Monday, June 18, 2012

“Lucifer’s Hammer”

            I have been reading through the list of fan favorite survival book on lately. I have already read many of the titles listed, but I was looking for another good book last month and came across a book called “Lucifer’s Hammer.” Written in the late 70’s, it is about a cataclysmic comet strike that destroys much of the world’s population and the resulting survival that goes along with it. I absolutely loved this book.

            The first third of the book is the lead-in where all of the characters are introduced. The second act deals with the comet strike and its immediate carnage. The last act deals with the drive to assemble and survive in the short term and long term. If ever a mini-series needed to be made, this is it.

            Why do I love it? I love seeing the reactions of people to this type of situation. Certainly it is fiction, but the authors delve into all the possible reactions by using all the characters reacting differently. There is, however, no one character that is great and bold and macho and MacGyver-ish. All the characters are flawed and highly dependent on modern convenience.

            The coolest part of this book is that it takes place in my neck of the woods. Los Angeles doesn’t last long, so all the participants move to what is left of the Bakersfield/Porterville area. The only problem is the author’s lack of confidence in the typical Bakersfield resident. Even in the 1970’s a small gang of LA thugs could never take control of the remains of the city.

I highly recommend the book both as a beginning survival manual and a fun read. 

(Yes, I find survival fiction fun to read.)

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