My photo
The idea behind this blog is to share my opinions about Post-Apocalyptic Literature, Films and Ephemera as well as my random nattering on a regular basis.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Unintentional Sequels

Many PA books I read seem to have been unintentional sequels to other books. My first post was The Stand by Stephen King. It looks as though Jack McDevitt had a bit of unintentional sequeling happen to him with Eternity Road. This book is set a thousand years in the future after a plague has wiped out most of humanity (Captain Trips kills 99.4% of the population in The Stand). A group of explorers set off from Memphis to find a treasure trove of Roadmaker artifacts. Roadmakers being the people who existed in the world pre-plague. Only one of them returns and he is a bit crazy after the experience of it and kills himself. The main storyline deals with the daughter of one of dead questers completing her father's quest. Great book and definitely (for me) an unintentional sequel. The events of Eternity Road could have conceivably happened after The Stand.

This brings me back to the original reason I posted this musing. I didn't really intend to write about The Road just yet but ... oh well. I stumbled on The Road quite some time ago so it isn't a book I just picked up. It has stayed with me for a long time though. I was really embarrassed when Oprah decided to make it one of her book of the month reads. Here I am reading Dark Advent one week then (unbeknownst to me) reading an Oprah Book the next (I got a bit of teasing from my wife for that one). If I had known before I started that legions of bon-bon eating house fraus would be reading it I would have probably passed. -- No I would have definatly read it anyway. I love a good grim well-written apocalyptic tale, and it is a rare PA that gets any grimmer (Level 7 by Mordecai Roshwald springs to mind). Plus it is the only PA book to ever win a Pulitzer.

So the reason I wrote about The Road for two reasons. Firstly, I just wallowed around in both books by Susan Beth Pfeffer, Life As We Knew It and The Dead & The Gone. As a further example of the Unintentional Sequels I offer The Road. Secondly, this book will be released as a film November 26th 2008 (filmed in Oregon a mere stone's throw from the set of Twilight). In The Road there are descriptions of not being able to see the sun or the moon and needing to breathe through a mask. All these things are images from both of the Pfeffer books. As I read the book I tried to figure out what had happened to cause the world to end and I just couldn't figure it out. I have read many reviews that seemed to think nuclear attack. I had my doubts because there was no description of radiation or burns. None of the elements of nuclear attack are even mentioned. It does have an ash filled sky and cold and starvation. Also cannibalism. The Road features cannibalism but it wasn't a plot element of either Life As We Knew It or The Dead & The Gone. (I think that Susan Pfeffer was just a bit gun shy about people eating each other in a book geared towards teenagers. She did however have the characters ask about it as sort of a last resort.) Recent details mention that McCarthy wrote it as a meteor impact senerio. That fits Life As We Knew It as well.

The point is that both Eternity Road and The Road are fantstic books that just happen to be good follow-up books to other great books.

No comments: