The Damage Done
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Imagine a world devoid of violence—a world where fists can't hit, guns don't kill, and bombs can't destroy. In this tantalizing novel of possibility, this has—suddenly and inexplicably—become our new reality. The U.S. president must find a new way to wage war. The Pope ponders whether the Commandment "Thou Shalt Not Kill" is still relevant. A dictator takes his own life after realizing that the violence he used to control his people is no longer an option. In the first days after the change, seven people who have experienced violence struggle to adapt to this radical new paradigm: Dab, a bullied middle schooler; Marcus, a high-school student whose brother is the last victim of gun violence in America; Ann, a social worker stuck in an abusive marriage; Richard, a professor whose past makes him expect the worst in the present; Gabriela, who is making a dangerous border crossing into the U.S.; the Empty Shell, a dissident writer waiting to be tortured in a notorious prison; and Julian, a white supremacist plotting a horrific massacre. As their fates intertwine, the promise and perils of this new world begin to take shape. Although violence is no longer possible, mindless cruelty is still alive and well—and those bent on destruction still seek the means to achieve it. For fans of Ben Winters and Sarah Pinsker, this mind-bending and thought-provoking novel pushes the limits of fiction, questioning the violence sewn into our DNA.