Last week, on Friday, I checked out and downloaded two new audio books to my mp3 player, and I was really excited to listen to them. I like when that happens, since it gets me started on my week's work more cheerfully, since it's a good motivation on Monday to fire up a book and get going on the weeding and the lawn and such.
Anyway, Life As We Knew It and the dead and the gone by Susan Beth Pfeffer are survival fiction/science-fiction/end-of-the-world type stories about what happens when the moon's orbit is changed and that causes catastrophes all over the world, and breaks down supply chains and utilities. I knew I'd like them, because I love disaster and survival stories.
Life As We Knew It was pretty good. It's told through the diary of a 15 year old girl, and details what life is like for her and her family when they're holed up in their rural house together after the disasters break society down. There were some details that seemed odd to me, like why they didn't hunt or set snares, since they lived by a woods. Especially when they knew the garden wasn't turning out well, and the canned things wouldn't last through the winter. But I'm not usually very nitpicky like that, since I usually just want a book to entertain me. It's a pretty entertaining book, and I did enjoy it.
the dead and the gone is about a 17 year old boy in New York City during the same events. I'm only a little way into it so far, but I'm enjoying it even more than the first one. He's Catholic, and it's nice that he and his family and their priests all are represented in a sane way, since the only Christian characters in the first book were either crazy evil or just plain crazy crazy. There are a few points that have been off so far, like the fact that the author thinks the Church forbids cremation, but that's not so anymore. I'd like to see more research done when points of doctrine are discussed by characters that are priests and such, just for the realism, but otherwise, it's a pretty interesting story. The part about Yankee Stadium was very powerful and, I thought, well-written. And the fact that the main character thinks to himself that if people are still making lists then there's hope left in the world, really endeared him to me. That's a kid after my own heart!
I'm thinking though that the character going from a boy who loves order and lists and rules, to someone who will have to do unruly things to survive is going to be the main trope in the book, representing society its self. As disasters break down social order, his natural love of order will help to contrast that. I'd say it's fairly effective symbolism, but still, I just wanted to hang out and make lists with him. :)
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