Part Oryx and Crake (bending to The Road) part A High Wind in Jamaica. This is a book about a group of children ostensibly having a summer away in mansions by the coast (upper middle class it turns out), having summer fun and summer camp (well, camp counselor) with drugs and alcohol and sex games. There’s one much younger boy, who is protected from all this, who tags along with everyone.
We slowly realize that the absence of the parents and the strange way the parents do act when they happen to be on the scene is that we’re somewhere in the future, and this a climate disaster novel. And well, someone has to narrate the interregnum. I think there’s a kind of mythos of cataclysm that’s connected to our imagination related to climate change. And I think that’s the power of thousands of years of cultural stories about cataclysm, especially backed by millennialism in Christian countries. But the idea that the world ends in a bang, and not a slow slow outletting of breath; well, I don’t buy it. I don’t think this book does either. Well, as you can imagine, things get worse from here in this book.
“Molecules never die, I thought. Hadn’t they told us that in chemistry? Hadn’t they said a molecule of Julius Caesar’s dying breath was, statistically speaking, in every breath we took? Same with Lincoln. Or our grandparents. Molecules exchanging and mingling, on and on. Particles that had once been others and now moved through us. “Evie!” said Jack. “Look! I found a sand dollar!” That was the sad thing about my molecules: they wouldn’t remember him.”