Opening Sentence:Doctor Michel de Nostredame, who could see the future, sat in his secret study, looking at how the world would end.
Synopsis:When George Paxman, a contented tombstone engraver in a quiet Massachusetts backwater, is offered a bargain, he doesn’t hesitate for long. The deal is that his beloved daughter gets an otherwise unaffordable anti-radiation scopas suit to protect her. And all George has to do is sign a document admitting that, as a passive citizen who did nothing to stop it, he has a degree of guilt for any nuclear war that breaks out. George signs on the dotted line.
And then the unthinkable happens. The world and everyone in it – with or without a scopas suit – is destroyed in a nuclear Armageddon, Except for George and five others. And now George must face prosecution. His accusers are those who will never be born, and his crime is having done nothing to stop a nuclear conflagration.
Comments:This is the Way the World Ends is a satire about the end of the world through nuclear war. We are not present at these events. Rather, we see them as they are being related to a young Jewish boy who has found his way into the study of Nostrodamus. This story has a surreal, dream-like quality that leaves the reader feeling slightly uneasy, without quite knowing why. However, there are some valid points made by the author and this is a book that truly makes one think. Is mutual assured destruction really a deterrent? Can accidents truly not happen? And to what extent are we, as passive citizens, responsible for world events? In my opinion, This is the Way the World Ends is one of the better post-apocalyptic novels I have read.
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