Sarah's Reviews > World Made by Hand

World Made by Hand by James Howard Kunstler
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Mar 15, 2011

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bookshelves: adult-fiction, futuristic, suspense, dystopian, audio-version
Read in March, 2011

I love me some dystopian fiction, even when it drives me crazy with its sentimentality for the "old ways" and forced social structure. World Made By Hand is guilty of both these points at different moments in the book, but is overall a successful piece of speculative fiction about how one small town would cope after the grid goes down and the community becomes an actual community again. Not nearly as jingoistic as One Second After , though some sections of exposition near the beginning bored me to tears with all the irrelevant name dropping of the fake politicians.

What I liked most about Kunstler's approach was the incorporation of a roving religious group with renewed prominence in light of the tragedies and disarray that resulted from society's collapse. I appreciate that he created a complex relationship between the New Faithers and the town instead of pitting them squarely against each other. The villain was a little flat and two dimensional, but I guess in this sort of setting, you have to make some one the outright bad guy. Kunstler's style isn't bland, but it lacks embellishment. His narrator tells the story in a straightfoward manner, without much panache. It suits the novel, though.

Overall, I'd recommend this as an interesting and little more light-hearted look at what our collective future could be.
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