In 1977, Army Specialist Michael Reynolds of Chicago took his Russian language and history background to the Army NSA, the only people hiring during the austere 70’s. He works a mission in what was West Berlin, Germany monitoring Russian ground forces in East Germany as Poland is threatened by the then USSR due to the Solidarity Trade union movement. On a trip to Vienna, Austria Mike meets Mr.’s Right, Ann Miller, of Houston Texas, marries and lives in the upstairs apartment in the home of Frau Eickelberger. She takes to Ann given her amazing resemblance to her granddaughter who was on the wrong side of the Berlin Wall in 1961. After she succumbs to a vicious cancer, she begs Mike and Ann to bring her grand-daughter to her in order to see her one last time before she dies. Ann decides to extract her out by going into the Communist sector incognito to sneak her out at great risk to herself.
This is a horrific tale told through three sets of miserable people.
Jimmy is abandoned at birth by his ambitious physicist mother to a childless working class Chicago couple. He grows and is recognized as a savant, questioning the given dogma of the 60's and being scorned by liberals. He will meet a VA nurse named Nori after being wounded in Vietnam, go to college, graduate during the 1973-74 oil embargo, find a dead-end clerical job at Lancaster Advertising and experience ridicule by Nori for not making a decent salary after they marry and have a son. Heather Lancaster, the daughter of the CEO, is the attractive control freak vixen who sets her sights on Jimmy after he rescues her from an armed disgruntled in-law at work. After a sham divorce that nets Nori a lot of money, Jimmy fakes it with Heather in order for his real family to leave a bad neighborhood. In the end the Satan's strike America and Israel, dirty nukes are discharged in cities, Jimmy flees his convenience and hooks up with his real wife. They repent their sins before American cities are hit with powerful nukes.
Marty Landis is the child of a mob princess who abandons him to a Christian family living in a Russian, Jewish neighborhood in Chicago in 1951. He just wanted to take the CIA covert operation handed to him and bust “the girl next door” named Rossina out of a Soviet holding facility near Moscow in 1976. They’d grown up together and he’d long admired her, even after she became a covert CIA operative.
Caught up in a dead-end job after Vietnam, college, and the 73-74’ recession, Marty and his best friend, Gregory, Rosinna’s brother, are trained by the best in the UK (MI-6) in order to sneak into the USSR disguised as Soviet Security personnel and bust her out before she “talks.” He just wanted to rescue her and return home with the $250,000 reward in time for the 1976 Chicago Cubs home opener.
Marty and Gregory take the mission but there is a fatal snafu in Moscow. At home, his ex-con mob boss father meet and they eventually bond as friends. But fate has something else in store after a major drawback.
Joe Nichols became the Treasurer of his college frat in 1970, an experience with stories that parody the antics seen in the cult movie Animal House. He graduates with a degree in Business Management and finds himself working for firms that send him to Japan, Italy, and Egypt. The antics continue overseas until respective downsizings occur that brings him home to a firm where he meets Beth, his wife to be. They marry, she takes a job with a major mail and package transport firm and quickly receives a major promotion to run operations in Hong Cong on the very day Joe is let go and she learns she’s pregnant. Joe follows his wife becoming a househusband to raise their son Cole until the dot com crash, pay cuts, Beth taking her frustration out on Joe and deciding to leave him with Cole and sole custody. But the boy, age six, tells his absentee mother he wants to be with the only parent he ever knew—his dad. Father and son return home to Chicago for that "do-over" that only a land like America can offer.
Michael Miller, a 1950s baby-boomer from Chicago, will grow to love America until it turns on itself. Conservative and patriotic during the cynical 60s thru the 90s and beyond, he is forced to become Ayn Rand’s John Galt of Atlas Shrugged fame as his union parents succumb to alcoholism at their own hand and blame Republicans for being poor. Mike abandons them and others who self inflict their own misery always blaming the sober and vigilant yet he seeks out mentors at his school, in the church, ROTC and scouting. He bonds with what little sobriety he can locate and will be loathed by friends who are anything but, first in the military and later at every job he is hired for. The jackals are those that profess to be liberal, and some conservative, and scorn those who do not walk in lock step with them. They like to loath the new John Galts, people like Mike Miller. As the jackals reap what they sow and lose everything in the economic crash of 2008, the Miller family is offered the chance of a lifetime, in another land far away. He says goodbye to an America that flagellated itself so badly it bled out and succumbed to death, dropping to its knees in a grave America dug for itself.