by James Howard Kunstler Print book : Fiction  |  1st ed
Some Sense but The Timing Seems Bad   (2008-11-10)
I can see how Mr. Kunstler can arrive at such a picture for the near future. He places his story at a about the years 2015-2020. Something very telling is the story of an elder dying and being a nurse back in World War II. Other parts of the story would suggest otherwise. Given the deterioration of the roads and bridges, even with the rough winters that upstate New York has, I would have guessed a future more like 50 years distant, say around 2060. The scenario is frightening: no more oil, the minimalls all stripped of anything salvageable, epidemics stripping a substantial portion of the population, people starving because they never had to grow their own food, many properties with no clear title, the owners having died with no trace of families. But some things still don't make sense. I think the electricity would be one of the first things to go, for example, since all it would take is a serious ice storm or snowfall to damage the infrastructure beyond repair. Having outsiders come from a long way with their own credo does make for a story that arouses the remnants of the small towns that are in that part of upstate New York. There is enough local color and geographic references so that those in the know can find out what places the author is talking about. In short, an interesting story that does raise some questions as to what does happen if "the oil runs out and the lights go out," but at the same time I can see some room for improvement.
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