Tuesday, February 28, 2012

end of days

Here’s a strange book.  “End Of Days” by Robert Gleason.  It is about 400 pages of pretty small print.  I think he’s a guy involved in the 2012 Mayan calendar thing but I’m not sure so don’t quote me on it.  I’m sure you can Google more info to your hearts content.  About 200 pages pass before the first Muslim bomb goes off, but it manages to hold your interest.  Some passages are as strange as it gets such as the conversation between a rat and a seagull, leading me to believe that at least small amounts of crack cocaine were involved in the plotting of this story.  But it isn’t “out there” to the point you can’t read it.  There’s a smidge of “ my ancestor was a Navajo so I’ve seen visions on the desert mesa of End Times and you have just got to believe it because those dudes NEVER took magic mushrooms or anything” but it isn’t irritating in its overuse.  Basically, the story is that Russian nuclear material wasn’t controlled so the evil Muslim dudes got a bunch of it and have destroyed the
American Way
Of Life.

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Yes, the Muslim boogeyman thing has been beat like a dead horse.  The simple fact of the matter is that America is an empire and empires don’t exist for the benefit of other nations.  They are in business for themselves.  The spice must flow to the center.  We abuse the whole world, attempt to colonize everyone.  It isn’t just Muslims who get screwed, but unfortunately for them they have been selected as the head fall guys.  It seems a bit hypocritical to me that we get so pissed about them fighting back.  Empire is a game.  When you are winning, you enjoy it.  But when you start to lose after that, don’t be a poor sport and blame your former victim.  That just shows no class at all.  But, we can overlook the whole Wack-A-Muslim part of the story.  It doesn’t matter who is the antagonist.  The fact is, they nuke America and do it in a really cool way.  They make it look like it’s the fault of the Russians, using the submarines sold as surplus and dressing up as blond sailors for the satellites.   But that isn’t the cool part.  The best part is, they set off bombs on top of three super volcano’s.  Yellowstone, Indonesia and Italy.  Is that awesome, or what?  I wish I had thought of that.  You wipe out everyone and start all over again.  Who is going to be the least effected by a return to PODA, right? 
Now, there are of course issues here.  I’m happy to see such a plausible scenario for the end of the world, and I applaud that all too rare ability to realistically portray logistics ( the former prison dudes of course formed a super gang and went pillaging, but at least he figured out how to feed them.  They converted trains to steam power to transport troops and they converted a few rail cars to raise rats for meat.  The rats were fed waste such as weeds and dung.  I don’t know how realistic it was for an army in the tens of thousands, but at least he tried and didn’t pull some crap like “we found a warehouse of a gabizillion MRE’s” ).  But I was having a hard time accepting the end of the book were the main survivalist compound was attacked and they used airplanes to napalm the attackers, which was coordinated by a space station spying for them.  Wouldn’t the super volcano’s put enough fine crap in the atmosphere ( to say nothing of all the suitcase nukes- one was in Graceland which I enjoyed immensely ) that engines wouldn’t run?  Neither trains or, especially, aircraft?    And wouldn’t most communications be disrupted?  That might be a small quibble, but it really irritated me.
Keep in mind that this is a mass market novel.  It isn’t a small press militia porn book.  It is a bit in the style of those “one dude saves the world” novels that have bedeviled us for decades, although a vast improvement over that.  Most folks die but the story does kind of have that detached viewpoint of it all, not like most of the survivalist books we are used to.  You read “Patriots” or whatever and it is a story focusing on the effects of the end of the world on one or a few people.  This book is more “this is how the seven billion are effected”.  There are a few characters, but they move the story along rather than have the story about them.  So, this might technically be a post-apocalypse novel but I don’t know if I can really recommend you spend money on it.  I got my copy at the library.  I liked it and wasn’t disappointed, but I wouldn’t actually spend money on it to add it to my fiction library.  And you know that I need almost zero reason to buy another book ( I’m on a buying hiatus right now until the pit project is done, but I’m not even going to put this one on my “wish list” at Amazon.  It was good for a one time read, I won’t ever read it again ). 
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  1. How about Gleason earlier "Wrath of God" for strangeness:

    From Amazon:

    As the barbarian armies of a modern-day Khan prepare to bear down on a weakened America, the nation's only hope is in a ragtag band of cowboys who have retrieved George S. Patton, Stonewall Jackson, and Amelia Earhart from the past.


  2. I'm surprised you're hating on Graceland, Lord Bison.

    You seem like you'd be a fan of The King (him having awesome hair and all).