on 17 October 2012
In 2006 when a friend bought me James Kunstler's "The Long Emergency" and told me that I must read it, I was to say the least a little skeptical. That was until I opened the book, started reading and found that it was virtually impossible to put down. It has brilliantly composed facts, common sense arguments and realistic conjecture emanating from every page. It not only changed my life but also those of family members and friends for whom I bought copies and encouraged to read. It focused on oil, the finite resource that we rely on for almost everything in the modern world, when it was likely to run out and the frightening implications that will have for our future.
Well I never believed that such an awakening would ever be surpassed until I opened Kunstler's latest work "Too Much Magic". It is somewhat of a follow on from his earlier book but more importantly, it delves into many more aspects of what is really happening in our world. Many of his earlier assertions have already come to pass but here he explores the connections between the decline of cheap energy, the stagnation in the housing market, the banking debacles of recent years as well as the Middle East/North Africa political upheavals we have witnessed.
James Kunstler has the ability to keep your attention through his unique presentation of the relevant information, his astute observation and his common sense view of what it means for the future for us all. Many books that contain such life changing information and concepts can easily be dismissed as fantasy but this is the real deal, where facts and common sense prevail. Although like his earlier book, it is centered on the USA, don't be put off because it has a global perspective and many parallels with the UK and other western nations. Anyone who dares to read it and discovers what is both just around the corner as well as what's going on in the here and now will certainly experience a dramatic change in their outlook on life and then wonder what to do about it.
on 13 October 2012
"Too much magic" is the most recent book of James Howard Kunstler, author of the cult classic (and best seller) "The Long Emergency". While that book was both interesting and alarming, "Too much magic" sounds more like a collection of rambling articles in which the author spews forth his venom at everything from suburbia to the bank bail-outs. A kind of Kunstler's Kulturkampf.
This is probably for the hard-core admirers only.
Ironically, Kunstler is less radical in this book than in "The Long Emergency". For instance, he proposes massive public investments in public transit to abolish car dependency. This goes against his doomer agenda in general. But then, who wants to be a complete pessimist? The man has my sympathy. But, for this book, not really my votes...
Only two-and-a-half stars.