I read this book in the 8th grade when the threat of a hydrogen bomb was possible. There were a lot of similar books around, the best known was HiroshI read this book in the 8th grade when the threat of a hydrogen bomb was possible. There were a lot of similar books around, the best known was Hiroshima, but I also remember We Who Survived (the 5th Ice Age).
This book takes place in central Florida around Mt. Dora. It concerns a group of people who band together after a nuclear bomb. The protagonist, Randy, lives in a very large old southern home. His brother who is high up in the SAC warns Randy that war is coming and that he is sending his wife and children back to the family home for their safety. He also warns Randy that the Civil Defensive is woefully inadequate and that they need to prepare for a disaster no one wants to talk about.
Shortly after his brother's family arrives they see a large bright white light in the direction of Miami and then closer ones near all the big cities and military bases in Florida. As soon as they see the first bomb, Randy begins to prepare in earnest. I think one of the things that makes this book so real is the mistakes they make in the beginning. They treat the bomb as they would a hurricane and go to the grocery store to stock up on food. Unfortunately, they buy groceries as if the power was to be off only for several days...not permanently! Every day they find ways in which their future will be drastically different.
One of the most fascinating thing about this genre is that books of this type actually helped to change the political climate. As people began to explore these disaster scenarios it became apparent that no one could win in this kind of war. The authors' skill in creating a post war reality convinced most countries that war of this type would be a disaster for the whole world....more
This book is as fresh as it was in the Victorian days in which it was written. A young journalist attends a lecture in which the claims of an naturaliThis book is as fresh as it was in the Victorian days in which it was written. A young journalist attends a lecture in which the claims of an naturalist and explorer to have discovered a land where prehistoric animals still exist is roundly scoffed at. A challenge is proposed by the bombastic professor and the scoffer can not refuse to test the claims by joining an expedition. The young journalist and an aristocratic adventurer also join and the four men with their bearers head for the remote area in Africa where the supposed sighting occurred. It does not take long for the party to realize that the professor was speaking the truth. Beyond them lies a huge plateau cut off from the world from which prehistoric birds fly. The men are able to get to the plateau, but when their exit is cut off, they find themselves learning much more about this strange land than they intended to.
I enjoyed this book tremendously. This is not the genre I prefer, but this was told so well and the suspense was so great, I found myself staying up late just to finish. There is little wonder while it is considered a classic today....more
I've read this several times, but I get something new from it each time. I am amazed at how many of the things Huxley wrote about have developed. In 1I've read this several times, but I get something new from it each time. I am amazed at how many of the things Huxley wrote about have developed. In 1932 he could haven't have imagined cable television, iPods, computers, tablets and other constant entertainment devices and yet that was one of the cornerstones of his book. More and more I see the kind of society he described.
The drugging with Soma has come true, although not quite in the form he predicted. The controlled dosing of soma by the government is more efficient than the illegal drugs or pills popping we have today, but the result is the same in terms of coming to grips with a difficult or unfulfilled life.
Obviously, the real comparison is in life goals. As people in this dystopia are genetically engineered to fit the the role that government gives them and then entertained to repress any discontent there seems to be no point to life. There is no struggle, no emotional development, no reaching beyond oneself for the betterment of society...no point for existence.
As our society loses the ties to religion and a relationship with God, there is a great vacuum. All the stages of personal growth in Maslow's hierarchy of needs are striving for a better person and a better society that can only be achieved by struggle. Today we are bombarded by even more advertisements that are meant to make us believe that things can fulfill us just like the placebos from Huxley's Brave New World. ...more