I'm reading The Passage by Justin Cronin right now, an apocalyptic novel perfect for summer time when things get hot and later burn. Nothing like a good "end of all ends" kind of tale during vacation, so I brought it with me on my recent jaunt to Washington. I read it on the plane home, too, certain that it didn't portend anything.
No, the more I think about the genre, the post apocalyptic tale, the more I realize why we love them so. It's because we are always living our own apocalypse. Inside of us is our own end. Our bodies are own own apocalypse, the system crashing, inevitably, as if it were foretold. Oh, wait, it was foretold, the DNA and genetic code and basic plumbing knowing that in 75-100 years, doom!
So we've made a huge metaphor about the entire thing, applying what happens to our bodies to our cultures, our nations, our world. Poof! Up in smoke or wrecked by viruses, computer or otherwise. The next thing you know, Zombies.
This novel is like a combo The Road/The Stand, a literary and genre festival of delights (scary as all hell, full of tension like a tight rope). It's also a good old vampire tale, and lest vampires became less sexy for me after reading The Passage, I have Charlaine Harris' latest on hand for later--Dead in the Family. In her world, vampires aren't nothing but our next door neighbors. And as this is her 10th Sookie Stackhouse novel, there is no apocalypse in sight.
The apocalypse always has the good times leading up to tragic mistakes leading up to the problem that cannot be solved leading up to the conflagration of things leading to the time after. Usually, in the time after, the humans find a way, a spark or hope, a way to carry on.
I haven't gotten to that part in The Passage, but unlike our bodies, these stories rise up from the ashes and go on. Strangely, the apocalypse is all about hope. Who knew?
Causes Jessica Inclan Supports
Women for Women International Goodwill Industries Lindsey Wildlife Museum Freecycle.org