As per usual, I’m having a hard time reading one book to the end before picking up another.
Last week, I set aside Slackonomics and Real World, and for some reason started reading David Brin’s The Postman, a science fiction novel from the 80s that was the basis for that Kevin Costner movie, The Postman. It isn’t a very good movie but for some reason I have an attachment to it. Probably because it is of the post-apocalyptic variety, always a favorite of mine. Also, I rarely ever like science fiction novels. Somthing about the writing style of most SF writers doesn’t appeal to me. But I’m always on the look out for one I can get into. That happened this time.
Of course, for me, Cormac McCarthy’s The Road is the gold standard for this particular genre, if you can all it that. His novel is much darker than Brin’s, and thus much more realistic in my mind. Brin’s novel, while intersting, seems to unwilling to examine closely just how depraved human being can, and likely would, become under such circumstances.
It’s interesting how post-911 this fear has crept back into the public consciousness. When I was in high school in the 80s, I fretted about nuclear war, as did many of my friends and I’m assuming other people my age. But I wonder if adults back then worried about it as much? I don’t recall anyone stockpiling supplies like water and food etc. Or keeping extra cash in the house. Or having on hand things like emergency packs from the Red Cross and crank-generated radios etc. Now they do, though. I know I do. In fact, I need to re-evaluate my families emergency kits and see what more is needed.
Somehow it seems like it was inevitable that the fears from Generation X’s youth would rear their ugly heads again in our adulthood, but maybe that is just standard GenX cynicism at work.
Anyhoo…back to my reading montage. Today, George Pelecanos’s new novel, The Turnaround, came out, so I’m reading that now too. Pelecanos is one of my favorite writers. For just a plain good story with great chracters, no one does it better. Pelecanos also wrote for the HBO series, The Wire, perhaps the greatest TV show ever!