Richie's Reviews > Soft Apocalypse

Soft Apocalypse by Will McIntosh
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's review
Jul 01, 2011

it was amazing
Recommended for: Alex Garland
Read from July 02 to 05, 2011 — I own a copy

I'm a sucker for a good post-apocalyptic story - I'm one of the three people who liked "The Postman" after all! - so, I'm probably a bit biased. Disclaimer aside, though, I thought Will McIntosh's portrayal of the near-future and the world's downfall was an excellent read.

McIntosh follows Jasper and his "tribe" of friends through the slow destruction of the modern world. Like the frogs who boil alive in the open pot of water, unable to recognize the rising temperature, mankind is stuck in a perpetual state of belief that things must get better. There is no one cataclysmic event that signals "This is the end!" Instead it is a rising temperature we don't realize until it is too late.

Everyday is a struggle to survive for Jasper and co. Even the act of walking into an art gallery, in an attempt to cling to what once was, can quickly devolve into torture and mass murder at the hands of a rebel militia. This is a new world, with new rules - Survival is near-impossible for those who might hope to retain their humanity.

Wisely, McIntosh places love at the center of his story. Jasper's search for love despite (or, perhaps, because of) the surrounding devastation is up-front. However, there are a number of different "loves" that are presented throughout the story (love of another, love of oneself, love of parents, love of child, love of community, etc.). Love, after all - whether real or imagined - can be, and usually is, the force that drives us forward. As long as there is love in the world, there is hope.

At times the overt "look where we're heading" warnings are a bit too obvious to not be distracting and not all of McIntosh's allusions hit their mark. However, those that connect sting with the realization of truth. I, for one, think this is a lot more of a realistic/believable "end of days" story then those we're used to hearing - And just because a glimpse of our future is obvious, doesn't make it any less terrifying.

I would suggest, as a factual compliment to the fictional Soft Apocalypse, reading Al Gore's "Climate of Denial" in the July 2011 issue of Rolling Stone: - The temperature is rising.
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Comments (showing 1-3 of 3) (3 new)

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message 1: by Jon (new) - added it

Jon Great review, you've encouraged me to put this one on my list!

Richie Nice!

message 3: by Joe (new) - added it

Joe Stamber Hey, I liked "The Postman" too! Who was the third guy lol?

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