The Witch of Hebron: A World Made by Hand Novelby James Howard Kunstler
In the tiny hamlet of Union Grove, New York, the electricity has
- LendMe LendMe™ Learn More
Renowned social commentator and best-selling author James Howard Kunstler’s sequel to World Made by Hand, expands on his vision of post-oil society in America in this suspenseful, darkly amusing story with touches of the fantastic in the mode of Washington Irving” (Booklist).
In the tiny hamlet of Union Grove, New York, the electricity has flickered off, the Internet is a distant memory, and the government is little more than a rumor. Travel is horse-drawn and farming is back at the center of life, but Union Grove is no pastoral haven. Wars are fought over dwindling resources and illness is a constant presence. Bandits roam the countryside, preying on the weak and a sinister cult threatens to shatter the town’s fragile stability.
In a novel that is both shocking yet eerily convincing, Kunstler seamlessly weaves hot-button issues such as the decline of oil and the perils of climate change into a compelling narrative of violence, religious hysteria, innocence lost, and love found.
“Richly imagined . . . [The Witch of Hebron] reminded me of Larry McMurty’s Lonesome Dove, set in the dystopian world of The Road.”New York Journal of Books
"[A] suspenseful, darkly amusing story with touches of the fantastic in the mode of Washington Irving."Booklist
"Kunstler's post-apocalyptic world is neither a merciless nightmare nor a starry-eyed return to some pastoral faux utopia; it's a hard existence dotted with adventure, revenge, mysticism, and those same human emotions that existed before the power went out."Publishers Weekly
“Vividly drawn . . . [The Witch of Hebron] plays to Kunstler’s strength, which is his understanding of municipal infrastructure, so he can analyze the importance of what has been taken from people, how they cope, and just what is necessary for them to survive.”Steve Goddard’s History Wire (online)
(c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Doomsday survivors in upstate New York cope with a collapsed civilization in Kunstler's sequel to A World Made By Hand (2008).
The denizens of Union Grove have survived terrorist bombs, flu epidemics, race wars, freakish out-of-season hurricanes and an industrial meltdown that has spelled an end to electricity, cars, trains and cities. In the novel, a kind of post-post-apocalyptic tale, returning characters cope with more mundane threats: violent crime, crop disease, erectile dysfunction. Brother Jobe, dark-powered leader of the New Faith religious sect, is out to avenge the fatal drugging of his horse. The Rev. Loren Holder, whose impotence had him lending his wife to his best friend, Mayor Robert Earle, a software executive in "the old times," is drawn to Barbara Maglie, a madame with witchly powers of arousal. Then there are magistrate Stephen Bullock, who beheads three home intruders with a samurai sword and hangs ten other members of their gang; Billy Bones, a young "bandit" who goes on a raping and killing spree with troubled doctor's son Jasper Copeland in tow, and Perry Talisker, a hermit with Unabomber potential who, like most of the male characters, is prone to weeping. Kunstler, a high-profile blogger/social critic who sees sure disaster in U.S. oil policies, keeps his agenda under wraps. The novel is primarily an entertainment that keeps its pages turning with short chapters, snappy dialogue, sex scenes and pop-cultural references (Bob Dylan, Joyce Carol Oates, NASCAR). But following the end-of-life-as-we-know-it drama of the first book, much of what happens here feels anticlimactic, particularly since its retro-futurists think and act a lot more like stock characters from old TV Westerns than anything out of Cormac McCarthy.
A novel whose premise and stodgy storytelling may appeal more to young readers than adults.
- Grove/Atlantic, Inc.
- Publication date:
- Sold by:
- Barnes & Noble
- NOOK Book
- Sales rank:
- File size:
- 2 MB
Meet the Author
James Howard Kunstler was born in New York City in 1948. He is the author of eleven novels and three nonfiction books, The Geography of Nowhere, Home From Nowhere, and The Long Emergency. He lives in upstate New York.
and post it to your social network
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
See all customer reviews >