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This fairly short novel had good reviews but was hugely disappointing. Written through the eyes of a teenager, Eve, on holiday with a group of children and some quite frankly, awful, millennial type parents. The insight and cynicism of the teenagers is justified and this carries the novel until the big storm occurs and they run away to a farm they just happen to find with a Hobo. From that point the novel loses the plot, becoming absurd and inconsistent trying to paint a picture of “The end of the world”, but rarely succeeding; eventually metamorphosing into a Mad Max type scenario. The Children (and the parents) survive, the children are happy to research via the internet and their mobiles (miraculously still working) and despite despising their parents’ indulgences are happy to bargain for booze and weed from them, bunker in one of the parent’s nice houses and survive off online deliveries! The parents, incidentally, despite experiencing “the end of the world” remain just as awful and stupid. The author doesn’t paint a realistic view of Armageddon and the novel ends rather abruptly as if the writer had run out of ideas. Overall it’s a poor apocalypse novel; much better has been written
A Children's Bible is a small book with a big message. A group of children and teenagers are on holiday at a huge lake house with their parents, whom they judge harshly. The parents are avaricious, they drink and take drugs, are sexually promiscuous and indifferent to their children's welfare. A huge storm is the catalyst for the breakdown of society, as evidenced by a descent into lawlessness, violence and hunger. The story is allegorical, with one of the younger children viewing the chaos through the lens of a children's bible he has been given. (I would have given it 5 stars is the allegorical element had been developed further). Ultimately it becomes clear that the reason the younger generation view the older one with such contempt, is because their materialism has ruined the planet. All we have heard about climate change comes to fruition, including the end of civilisation as we know it. They rich can survive for longer than the poor, but ultimately everyone loses. This is the central message, I think. The disasters that flow from our destruction of the planet are well documented and will affect everyone. No-one will be safe, no lifestyle untouched. The parents muse that they thought they had longer, and respond to the realisation that they could have done something but didn't, by abandoning all hope. In contrast, Eve, the teenage narrator, comforts her dying brother with stories of the planet renewing itself in time - that life will survive, even though they won't. It's a bleak but beautiful message, all the more powerful because it is today's children that will inherit the consequences of unfettered mass consumption.
This book was fine, and I finished it. As serious literature it gets zero stars but it filled another empty evening. Very right-on and superficial, hopelessly implausible and occasionally fantastical : I learnt more about the denizens of The New York Times - who put it in the top ten books of 2020 - than anything else. Put it this way: no mention of politics, but the author clearly hates Trump and his supporters. And also, bizarrely, parents: I would have guessed it to have been written by a teenager if the voice had been less obviously millennial.
A new dystopian novel centered around kids fending for themselves while their parents are consumed with drinking and using drugs. Although the book was entertaining, it had too wide a cast of characters to keep track of. And, few of the characters were at all interesting. The book was also full of totally non-plausible events.
I read this based on a NYT review and reviews here at Amazon. Although and easy, quick read I did not find it very enjoyable. I was disappointed with the "Children's Bible" part as it was only a small part scattered through the novel. The book seemed simple, the characters very simple and the narrative rather disjointed to me. And I felt it moved toward being a bit silly in the final 3rd. "Lord of the Flies" meets the "Durells in Corfu" was my thought through most of the very short (for the cost) novel. I bought hardback at Amazon's price due to not going to bookstores during the stay at home time. I wish I'd spent my money on something else.