The Capitol Expressway

Fiction - Social Issues
283 Pages
Reviewed on 04/04/2019
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Author Biography

Maybe hell is being able to see heaven but not close enough to touch it or for heaven to see you.
Or, maybe hell is finding out who actiually runs heaven.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Samantha Gregory for Readers' Favorite

The Capitol Expressway by Richard Siciliano is a fictional look at the social issues of today, told through the eyes of a man trying to come to terms with the world around him and the current state of his life. The man starts out in hospital, dreaming of his life, his home and a woman called Janie. He had a good job and made good money, but it seems that he wasn't entirely satisfied with his life and wonders what it could have been like if things were different. When he wakes up, he is faced with doctors and officials trying to decide what to do with him. I think this is reflective of his views, where he feels trapped and is unable to decide the course of his own life.

Richard Siciliano has created an interesting story in The Capitol Expressway, using fiction to debate real issues. I think that too many people don't listen to the arguments on both sides and that this could be a way of getting a message across without it devolving into a fight. Whether you agree with the viewpoints or not, there will be many readers who can relate to this story. I think a lot of people feel under pressure and trapped, in a sense, by the actions of higher ups. I think this could do well on the market, but this book might be somewhat niche in terms of readership. The Capitol Expressway by Richard Siciliano is well written though and worth reading.

Lesley Jones

In The Capitol Expressway by Richard Siciliano, with the rise of the Aquarian Age independent thinking has been replaced by conformity and harmony. The Iconoclasts are the misfits of society and they are punished in the many rehabilitation centres. With many individualists disappearing for believing it is good to be unique, the question has to be asked, why is God creating the human form to be such? If humans can be eliminated by abortion and euthanasia, then maybe they are not so perfect and a real threat to the tranquility and peace the Aquarian Age is trying to establish. Is organized religion becoming extinct? Follow a government worker's internal struggle as he faces his rehabilitation and the journey to discover if, indeed, his thoughts do conflict with society's vision of perfection where friendship, not conflict exists.

The subject matter of The Capitol Expressway by Richard Siciliano's novel is truly thought provoking. The main characters have unique personalities and an inner strength to fight for what they thought was right. I thought the character of Doctor Fortuno was quite sinister. The author's descriptive narrative drew you completely into the story from page one. The psychological game of cat and mouse between the staff in the rehabilitation centre and the patients was chilling and malevolent. The concept of the story was quite extraordinary. There are many twists and turns to the plot that will keep you on the edge of your seat and the revelations at the end were masterful.

A. L. Peevey

The Capitol Expressway, by Richard Siciliano, concerns the forced rehabilitation of a government supervisor, a patient and supposed malcontent, whose name is not officially revealed to us readers until the end of this futuristic tale. In the patient’s culture, it is the Aquarian Age, and all the ills of society, including individualism, have been suppressed with careful precision by everyone’s cooperation. Locked alone in a re-purposed hospital room, the prisoner has ample time to consider and reconsider his past actions and also an escape plan, and to think of his former colleagues, particularly a woman named Janie, whom he loves, and whose fate remains unknown to him. Wavering between despair and determination, he struggles to maintain his sanity and to prove his innocence. Will the patient be vindicated and regain his freedom? Will he be reunited with Janie, the one person whom he cares most about?

The Capitol Expressway, by Richard Siciliano, paints a dismal picture of how tranquility and equity might be achieved in any society by the suppression of independent thinking and individualism. This is not the first speculative story about a future society where a supposed optimum has been reached at the expense of personal freedom, but it is certainly a refreshingly well-written and unique take. As in reality, we readers are introduced to ordinary people who react, or at least try to do so, to extraordinary circumstances. Perhaps one thing we can take away from this story is that those who rebel against oppression may not have the chance to enjoy the benefits of their sacrifice. If readers enjoy a futuristic story that mirrors some of the issues faced by contemporary society, they will want to read this book.