REVIEW: World Made by Hand (World Made by Hand #1) by James Howard Kunstler

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars, Genre: Apocalyptic Fiction, Pages: 317, Reading Level: Easy

Book Description:

For the townspeople of Union Grove, New York, the future is not what they thought it would be. Transportation is slow and dangerous, so food is grown locally at great expense of time and energy. And the outside world is largely unknown. There may be a president and he may be in Minneapolis now, but people aren’t sure. As the heat of summer intensifies, the residents struggle with the new way of life in a world of abandoned highways and empty houses, horses working the fields and rivers replenished with fish.

A captivating, utterly realistic novel, World Made by Hand takes speculative fiction beyond the apocalypse and shows what happens when life gets extremely local.

World Made by Hand is a post-apocalyptic fiction book a la western style. It has horses, men with shaggy beards, the mayor, the constable, the preacher man, the speculator and the outlaw. What more could you ask for?

There are no zombies, nuclear bombs, EMPs, etc. Well, at least not that we know of. The entire story takes place in like a 20 mile radius of the main setting, Union Grove, a small town. So you are not going to get a big picture about what is happening in the world but I found that refreshing. We get to see the apocalypse on a smaller scale- a small community with no communication outside that 20 mile (or so) radius.

World Made by Hand also includes one of my all-time favorite themes- weirdo religious groups! It’s not as creepy as other books, but it’s enough.

I’ll admit it was a little slow out of the gate, but I ended up really getting into it and enjoying the characters. I did not realize it is a trilogy and will eventually get to the second, The Witch of Hebron, and the third, A History of the Future, which has not yet been released.

Honestly, there’s really not much to this book. World Made by Hand is a light, fun, post-apocalyptic fiction read which pretty much concentrates on human interaction in a time of lawlessness. It’s a beach or cruise read for apocalyptic fiction nerds. That’s me!

Reviewed by Christina
February 18, 2014

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