Author: Avraham Azrieli
The seed for what would become Avraham Azrieli's The Bootstrap Ultimatum was actually planted twenty-five years ago during the author's first year in the USA.
Azrieli was studying law at Columbia University in New York when one day he came across Memorial Day sales advertisements placed by several retail establishments in the New York Times. This rattled him and he experienced an awkward discomfort upon seeing this blatant commercialization of the holiday.
For Azrieli, who grew grew up in Israel, Memorial Day was considered a solemn day when a good marjority of his compatriots visited graves of fathers, sons, daughters, or close friends who died defending the Jewish state in its never-ending struggle for survival. When he asked a friend about these ads, he was brushed off and told that after all it is America and big sales take place on every holiday- Americans enjoying shopping. Despite the passage of time and his growing understanding of (and affection for) the USA, this contradiction continues to bother him, as a result, the novel eventually sprang from these feelings.
Azrieli's protagonist, Ben Teller, a free lance journalist for the NewZonline website and his girlfriend, Dr. Keera Torrens, a medical resident are about to embark on a well-deserved vacation when Teller receives a text message from the publisher of the website that trouble was expected at a Superstore, Out-Mart in Mount Airy, Maryland.
Halfway to his destination, Teller notices a huge crowd in the parking lot where shoppers are bolting out of their cars and running towards the store's doors. Apparently, the store's computer system sent out email coupons to all of their customers announcing a Memorial Day Weekend-Bootstrap Sale where every item in the store would be sold for $1.00. Subsequently, the store had turned into a disaster zone and what is more the store's personnel hadn't a clue as to how someone was able to hack their computers and send out these bogus coupons.
What baffles Teller was why someone would use the phrase “Bootstrap?” The answer to his query is not long in coming as the website's publisher notifies him that someone had used their Submit Your Own News to send a seething message to the U.S. Secretary of Commerce expressing their anger at retail corporations that have turned Memorial Day from a day to honor fallen veterans into a day to insult fallen veterans with blatant national ingratitude.
The message further states that they tried to change this shameful behavior through peaceful communications with the CEO's of these companies, but to no avail. Consequently, they have taken matters into their own hands in order to force the nation to pull itself-by its own bootstraps!-out of the rotten swamp of greed and ingratitude. The Secretary of Commerce is given the ultimatum that if he does not immediately issue a warning to all retail establishments to cancel these Memorial Day sales events, they will suffer the consequences that will lead to their commercial destruction. To demonstrate their capabilities they refer to the Bootstrap Sale at the Out-Mart Superstore in Mount Airy, Maryland.
A pivotal moment in the yarn occurs when Teller conducts a Google search for the terms veteran, protest, Memorial Day Sale, Maryland and discovers a very newsworthy item that appeared two years ago which will play an essential role in his chase to identify the culprit.
Curiosity and anticipation will carry you through the remainder of the novel as Teller embarks on a journey while riding his brassy motorcycle to unravel the mystery as to who is behind the threat to launch this nationwide attack on all retail sales in the USA and how can he or she be stopped. I can assure you, the resulting suspense may not turn out what you would expect, particularly when Teller confronts someone that will not stop at anything, even if it means killing him.
The real magic here is
Azrieli's incredible ability to create well developed characters as
well as his skill in knowing how to draw in his readers. In addition,
it is a novel of ideas that addresses troubling issues concerning the
lack of respect for veterans and their treatment, as well as the
horrendous number and frequency of suicides by U.S. veterans.