Child Safety Act dozens of high school athletes died in accidents every year. They died from things like heatstroke, skull fractures, heart attacks, and broken necks. Today, high school athletes are as safe on the athletic field as they are sitting in the classroom.
Gramps thought it was ridiculous.
"They might just as well put you in a rubber room and see who can stomp their feet up and down the fastest," he once said. "We used to run on hard-packed cinders -- no helmets, no gel-foam, none a that."
I tried to argue: "But, Gramps, it's just as healthy. I mean, with the equipment and the Adzorbium, we probably get twice the workout, only nobody gets bonked."
"Nobody goes very fast, either. I ever show you my old track shoes?"
"Yes, Gramps. I've seen them." Gramps kept his old running shoes in a box in the garage. Every now and then he'd bring them out and wave them around and go on and on about the days of the "real" athletes. You couldn't talk to him when he got like that.
"Look, Gramps, as long as we all have the same rules, the top athlete still gets the trophy."
"That why you run, Bo? For trophies? Hell, when I was a boy, reason we ran was 'cause we were getting chased. We played football back then. Real football. Tackle football."
Football has been illegal since before I was born. I've seen recordings of the old games, and I can see why it has been banned. The only place they play it now is in some South American countries like Columbistan and Paraguay.
"It was run like the devil or get eaten up." Gramps had drunk a few beers that day.
"Yeah, right. Who'd want to eat you?"
"You'd be surprised, boy. It was the twentieth century back then. Bears everywhere."
"You were chased by bears?"
"Damn straight, boy."
"You don't expect me to believe that, do you?"
"Hell, boy, some of the things you kids believe these days...how do I know what you'll believe? But I'll tell you this: You want to run a little faster? Just imagine you got a grizzly on your ass."
Copyright 2006 by Pete Hautman
Excerpted from Rash by Pete Hautman Copyright © 2006 by Pete Hautman. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Posted December 2, 2013
The first time i read this book i had no idea it was about football otherwise i wouldnt have read it but this book was an exception it kept me reading i couldbt put it down its a great read read it and i promise you will enjoy itWas this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
The book Rash is about a high school kid named Bo Marsten. It seems like Bo has a normal life. He has a girlfriend, he's athletic, he is keeping his grades up, that sort of thing. However, 2076 in the United Safer States of America isn't so normal compared to what we live in. The United States has become a Safety-Freak country. So, Bo ends up getting thrown in a Pizza Plant in the Canadian Tundra for assaulting a kid and for somehow spreading some type of disease throughout the school. Bo then joins a illegal football team at the pizza plant while working for them and Bork, Bo's "cyber-buddy" from school tries to get Bo out of jail. I really liked how Pete Hautman included the illegal football team at the pizza plant to give the book more excitement. I disliked however the ending of the book, which was quite uneventful. The book was alright, but not as long and as detailed as I hoped it would be.
Posted March 14, 2013
This book was amazing. Everything about it was just an experience that was well delivered with Hautman's great prediction for the US and it's citizens. After first reading this I even started to run as though there was a Grizzly on my ass! I love this book!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted February 25, 2013
I thought this book was very good, and enjoyed the plot and the action. The plot kept moving which kept me interested in the book. Although, I did think the ending was dragged on a little too long. The high point ended, Bo came back and rejoined his family, but after that, it just goes on about him adapting back into a normal life. I thought that part was kind of slow and uneventful. But all in all it was a good read, and I do recommend it.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted September 7, 2012
In this story a 16 year old, Bo Marsten lives in a futuristic america, where the government is obsessed with safety, and anyone who does even the slightest thing wrong is arrested. Bo has anger management issues, so he almost gets sent to jail because of previous incidents. When Bo attacks one of his peers, he is sent to a prison to do work. Not long after arriving, Bo finds out that a special group of prisoners is chosen once in a while to play on a football team in the Tundra Bowl. I would recommend this book to other people because of it's interesting take on the future, and it's gripping story. For example, the author depicts the world as a place where safety is above all else. For example, they make civilians wear protective gear at all times. I could not put this book down, it was amazing.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted July 16, 2012
Several of Bo's family members are locked up and he REALLY doesn't want to follow in their footsteps. But in 2076 in the United Safer States of America, the craziest things can get you in trouble. Bo's temper causes him to be sent to a pizza-making "prison" near Hudson Bay where he endures pain and humiliation. Once his school-project artificial intelligence "being," Bork, contacts him, Bo begins to think he may be able to reduce his three-year sentence. A great sci-fi look at government control and how the rules we live by today may not be as bad as they could be. Because the game of football plays a large part in Bo's time in prison, teen sports fans will enjoy this book. Thanks to Puget Sound Council for this review copy.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted May 22, 2012
Posted May 18, 2012
Posted December 15, 2011
The lesson that I have learned from reading this book is to keep your anger to yourself or something even worse will happen to you. For example, Bo said to himself," You can do this. Turn and walk away. It's not worth it. Turn and walk away." but he didn't, he punched Karlohs. This shows that if you do bad decisions, then bad things will happen to you. Another lesson I learned was that to not do bad decisions because you would not only hurt yourself but others too. For example, Bo's mother said," First, your father, then your older brother and now you." This shows that when you do bad decisions, your family will also suffer.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted December 9, 2011
The book was actually one of the better books that I have read in my lifetime. I will rate the book in the top 5 of my favorite books along with the Hunger Games and Gym Candy. The plot of the book really makes you think about what if this was me in this situation. The book isn¿t a hard read I read it in 2 or 3 days and the suspense is killer. If you like the future and football then the book is definitely for you. I recommend this book to anyone.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted March 30, 2011
It's Dash, Mrs.hill.
This book is amazing. I thought I wouldn't like it at first, but it was amazing!! I suggest that everyone read this book. It may have a weird title but it is an amazing book. The ending kind of lets you go and makes you wait.
Posted March 19, 2009
Rash is a definite page turner it never looses its step it goes on and on and you never loose interest in it. Also it can teach teenagers a less to not go to jail because bad things can happen tp them if they go to jail.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted March 12, 2009
I Also Recommend:
Rash by Pete Hautman is a book about what life would be like living in 2070.
The USA is now called the USSA (United Safer States of America). Americans have traded their freedom and independence for safety. It is no longer legal to play football or run without wearing extensive padding. Alcohol, cigarettes, temper tantrums, hunting, obesity and dangerous activities are against the law.
Bo Marston lives with his mother and very eccentric grandfather. His father and brothers were sent away to work on crews at work camps because of their tempers. Bo wants two things out of life; break the school record for the 100-meter dash, and to win over Maddy Wilson.
When Bo sees Maddy getting friendly with the guy he dislikes, Karlohs, he gets into trouble. Remember this is 2070 and hurting another's feelings by name-calling is against the law.
"She doesn't want anything to do with a pretentious droog like you, I said, getting right in his face. So leave her alone, okay? I don't want your disgusting dog anus mouth anywhere near her, understand? Karlohs staggered back as if he had been struck. I felt a moment of satisfaction followed immediately by a sick feeling. I knew I'd gone too far, even though it was true." Verbally attacking someone's physical appearance is a class three misdemeanor. (14-15) Bo goes to court and is sentenced to three years but is suspended as long as he stays out of trouble until his 19th birthday. Well, as you read, we know that isn't going to happen, and soon enough Bo has another confrontations with Karlohs. Bo is sent away to prison.
Bo is sent to prison 387 to make frozen pizzas for McDonalds. Hammer his warden loves football and promotes the illegal game in the camp. Boys who make the team, the elite goldshirts, are allowed shorter work shifts, cushy jobs, and choices in food. But, the warden has no care about their health on the playing field.
While Bo works on football he is also learning about making pizza, and how to be a good friend to Bork and Rhino, his roommates. Bo soon realizes he has some decisions to make about his future.
This was a great sci-fi, futuristic book that involved football,but it also showed Bo's struggle with life in a different society, and how he handled his own anger problems.
Rash was a fast paced easy read. It reminded me of the book Holes by Luis Sachar. The book gets better after he goes to prison involving more interesting characters. The author did a great job incorporting kids problems today with a futuristic twist. I recommend this book to any teenage boy who has an interest in football or any sport. He won't be dissapointed.
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Posted November 14, 2008
Picture, if you will, life in the year 2076. You are living in The United Safer States of America and things such as obesity, verbal abuse, and dangerous activities are against the law. The legal driving age is twenty-six. Even sports such as football are illegal. Sports that are allowed are hindered due to all the safety gear the participants are required to wear. This is the world that sixteen-year-old Bo Marsten inhabits. <BR/><BR/>Bo has inherited a bit of a temper from his father who has been in prison since 2073 for road rage. He has been in trouble at school many times for "failing to control his antisocial impulses," but when he is falsely accused of causing a rash that spreads throughout the school, his anger gets the best of him and he assaults a classmate. This action lands him in a work camp in the middle of the Canadian tundra that is surrounded by hungry polar bears. <BR/><BR/>The work camp Bo is sent to is a factory that makes pizzas. He becomes a member of a four man team with the responsibility of using the pepperoni gun. Each pull of the trigger on the pepperoni gun delivers twenty-six pepperoni on each pizza. When the team works in sync, life isn't so bad. There is only one group that causes Bo problems while he is there, the Goldshirts. The Goldshirts are an elite group at the pizza factory that have special privileges like a variety of food, when the others only have defective pizzas to eat for every meal, every day. The Goldshirts main job is to play football for the warden. <BR/><BR/>All new editions to the work camp eventually have a tryout in front of the warden. This entails running and catching a pass. If you catch it, you become a Goldshirt and are placed on the team. Bo makes the team and experiences physical activity without protective gear for the first time in his life. The warden requires that the team practice every day for several hours in order to prepare for an illegal game with another work camp. If you want to remain a Goldshirt, you play even if you are injured. <BR/><BR/>After surviving work camp and brutal football games, Bo, with the help of an unlikely attorney, is released from his sentence and allowed to go home. Bo begins to think about life in the USSA and considers where else he can go that would allow more freedom. <BR/><BR/>Pete Hautman has written a unique sports novel for the sci-fi/fantasy lover. This interesting look at what might happen to a society more concerned with safety than freedom is a page-turner. The reader will enjoy comparing today's life with the life Hautman has created.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted April 11, 2008
Rash is a book about a teenager living in the year 2074, and everything is not what you would think it would be. Pete Hautman unravels the world of the year 2074, and creats a bloody good adventure with unexpected twists. You'll read things like how McDonalds had devoloped from a fast food place, to an automobile place, then to a pizza place. I reccomend this book to anyone who likes science fiction, adventure, or people who like a hint of sports in their books.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted February 11, 2008
Rash is supposed to be a funny adventure about a kid that has just about the worst luck possible. As you read though, you will realize that it is actually pretty scary. It scares me because laws and rules in this book might actually exist one day. Football is outlawed, books are things of the past, helmets are worn every time you walk uncase you fall, and criminals don¿t go to prison anymore they go to work plants for big brands like Coke and McDonalds. Rash takes a great look at the future, and I recommend it to anyoneWas this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted November 29, 2007
Rash is a novel that young adults can easily relate to because of the impressments placed upon the youth by the government. Instead of parents just babying the kids the entire nation babies them and forces them to be overprotected. The way Hautman describes life in the future and references our day and ages a primitive can be quite comical. It was a very easy read it kept my attention the whole time with plot twists and great dialogue. The book uses many literary devices. It often uses great imagery to describe Bo¿s surroundings. Foreshadowing is used frequently to clue you into Bo¿s future, and similes are often used to describe physical activity in the game. I suggest this book to many audiences because of its witty humor and intense action scenes. This novel was one of my favorite readings of the year. It kept me entertained from start to finish. Never once did I lose interest in this book. Its one of the must reads of the year and Pete Hautman is a great writer. The audiences who will relate to this story the best are the young adults of the world. The constant nagging of parents can be related to the constant threats of the laws in the USSA. Therefore I believe this to be a great read for most ages.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted November 7, 2007
RASH, by Pete Hautmen is a fictional book. RASH was a good book. There was quite a bit of foreshadowing in this book. It was hard to stop reading it. I didn¿t like the ending though. RASH was set in Canada, also it was in the far future. Bo, the main character, was good runner but an enemy 'Carlos Mink', who was as good at running as he was, was about to beat his record. The next day he whispers to Carlos when he walked by. After a few minutes his Carlos had a rash and he couldn¿t breath. Bo is accused of spreading a rash to the whole school. Carlos planned this and told him. Bo got furious and got into a fight with him. He has to go away to an institution. There he has a choice to be safe and do what he¿s suppose to or play an illegal game of football, and may be get his sentence shortened. Bo is a fast runner, so he plays football as a running back. Later he¿s let outside the fence around the institution, where he has to run away from some very hungry polar bears. He has to dodge the polar bears like he dodges the defense in football. He is about to be eaten by a polar bear when a guy comes to his rescue. The bear falls on top of him and he gets knocked out. Pete Hautmen writes in first person point of view. It is easy to read because it is like Bo is really telling you the story in person. I would say sixth and seventh grade boys would like this book. It is full of action and sports. Rash is a book that boys at ages 10-14 would enjoy.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted May 7, 2007
in the book 'Rash' a boy named Bo is in a lot of trouble with the police and his whole family is wanted, if you want a book packed with action, read Rash!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted January 2, 2007