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Dakota and the American Dream

Dakota and the American Dream Dakota and the American Dream by Sameer Garach
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

SYNOPSIS
When ten-year-old Dakota becomes bored sitting next to his mother on a park bench, he drifts off and falls into a dream in which he follows a squirrel down a game of hopscotch until he finds himself in a fantasy world populated by peculiar, anthropomorphic creatures.
The satirical tale plays with many themes characteristic of America and its corporate culture as seen through the expert eyes of a child, giving the story popularity with adults as well as children. From a rudimentary perspective, the novella is about the trials and tribulations of growing up, or overweight, or old. But from another more complex one, it concerns ridiculous points of sharp humor, such as the American Dream, the rat race, racism in the workplace, the corporate ladder and hierarchy, office romance, an unhealthy love affair with body image, the obsession with prescription medication, the work and coffee culture, the constant fear of losing one’s job, the importance of golf in career success, happy hour and team-building exercises, age discrimination, and the diversity of dialect found in the United States.
To define the charm of the Dakota book—with those wonderful eccentric characters the Greenback Squirrel, the White Mouse, the Black Rat, the Bigwig, the Chairman, the Big Boss, the Westchester Whelp, the 800-pound Gorilla, etc.—as merely adolescent arousal would convey a lack of proper understanding, for it really comprises a satire on language, a corporate allegory, a reflection of contemporary history, and a parody of twenty-first-century children’s literature.

                                                                BOOK REVIEW
When I google "the American Dream," I get this: the ideal by which equality of opportunity is available to any American, allowing the highest aspirations and goals to be achieved." a workaholic lawyer who seems to be living the American dream"

I think the sentence concerning the workaholic sums up this story perfectly. As humans living in this world, we all strive for the American Dream. We work hard, long hours to achieve what we think is the ideal dream-big house, nice car, fancy clothes, perfect body-and we do all this based on Corporate America and society. This story is full of symbolism. Every character, who are animals or mermaids, represents some negative aspect of society in Dakota's quest to reach the top of the tall, corporate building. A squirrel guides him down the hole just as the rabbit did in Alice in Wonderland, where he encounters rats who represent racism and bulls and other aspects of the working world that limit your progress to the top. The author talks about it being a "rat race" and a "dog eat dog" world and the issue of stereotypes. Every event in this story has a purpose. Ultimately, does all of this make a person happy? Every lazy, negative person you can think of exists in this book. Everyone trying to get somewhere, to the top, is in a hurry and doesn't stop to enjoy life. Overall, the read flowed well with no errors or confusion. I give it 3 stars simply because, while it was an insightful look at how bland society is, it wasn't fun. 
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