Cover image for Getting back
Getting back
Dietrich, William, 1951-
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York, NY : Warner Books, [2000]

Physical Description:
370 pages ; 24 cm
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Daniel Dyson works for United Corporations, a 21st-century mega-company that discourages individuality in its relentless pursuit of profits. Stifled & frustrated by company policy, Daniel jumps at the chance to go on a wilderness challenge in the Australian Outback, seeing it as an ideal way to escape his cubicle & find his place in life. However, when he arrives in the unforgiving Australian back country, he realizes that the corporation does not intend for him to survive the trip, & his struggle for individuality has escalated into a fight for his life.

Author Notes

William Dietrich lives in Anacortes, Washington.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Dietrich, a Pulitzer Prize^-winning journalist, brings his passion for history and nature to this well-crafted and compelling futuristic thriller. The planet's human population has reached 12 billion, and United Corporations seeks absolute control. Criminals and freethinkers are weeded out and exiled to the only wilderness left on Earth, Australia, thus perpetuating the continent's penal colony tradition, but with a twist: it's been decimated by a bioengineered plague. The prisoners have no choice, but the dreamers who want more than programmed, cubicle-bound lives sign up for their fate, duped into believing that they're participating in the ultimate wilderness adventure. Daniel Dyson, recruited by a sexy femme fatale named Raven, is a prime candidate for the scam, although once he realizes that he isn't expected to prove his mettle but to perish, he transforms himself from misfit to hero. The plot is standard fare, and Dietrich's Australia owes much to The Road Warrior, but his vivid prose is topnotch, and his suspenseful dramatization of questions of freedom and right living is intelligent and invigorating. --Donna Seaman

Publisher's Weekly Review

It's the late 21st century and all's right with the world, which is exactly what's driving Daniel Dyson nuts. Unemployment, hunger, war, are all in the past since mass privatization has revolutionized the quality of life and the entire planet is now run by the ultra-efficient United Corporations, a single entity with a name that speaks for itself. Dyson loathes his drone-filled office in the Pacific Northwest, and the feeling is mutual. He resorts to small acts of sabotage for minor thrills until he encounters beautiful and dangerous Raven, who tells him about Outback Adventure--an updated Outward Bound. The program drops city dwellers into an Australia recently depopulated by a bio-engineered plague, where they begin a survival trek to a pick-up spot on the coast. Dyson meets other malcontents during the brief training period and joins a trio of quirky misfits who are all seeking freedom and adventure. What they don't know is that Australia is actually a penal colony without jails, a la Escape from New York. Prisoners and the problem-citizen "tourists" are drugged, abandoned in different areas and left to fend for themselves. Dietrich (Ice Reich) pits the new arrivals against the criminals in a battle of wits that highlights the joys of discovery and the zest for life that wilderness can inspire. The novel's centerpiece is a terrific battle, with Dyson and his group defending an abandoned skyscraper against the onslaught of a prisoner-rigged siege tower, using desks and files as projectiles and auto parts as armor. Eluding Big Brother to return to the wild may be a familiar theme, but Dietrich's campy cinematic treatment makes it fresh again. Major ad/promo. (Jan.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

Dietrich won a Pulitzer Prize for his Seattle Times coverage of the Exxon Valdez tragedy, then moved on to a bigger challenge: writing successful thrillers. His latest, set in the 21st century, concerns a restless young worker whose corporation has sent him on a wilderness competition in Australia's Outback. There's only one catch: the corporation isn't planning on his return. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.