Halloween Reads: The End of the World as we Know it

18498558Bird Box by Josh Malerman

There’s something outside. Something that when it’s looked at, causes people to do incredible and sudden violence to anyone in their immediate vicinity and finally, themselves. Malorie is pregnant when the events first begin, and after watching things unfold with a level of detached skepticism entirely unique to our millennial generation, tragedy finally strikes close to home and she manages to find sanctuary with a group of individuals who set up a safe house before everything starts to really go down. Years pass, with no communication or any idea if the danger has passed outside, but they can’t stay in the house forever, and so the children, young as they are must venture out into the world they’ve been so harshly trained in being protected from, still unable to look at it, not knowing what might be out there waiting for them. It’s intense!

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World War Z by Max Brookes

It seems that this book isn’t as loved by everybody as it was by me, but that’s fine. Zombies! For those who haven’t heard of this book, or watched it’s poor film adaptation, World War Z isn’t so much a book as a series of short stories told in the form of articles and interviews compiled by a journalist whose trying to find the original cause of the outbreak that started the zombie war. As I said, it’s not everyone’s cup of tea, but I really enjoyed reading the individual stories and about what means they used to survive. It’s not going to tug on your heartstrings orphanage your life or anything, but if you love zombies, it’s worth a read.

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The Road

Some unknown, presumably global event has caused a disaster fatal enough to kill most plant life, animals and people on the planet, leaving a barren wasteland with no law and no hope for anyone unfortunate enough to survive. The story focuses on a father and his son as they travel south across the landscape in the hope of making it through the winter and finding a better life in whatever place they find there. But to get there means abandoning the relative safety of what has presumably been their home up until this point, crossing paths with cannibals and other desperate and dangerous groups and individuals whose only means of staying alive is to commit violence and take what they need. The boy is born after the event that ended the world, and so has no understanding of any other kind of life, so the hope for something more or better is lost on him as thisbisnall he’s ever known. He follows his father because he loves and trusts him, and it’s this total acceptance and willingness to do as he’s told, even when what he’s told to do sometimes is just incomprehensible, is just so painful to read. This is probably the most realistic portrayal of a post apocalyptic event that I’ve encountered so far. It’s not constantly fast paced, it’s not thrilling, it’s desolate and beautiful and so, so sad.

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