The electricity has flickered out. The automobile age is over. In Union Grove, a little town in upstate New York, the future is nothing like people thought it would be. Life is hard and close to the bone. Transportation is slow and dangerous, so food is grown locally at great expense of time and energy, and the outside world is largely unknown. There may be a president, and he may be in Minneapolis now, but people aren't sure. The townspeople's challenges play out in a dazzling, fully realized world of abandoned highways and empty houses, horses working the fields and rivers, no longer polluted, and replenished with fish. This is the story of Robert Earle and his fellow townspeople and what happens to them one summer in a country that has changed profoundly. A powerful tale of love, loss, violence, and desperation, World Made by Hand is also lyrical and tender, a surprising story of a new America struggling to be born--a story more relevant now than ever.
For over a decade, novelist and cultural critic James Howard Kunstler has been sounding the warning bells against the direction our resource-guzzling globalized world is heading. His 2005 nonfiction work, THE LONG EMERGENCY, presented a powerful argument that our civilization's dependence on oil is fundamentally untenable, and that we're all headed for a bleak future. In his captivating and disturbing novel, WORLD MADE BY HAND, he imagines life in that future: a place where planes and cars are useless trash, and the population has been ravaged by global warming and deadly pandemics. In a small town in upstate New York, former software executive Robert Earle has been reluctantly elected mayor, and must contend with religious cults, a gang of NASCAR fanatics, and a miscreant thug who is holding six townspeople hostage. WORLD MADE BY HAND conjures a dark but utterly believable vision of the near future, and skillfully blends sci-fi adventure with profound contemplation on the fate of humanity, and how we can save ourselves from our own folly.
- Fiction + Literature Genres, Fiction + Literature Themes
- Disasters, Human Qualities + Behavior, Literary Genres + Types of Novels, Society + Social Issues, Settings, General, Science Fiction + Fantasy
- September 1, 2010
- September 1, 2010
- James Howard Kunstler
- Jim Meskimen (Narrator)