Customer Reviews for

World Made by Hand

Average Rating 4
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Most Helpful Favorable Review

3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

Well Thought

Halfway through reading this, I found out that Kunstler's previous works consisted mostly of historical works. This came to no surprise to me, as he seems to have a strong grasp on the human experience through important parts of history. Though Kunstler had many opportu...
Halfway through reading this, I found out that Kunstler's previous works consisted mostly of historical works. This came to no surprise to me, as he seems to have a strong grasp on the human experience through important parts of history. Though Kunstler had many opportunities throughout the novel to preach about what current parts of the modern lifestyle lead to the end of the information age, he instead restrains himself and creates a seemingly unbiased account of people living and adjusting to the new world they find themselves in.

His outlook is almost uplifting as the human spirit remains positive throughout the novel, and our narrator is typically optimistic in his reactions to whatever may come.

I found this to be an absorbing read with characters I could easily relate to and care about. I suggest this highly to just about anyone.

posted by 1745354 on October 10, 2009

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Most Helpful Critical Review

1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

Interesting premise, but story disappoints

I read this novel being new to post-apocalyptic fiction, and I found it somewhat tedious to read. It had bad grammar, very flat character development, vapid dialogue and certain sections in the book stretched credibility. Its detour into the supernatural near the end ...
I read this novel being new to post-apocalyptic fiction, and I found it somewhat tedious to read. It had bad grammar, very flat character development, vapid dialogue and certain sections in the book stretched credibility. Its detour into the supernatural near the end was annoying and unnecessary. I found very little connection and had difficulty understanding the motivations of the characters in the novel, since they were so thinly drawn. For me this book raised interesting questions and gives a pretty good picture of what a world after oil would look like. But that is about the best it offered. I have no plans to read the sequel.

posted by BookWorm1932 on September 9, 2011

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 10, 2009

    Well Thought

    Halfway through reading this, I found out that Kunstler's previous works consisted mostly of historical works. This came to no surprise to me, as he seems to have a strong grasp on the human experience through important parts of history. Though Kunstler had many opportunities throughout the novel to preach about what current parts of the modern lifestyle lead to the end of the information age, he instead restrains himself and creates a seemingly unbiased account of people living and adjusting to the new world they find themselves in.

    His outlook is almost uplifting as the human spirit remains positive throughout the novel, and our narrator is typically optimistic in his reactions to whatever may come.

    I found this to be an absorbing read with characters I could easily relate to and care about. I suggest this highly to just about anyone.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 17, 2012

    Very Good

    Well written insightful,also read The Witch of Hebron.Polish up your magick people,know your herbs,hope he writes a third!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 22, 2012

    Well written page turner.

    Well written page turner.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 13, 2012

    De4We8

    James, hope you 're writing Book 3! Have read both twice.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 3, 2011

    I Also Recommend:

    Felt very real to me

    Living on the gulf coast here in Florida, we have had our fair share of disasters namely hurricanes. While reading this book, I could not help but think back to when our city was hit by Hurricane Ivan in 2004 and the way life was for many of us in the month after. Kunstler paints a vivid picture of what may lay ahead for us in this country in the possibly not-to-distant future. The visual is clear and all too vivid. But I could not help getting that strange feeling of what life would be like alot less complicated by our over technical and saturated world. Without the benefit of television and electricity, families spent more time together, working together, and playing together. I am not saying that the world portrayed by Kunstler is better,indeed there are many elements that are much worse in his world, I am saying that it was much more simpler and it felt like a return to a century past when neighbors knew each others names, got together for activities, and family was basically everything to us. I thoroughly enjoyed it. I was transported.

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 22, 2011

    Simply Amazing

    I have read many post disaster / alternative history novels and stories over the years and this is by far one of the best that I have ever read. As with most stories of this genre there is doom and gloom, but the author has a way a still providing a sense of humanity despite all that has transpired. From the first page the dialogue draws you in and you do not want to put the book down. If the author can maintain the same quality of writing, I would read 20+ novels in this series. I want to know more about these people and despite the slight oddity of Brother Jobe and his crew for the moment they work well with the story line.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 27, 2011

    good book

    excellant look at how life maybe come simpler and hand made in the future.

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 19, 2010

    I loved this book!

    Unlike most books set in post-apocalyptic times, this world is not a gray, hopeless, lifeless wasteland (as in The Road). Mr. Kunstler's book is easy to read, the characters are well-drawn, and though the world they inhabit is greatly changed from our world today, Union Grove is an appealing glimpse of what life might be like again someday.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 7, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    What a great read!

    Excellent book, one of the best I've ever read. Finished it in 2 days, something I haven't done in quite some time. I highly recommend this book and can't wait to read the next one in what I hope becomes a LONG series. Nice job Mr. Kunstler!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 8, 2010

    Apocalyptic fiction from the perspective of an ordinary man.

    What will our lives be like in the future? This question gets a very human, very personal exploration in "World Made by Hand", a welcome example of end-of-the-world literature that deals less with the mechanism of the decline of civilization than with the resultant impacts on ordinary lives. This novel, set in a not-too-distant future, explores one possible outcome of events that are occuring today which we are all, to some extent, are willfully ingnoring. Since the scope of this story is limited to a small community of people who have outlasted the changed global condition which has affected the whole population, it is much more intimate and much more real than many other examples of this kind of book (asteroids, meteors, viruses, vampires, and the like). Unlike Cormac McCarthy's "The Road", this story gives a feeling of hope, even in the face of drastic changes to mankind's way of life. These characters are the survivors that we all HOPE we are.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 20, 2009

    thought provoking

    I found this book to be very thought provoking as what it would be like to live in a world without modern day amenities. From the simpliest things that we take for granted, like electricity. The book had you engrossed about what it would be like to live in the era that they where living in and how you could contribute to there society. The characters came alive and were very funny too. Especially brother jobe. I would recommend this book to everyone.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 24, 2008

    A reviewer

    I have really enjoyed all the works of James Howard Kunstler thus far 'his non-fiction in particular'. I believe many of his boldest prognostications about suburbia and the car culture and peak oil are now becoming accepted wisdom for many Americans. However, we live in a time when romance novels and a brief perusal of Newsweek are often what pass for reading and I think that Kunstler's newest book 'World Made By Hand' is written primarily with these casual readers in mind. Don't get me wrong. Its eminently readable on many different levels and, while I heartily enjoyed the information and vision inherent to Geography of Nowhere or The Long Emergency, these books are really for a very small demographic of fairly well-read people who 'get it' and who want to know more about the systems they live in that effect and control our lives. 'World' is written for the reader whose brow might furrow a little at the mention of 'peak oil' or 'resource hegemony'. For these readers, Kunstler has imagined the future without oil in a story that has all the good stuff thrown in: intrigue, violence, sex, suspense and characters we actually care about. So, for Kunstler devotees, this is a great book on two levels. First, you'll read it in one or two sittings and will probably feel heartened by the future he has envisioned (its not so bad, really). Second, you'll have the perfect gift idea for family and friends who might not normally read about post-utopian themes. For the more casual reader, this is simply a great story, told well that will keep your attention from beginning to end. You will be left wanting to know lots more about Union Grove, New York, and what happens there. I think we may see a series of books and I am almost sure that there will be a movie.

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    Posted October 29, 2008

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