One of the things we planned for in preparation for going to France was a lack of reading material. You see, the entire family reads, lots. Moving to middle of nowhere France presented a problem because we knew that we wouldn’t have access to English language books. Therefore, we brought a ton of books with us. If there was a spike in Amazon profits in the April-May time period, it’s because of my family.
I bought cool books related to comics like Already Dead by Charlie Huston (writer of Moon Knight) and Fevre Dream by George R.R. Martin (currently published by IDW). I also brought a great new vampire novel Let the Right One In by John Ajvide Lindqvist. Then, of course, I completed the set with some post apocalyptic novels like The Sheep Look Up by John Brunner, Earth Abides by George R. Stewart, and A Canticle for Leibowitz by Walter M. Miller Jr.
Even though I knew Let the Right One In and The Sheep Look Up were very, very good, I decided to start with Earth Abides. I chose it because it is considered one of the masterpieces of post apocalyptic fiction. Written in 1949, this is one of the grand daddy’s that kicked off a genre.
Unfortunately, it’s dull as dirt! I can’t tell you how much I hated typing that sentence. I wanted to love this book so much but 60 pages in and nothing has happened. Nothing! It’s not just the age of the book either because I’ve read lots of 1940’s – 50’s fiction and liked it. So far it’s a ‘last man alive on the road exploring bits and pieces of what’s left.’ I think the real problem is that the post apocalyptic since has gotten so much better. The ‘man is noble’ attitude Earth Abides of has been replaced by the Mohawk sporting nomads of Road Warrior. I’ll make to the end and let you know if it gets better but right now it’s a struggle.
Anyway, the book frustrated me so much that I started grousing. Much to Wife’s regret she asked what was wrong. I quickly explained the situation and then the trouble started.
Wife: I don’t know how you can read that stuff. If I read something like that I wouldn’t sleep for a week.
Lee: Think of it as research so that I can save the family when the end comes. I am going to be so full of post apocalyptic knowledge that comes zombie plague, vampire infestation, or even alien invader biowarfare, this family will survive.
Wife: You are kidding right?
Lee, quite indignant: No I’m not. I know useful stuff ya nay sayer.
Lee: Like you don’t near a highway during a zombie breakout. All the cars get gridlocked on the highway. Then the zombies show up and eat those on the road, while the remaining living people trap themselves in their cars. Once the people in the cars die they become zombies and voila Super Zombie highway. Always avoid highways.
Wife: Thanks. I’ll try to remember that when the zombies start coming around.
Lee: No worries Dear, I’ll save you. I’ll teach you the ways of the force.
Wife: You do realize that’s the wrong story.
Lee: You know what I mean! But, since I’m doing all the saving this means you’ll have to work too. Cooking for the family. Cleaning for the family. Performing wifely duties upon demand. You know, because I’ll be doing all the hard wor *YOW* why’d ya pinch me?
She never did say why she pinched me.