Saturday 21 May 2011

John Wyndham and other literary doomsayers

Apparently today (May 21st 2011) is Judgement Day !!  

:o yikes. If this end of the world doesn't turn out a damp squib like the previous ones, then here are several apocalyptic / post-apocalyptic books you may now never get to read.

John Wyndham

A legend amongst the literary catastrophists, Wyndham's doom often descends upon 1950's folk in strange ways, such as vicious carniverous plants preying on a blinded population (Day of the Triffids) or extraterrestials bio-engineering the earth for their own ends (The Kraken Wakes); but in The Chrysalids, Wyndham sets his tale of survival, intolerance and mutation in a post-apocalyptic future. Wyhndam's work is though-provoking as well as beautifully and compellingly written.

The Road: Cormac McCarthy

In The Road, McCarthy tells a simple yet utterly captivating tale of a man and his young son's bid for survival in a harsh desolate world. In this bleak and sometimes harrowing tale, the urge to live and hope beyond hope, illustrates how trial and tribulation can bring out the best and frequently the worst in human character.

Z for Zachariah: Robert O'Brien

A is for Adam, Z is for Zachariah .. the last man. Written for a teen audience but a thought-provoking read for an older audience still, in which a young woman discovers that she is not the last living person on earth but that being alone was not necessarily the worst of scenarios.

The Rapture: Liz Jensen

In The Rapture, a crippled art-therapist starts working with a teenage murderess, whose sketches and note-books display an apocalyptic obsession, but in a world experiencing violent death-throes, it becomes apparent that the girl's visions may be more than fantasy and odd coincidence.

When the Wind Blows: Raymond Briggs

Briggs' art and underplayed writing serve to bring a grim and tragic believability in this graphic novel about nuclear war. With Jim and Hilda Bloggs, Briggs has also created likable characters whose cosy simple life suddenly ends as political powers dictate their and everybody's lives and deaths.


If you haven't already been Raptured or annhilated then also check out

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