World Made by Hand (World Made by Hand #1)
In The Long Emergency celebrated social commentator James Howard Kunstler explored how the terminal decline of oil production, combined with climate change, had the potential to put industrial civilization out of business. In World Made by Hand, an astonishing work of speculative fiction, Kunstler brings to life what America might be, a few decades hence, after these catas...more
and yet i still don't have a handle on the tone of this book. most of the postapocalyptic stuff i have read all takes place immediately after the event - like - "oh, shit, now what??" this book is the "now what...more
I fucking get it, you don't like the way the world is. I should have started counting how many times he mentions decaying strip malls and useless stores. I'm not sure if I could count that high though.
There are many post-apocalyptic novels out there. This is another one. For the record, this is another book, one of many that the author has writ...more
the story may reference peak oil issues but it doesn't particularly demonstrate how a declining oil supply effects a culture.
the really bad part is the main character who is sad and everyone in the town is sad and then wakes up, goes on an adventure, kills a guy, sleeps with or is kissed by every married or widowed girl in town, enlivens a whole town, and makes friends with a strange insect-like cult (with no explanation as to why they house a giant queen-bee-like southe...more
The premise is very interesting. Set in a small town in upstate New York after apocalyptic events that have essentially disbanded the government and deprived everyone of oil and electricity, the lives of the townsfolk are disrupted one summer by a series of events.
The plot was interesting enough - right up until the end, where it got weird and then abruptly ended, as if the author got di...more
Subtract one for Kunstler's one-dimensional female characters, and his conviction that we will all retreat to archaic gender roles. No feminists, no homosexuality. Lots of beards.
Subtract another star for some absolutely ridiculous copy editing. There are at least a dozen times when characters ask questions, but there is no question mark at the end.
"What if they don't."
I would think he was trying some Cormac McC...more
I don't think this book even knows what it wanted to be. For the most part, it feels like a satire of post-apocalyptic fiction--flu meets nuclear bomb meets ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE, or something--and suddenly upstate New York reverts to the 19th century. (More so than it already has.) None of the timelines add up to anything possible, but you quickly get to ignore that.
Except in between being satirical, it gets bizarrely dark and gruesome a couple of times, and also twists in some kind of strange...more
There is quite a bit of description about how fast & far we fell. I found most of it very realistic from...more
As the narrator of James Howard Kunstler's "A World Made By Hand" says, "as the world changed, we...more
I found this story sincerely disappointing because it was a concept that I was interested in (the whole what happens when modern life as we know it comes to an end) and it was done badly.
I found most, if not all, of the characters two-dimensional and often felt like the author was pushing me to care about them and what was happening to them without giving me any real reason to do so. It also felt to me that the plot meandered as though the author g...more
I've been toying around recently with the idea of releasing a new book of essays called The CCLaP Guide to Bushist Literature, taking a look back at all the post-9/11 novels I've now read that blame a conservative administration for bringing about a speculative neo-fascist America or even post-apocalyptic...more
The government has disintegrated and the lights have flickered out. Kunstler only alludes to the cause, which seems to be an amalgam of climate change and global battles over resources (mainly oil).
Parts of the country are as lawless and grim as Cormac McCarthy described in The Road, but other areas, like Union Grove, NY, are rustic and communal. World Made by Hand explores the tension between these two elements.
The plot moves quickly...more
Of course, there are about a dozen other plot lines going on in this story - the loss of electricity and realization that it will...more
It takes place in the near future, after enough awful events in the world have resulted in the collapse of government, community infrastructure, and widespread communication. There's only intermittent electricity, no cars (because no gas, and no manufacturing of any kind), no wheat due to a fungus,...more
In short, it's the story of a man dealing with the natural change within a post-apocalyptic community once the worst of it ends and some semblance of society tries to get going again. It's richly and realistically set, and addresses the real challenges and probable situations these people would find themselves in, and finds realistic solutions.
It's perhaps the most 'optimistic' view of dystopia you'll...more
Set in up-state New York and the near future, after terrorist attacks have destroyed Washington D.C. and the government and infrastructure of the United States has collapsed, this book is a humane and surprisingly hopeful look at what life might be like in a post-apocalyptic setting. Rule of law has all but collapsed. People are having to grow all their own food. Paper money is practically worthless. Electricity is sporadic at best and there is no news of the "outside world....more
The entire book takes place in a single county in upstate New York, so we don't actually get anything but rumor regarding the end of the United States. Bombs dropped on major cities, the entire government's gone, contemporary skill sets prove relatively useless in the new era of no gas, no electricity, no government. North America's been bombed back into the colonial era...more
|Apocalypse Whenever: February 2014: World Made by Hand by James Howard Kunstler (*spoilers*)||50||93||Mar 31, 2014 04:46PM|