Selected by the New York Times as a Notable Book of 1989, The City, Not Long After is a superb human drama told through the eyes of unforgettable characters.
©1989 Pat Murphy; (P)2005 Blackstone Audiobooks
"A sweet fable." (Publishers Weekly)
"Evokes a haunting vision of life after society's collapse, as art becomes magic and combines with the power of love to defeat the engines of war. Highly recommended." (Library Journal)
I hadn't read any science-fiction in ages when I came across this novel. Having lived in the Bay Area for years, the setting lured me to this book, and I became submerged in the story so much that I often kept listening when I should have been doing other things. Good fiction makes you think, good sci-fi makes you wonder at the enormity of our future. With the path that America is now taking, this novel will challenge you with its vision of the dangerous path our country seem to be on. One of the best I have listened to from Audible.
This book almost works for me - almost, but not quite. First let me say that I did enjoy the book enough to finish listening to it, but I doubt I would listen to it again. I have listened to other books by Pat Murphy and I like her writing style. That may be one of the reasons this book did not really work - I expected better things.
I loved the surreal sense evoked by wandering through an almost empty San Francisco. I loved the colorful images in the book.
Some of my problems with the book are nit-picky; I hated the name of one of the characters - "Danny-boy". It was just too cutsey for me. But the real reasons I did not like the book went deeper.
I never connected with the lead character. She left me as empty of emotions as she seemed to be.
Other characters were better. Infact other characters were introduced and fleshed out so that I wanted to spend more time with them, then they were dropped into the background as props.
Subplots worked the same way. Interesting twists or directions came up, then just went away.
And finally the ending - It lost me. I confess I didn't understand the point of it. Just as I didn't understand the point of the book. I don't really think books need a point if they are entertaining, but this one seemed to be trying to tell me something - a moral perhaps - but I never quite got it.
Pat Murphy is a good writer and this book had some very good moments. As I said, the images she draws are wonderful, but I was left wanting something I never quite got.
498 ratings, 853 titles in library, 54 purchased in 2014, member since 2000.
I'm a big Armageddon story fan. This one is unusual with its "Flower Child" beginning. Even the inevitable war with the power hungry faction has a gentle very low body count quality.
I tend to finish any book I start. This one was hard to do. The basic concept of the book seems to be that people are stupid. The military for fighting wars, the peace groups for grasping at ways to have peace, and the cast lives up to these ideas. In the end the peaceful kill and the militant don't. While hinted at, the "magic" refered to by the professional reviewers remains too fanciful to be a key component of the story and works for and against the main character.
Overly simplistic without a decent story line. Save your cash and more importantly your time on this one.
The narration is okay, but has a lot of high end (treble) that needs to be filtered out or toned down when played on something besides headphones.
I listened to this book a couple of years ago. It was slow in some ways, but though provoking. It's stuck with me, not just in one ear and out the other.
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