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Apocalyptic Books

Apocalyptic Books

There’s nothing like the End. Pestilence. Famine. War. Rumors of the war. I love a good apocalypse story (this is probably a character defect) and fortunately, the Library indulges my curiosity. Here are some good reads along those lines.

Chalcot Crescent by Fay Weldon

Set in present day London, Weldon’s novel is an interesting look into family dynamics set against a backdrop of economic collapse and a rising fascist government.

The World Without Us by Alan Weisman

This non-fiction work asks the question: what would happen to the planet – to our cities, homes, pets, the built and natural environments – if humans suddenly disappeared. Weisman explores geology, climate, evolution and other disciplines for a fascinating glimpse into the world without us.

World Made by Hand and The Witch of Hebron by James Howard Kunstler

Both of these novels by acclaimed social critic and peak-oil proponent James Howard Kunstler are set in a small upstate New York town. The residents of Union Grove learn to thrive when they are suddenly forced to live without gasoline, cars and the other modern comforts of suburbia. His novels are a bit didactic at times, which leads me to also suggest that you read Kunster’s non-fiction, especially The Geography of Nowhere (where the didacticism is more appropriate).

The Road by Cormac McCarthy

In The Road, Cormac McCarthy, with his standard magnificent prose, offers a chilling vision of humanity’s worst impulses and basest behaviors as a father and son struggle to survive the aftermath of a massive nuclear disaster. Makes for a terrifying and compelling read.

A Canticle for Leibowitz by Walter Miller

One of my favorite books, Walter Miller’s one-hit-wonder chronicles events within the monastic community called the Albertian Order of Leibowitz located in the desert of (what was once) New Mexico. Comprised of three parts, this classic work of science fiction explores issues of violence, identity, power, epistemology, and religious belief.