Author: Lydia Millet –
Publisher: Dreamscape Media, LLC –
Genre: Novel –
Overall rating: 5/5 –
Writing: 5/5 –
Duration: 5:34 (short) –
Narrator: Xe Sands –
Narrator/performance: 5/5 –
Impressions: 4/5 –
Performance errors: 1/5 –
Complexity/reading level: 1/5 –
This is one of the best, if not the best, apocalyptic / post-apocalyptic novels I have ever read (and I read a number of those). It is a recent book (published in 2020). What is important to note is that it is not a book about religion. The few references to Christianity it contains are uncoupled from the rules of the Christian faith without any intention at blasphemy. It is also not precisely a book for children – although it perhaps may be read by older youths. I highly recommend reading the book. If you do not wish any spoilers, stop reading here.
The novel deals with the collapse of the economy, society and climate from the perspective of teenagers. It has a dream-like quality without loosing touch with the practicalities of life. It is not as gloomy or frightening as The Road by Cormac McCarthy or The Sheep Look Up by John Brunner, but also not as uplifting as Always Coming Home by Ursula K. Le Guin. The will to survive is not glorified, the threats are not entirely diabolical. The book carefully describes the process of developing a set of gentle psychological safeguards, an ability to take things easy despite the drastic and constant change. For that reason it is, for me, the most convincing approach to the subject of mass extinction and the chaos caused on Earth by mankind. It may perhaps be used as a material for teaching stoicism. The book may be read both as a warning and as a guide to the future. It somehow also brings hope against all odds.
A beautiful cover yet it is such a shame that there are so many aspects of this book which are misleading. Even the cover suggests a book for children – which, I sincerely believe, it is not. A rather strange approach to marketing took place in the publishing of this book.