Margaret Atwood, “Payback” | Salon Books
"All wealth," declares Margaret Atwood, "comes from Nature." If that capital N hasn't already tipped you off, we have arrived, gears screeching, in the meadowlands of the Canadian Green Party, where money is an illusion and the only debts we truly owe are to Mother Earth. In service of this theory, Atwood has cobbled together an embarrassingly inane revamping of Dickens' "Christmas Carol," in which "Scrooge Nouveau" is visited by three "spirits of Earth Day." (I wish I were kidding.) The scenario climaxes in a utopian vision of quite startling banality: "All religious leaders have realized that their mandate includes helping to preserve the Almighty's gift of the Earth and have condoned birth control; there are no more noisy, polluting gas-powered leaf blowers or lawn mowers; and global warming has been dealt with at a summit during which world leaders gave up paranoia, envy, rivalry, power-hunger, greed, and the debate over who should start cutting down the carbon footprint first, and rolled up their sleeves and got on with it."