Monday, August 4, 2014

A History of the Future

A History of the Future
A World Made by Hand Novel
By James Howard Kunstler
Atlantic Monthly Press
978-0-8021-2252-0 • $25.00 • Forthcoming in Cloth • Aug. 2014
Idgie Says:
I did not read the first two books in this series, but I didn't feel that deterred me from this book. In a rare occurrence in today's writing world, it easily stands alone as a novel. It starts, I believe, about 20 years after the world plunges back into the 1800's technology - horse and buggy, kerosene lamps, etc.  What is interesting about the book is that it's a fine combination of the past and present.  While the novel speaks about the day to day practices of surviving and making a living in the new world, it also makes many random comments about missing technology that hasn't even been gone for one generation - so the memories of using all that technology is still fresh.

A fine example of everyday life and what we might expect if we suddenly turned the power off.
Book Description:
A History of the Future is the third thrilling novel in Kunstler’s World Made By Hand series, set in a dystopian future version of upstate New York after the energy crisis has plunged the world into chaos.

Following the catastrophes of the twenty-first century—the pandemics, the environmental disaster, the end of oil, the ensuing chaos—people are doing whatever they can to get by and pursuing a simpler and sometimes happier existence. In little Union Grove, the townspeople are preparing for Christmas. Without the consumerist shopping frenzy that dogged the holidays of the previous age, the season has become a time to focus on family and loved ones. It is a stormy Christmas Eve when Robert Earle’s son Daniel arrives back from his two years of sojourning throughout what is left of the United States. He collapses from exhaustion and illness, but as he recovers tells the story of the break-up of the nation into three uneasy independent regions and his journey into the dark heart of the New Foxfire Republic centered in Tennessee and led by the female evangelical despot, Loving Morrow. In the background, Union Grove has been shocked by the Christmas Eve double murder by a young mother, in the throes of illness, of her husband and infant son. Town magistrate Stephen Bullock is in a hanging mood.

A History of the Future is attention-grabbing and provocative, but also lyrical, tender, and comic—a vision of a future of America that is becoming more and more convincing and perhaps even desirable with each passing day.