Schnaucl's Reviews > Summer of the Apocalypse

Summer of the Apocalypse by James Van Pelt
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Sep 30, 08

bookshelves: fiction, owned, post-apocalyptic, read_2008, science-fiction, september
Recommended to Schnaucl by: Leah Cutter
Recommended for: anyone interested in post-apocalypse stories
Read in September, 2008, read count: 1

Another book I quite enjoyed. In some ways it reminded me of Cormac McCarthy's The Road in that it was an older man walking with a child (or in this case, children) across a post apocalyptic America. There were some major differences, this apocalypse was caused by plague, not nuclear bombs, and in this book there are actually other people for the characters to interact with and the author doesn't try to be new and exciting by ignoring rules of grammar and never giving the characters names (thank god). I'm glad there are more people, but it would have been nice to have a female play a part in the current part of the story (the book alternates between the current, post-apocalyptic time and the time 60ish years in the past when the plague started). Why does no one write a story about a couple of women walking across post-apocalyptic America?

This book had a lot more to say about the things we would miss if no one was around to run/produce them and I think the picture van Pelt paints of how society might look a few generations after the vast majority (90%) of humanity was wiped out. There would certainly be a faction who would think we should forget higher learning and concentrate on pure survival skills.

The explanation for the illness and stillbirths is an interesting one and makes me want to read World Without Us or watch Life After People again. (The random flying cats still make me laugh).

It was also interesting to see how elders were revered in every society mentioned in the current times. They are the keepers of the tales of the Gone Times. It stands in sharp contrast to how elders are viewed in contemporary America where they are rarely revered for being keepers of the past.

The book also made me think about the role that information would play in post-apocalyptic earth. Eric may scoff at the man who thinks books are some sort of magical totem, but the truth is, Eric basically thinks of them the same way, only he's thinking about the information inside. He clearly feels that the information in the books will raise humanity to a higher level and in that way the books become a sort of magic totem for him as well.

A very interesting book with lots to think about.

Recommended.
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