Mister is a dystopian science fiction novel by Alex Kurtagic. The novel examines the everyday consequences of living in a near-future world where current social, cultural, economic, political, and demographic trends have been allowed to continue unabated. A critique of both utopian liberalism and respectable conservatism, it has been compared to Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell and The Camp of the Saints by Jean Raspail. Unlike the latter, however, Mister employs a (darkly) humorous approach to social and cultural criticism. It was published in May 2009 by Iron Sky Publishing, an imprint of Wermod and Wermod Publishing Group. The preface was written by former diplomat and professor of political science Tomislav Sunic.
An unnamed, white, middle-aged British IT consultant travels to Madrid, Spain, to meet with clients (Scoptic), who have hired him to develop and implement an accounting system equipped with artificial intelligence. The year is 2022. From the moment he attempts to board his flight at Heathrow Airport, however, he is beset by endless problems: Alex Kurtagic's dystopian future is "a sweaty, overheated, crowded, unpleasantly odiferous world of overpriced, over-processed, over-spiced food, greasy dark faces and strangling government controls." Frustrations continue throughout his stay in Madrid, where upon arrival a black cab driver attempts to rip him off, until there is a violent confrontation where "Mister" defends himself and leaves the cab driver screaming in the night. Intensely irritating, ridiculous, and grotesque situations follow one after another, making it almost impossible for him to relax, let alone do his job; even the most trivial act becomes a mountain. Scoptic turns out to be a dubious outfit with even more shady subcontractors. One of these is Mr. Wermod, a brilliant hardware developer, bookworm, and hoarder, whom "Mister" meets in a derelict and lethal area of town. Mr. Wermod, it seems, is linked to an underground network of Esoteric Hitlerists, a dangerous cult secretly conspiring to overthrow the system, but of uncertain existence. Mister is sceptical of media reports about this cult (to him it is yet another media-manufactured al-Qu'edah-style bogeyman) and, in any event, he shares many of Mr. Wermod's views, so he focuses on the job at hand. On their second encounter, however, Mr. Wermod abruptly ends their meeting, alleging a family emergency. He offers "Mister" a ride to the nearest Metro station as a courtesy. "Mister", who accepts, soons finds himself involved in what appears to be a secret escape operation, involving the infamous American evolutionary psychologist, Kevin B. MacDonald, who in the novel is the world's number one fugitive. Mr. Wermod introduces the gentleman resembling Kevin MacDonald as his "uncle". Although deeply alarmed, "Mister" cannot be sure, and he and Kevin MacDonald exchange not a word; but "Mister" eventually decides to simply forget about what he saw. Not long afterwards, "Mister" finds himself brutally arrested and incarcerated. A series of absurd interrogations follow, led by a thoroughly corrupt police inspector who looks like Barack Obama. The racist, opportunistic "Obama" is determined to send "Mister" to the gulags; "Mister", on the other hand, never learns what he is charged with or suspected of. He imagines his arrest is a consequence of the cab driver from the airport reporting him as a racist attacker, but he is terrified he might, in fact, have been linked to the disappearance of Kevin MacDonald, since reported in the news. In the process, he realizes his apolitical strategy of avoiding trouble and using his wealth to insulate himself from the world that has gone to hell has done him little good: deeds matter, after all. After weeks of captivity and questioning, "Mister" finds himself freed, for reasons unknown. Upon regaining his freedom he is faced with a city in chaos, stormed by rioters and looters. The army has been deployed. The euro has collapsed and prices are rising by the minute. "Mister" finds himself racing to escape back to Britain before his money evaporates, the city is taken, and "Obama" catches up with him. The novel ends as it begins, with "Mister" about to board an airplane.
Mister is written in a highly ironic, cultured, rhetorical literary style. The latter is comparable to Edward Gibbon, Alexander Theroux, Wyndham Lewis, Jean Raspail, and Louis-Ferdinand Céline, except with addition of abtruse scientific terminology, taken from anatomy, craniology, physiognomy, and evolutionary psychology. At times, a deliberately formal syntax and inappropriately euphemistic diction is used to describe repellent situations; while at others, minor incidents are subjected to extreme hyperbole, and elaborated to an excruciating degree of detail.
The main character is never named, and is referred throughout in the third person singular. Many incidental characters are also not named, but referred to by ridiculous nicknames based on a physiognomical characteristic or item of dress.
Much of the dialogue is in Spanish, with English translations supplied at the bottom of the page.
Alex Kurtagic also sprinkles his prose with obscure words and uses obsolete spellings (e.g., œconomy instead of economy).