Written by William R. Fortschen
Adult fiction (Older teens could read it, too.)
(Published in 2009 by Forge Books)
A little back story-
My husband got this book at Costco last week and devoured it in a day and a half. "You have to read this book," he kept breaking off to say. Two days later, I came down stairs after he'd already left for work (no, I don't make him breakfast-I'm nice like that) to find the book sitting on my desk in our co-office with a Post-It note on the cover that read:
I REALLY want your opinion on this.Awwww. Reading the same book's the most romantic thing we've done in years. (I kid. Sort of.)
How then could I refuse? But it was a book, after having read the synopsis on the back, that I wasn't in a hurry to read. So I put it off, but Todd kept asking me, "Have you read it yet?" Finally, last night it was, "Are you ever going to read it?" So, romantic-minded me decided I'd better just hurry up and read the darn thing already.
Once the girls were FINALLY asleep last night, and AFTER Todd and I watched the movie The Mechanic (through which I covered my eyes about 50% of the time), I quit putting off the inevitable and went to bed to read.
And HOLY FREAKING MOLY!!! I got sucked into that book like a spider up a vacuum, and I read and read and read until after 0300 (3 a.m.) When I couldn't prop my eyes open anymore, I set the book on top of one of the piles of books on my nightstand (yes, there are 3 on top and 3 underneath... no, I will not take a picture) and slid into sleep...
...and into the most intense apocalyptic nightmares ever. It was a relief to wake-up, 'though I felt like I lived through a war. I wanted coffee so badly, and I don't drink coffee. My caffeine I.V. of choice is Coke. I watched the clock until 10ish ("No, Self, you can't drink a Coke for breakfast!") until my conscience would let me have one. I'm on my third one of the day, now. I'm soooo sleepy. I want my bed. Waahhh!
The book is about a college professor in a small town in North Carolina who is a widower with two daughters, one of whom is diabetic. And then, out of the blue, all electronics shut down: cell phones, cars, electricity, etc. No one knows why or what has happened, but it's not coming back on, and the community begins to realize that something big has happened. And it has. An E.M.P. has been detonated in the atmosphere approximately 300 miles above the middle of the United States and has wiped out anything with solid state electronics (that hadn't been hardened.) Now John and his community have to come to grips with what that means. And what it means is shocking. And you will be dragged in to this book too, little spiders!
Utterly thought-provoking, completely scary (not in the horror book kind of way, in the oh-I-can-so-see-this-really-happening kind of way) this is a compelling look at what it means to be a society, and what it takes to be a society when you are suddenly thrust out of everything familiar, everything "normal", everything you thought "society" meant. This is not a book that will "go gentle into that good night."*
*From Dylan Thomas' poem "Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night."