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It's not the end of the world. No, wait, it is.
on 9 December 2012
The credits on this one are a bit of a lie: David Dalglish devised this book and wrote most of the others, with his mates pitching in some additional contributions.
So the supervolcano under Yellowstone Park has exploded, effectively condemning most of the USA to a nasty Pompeii-like death. A Land Of Ash is a series of unconnected stories told in sequence, starting with the actual eruption and ending six months later when hope finally arrives. The overall theme is how a person reacts to a catastrophe so massive. Fear? Acceptance? Anger? Hope? Will bad guys start becoming altruistic and help in the rescue? Will good guys go nuts and start killing to escape? Yes, is the answer to all of those questions and more. When the fire and ash starts to kill everything, most people find out what's really important to them, from an old lady facing a severe test of faith to a pregnant woman who has to decide if she can bring a child into a world with no food.
It's kind of like The Road rewritten to include an ensemble cast (and indeed the final story is almost a carbon copy of that book's ending). Like Cormac McCarthy, Dalglish doesn't really care about the nature of the disaster but zooms in on individual people trying to cling onto the last scraps of hope. Hugely readable and heartily recommended.
(original review at [...])