This book may change your life. It may save it. It is one of the most important - and most shocking - books ever written.
Tomorrow! is a story of average, nice Americans living in the neighboring cities of Green Prairie and River City in Middle America. It is - until the sudden blitz - the story of the girl next door and her boyfriend; of the accountant who saw what was coming, and the rich old lady who didn’t; of engaging young kids, babies, “hoods,” a bank official who “borrowed” from a customer’s account.
Then, at the height of the Christmas shopping season, Condition Red is sounded, and this down-to-earth story of America’s Main Street becomes a shattering, vivid experience of the nightmare that human beings have cooked up for themselves.
Tomorrow! can be listened to as a novel of pure suspense - if you dare. It is a thriller in which the apocalyptic technology of today is superimposed on the future. But the novel is also designed to show Philip Wylie’s conclusions about America’s dangerous vulnerability to dread, hysteria, and panic, as well as his recommendations about what must be done.
©1954 Philip Wylie (P)2012 Audible, Inc.
Wylie, co-author of the classics, When Worlds Collide and After Worlds Collide, social critic and philosopher; was a skilled crafter of post-apocalyptic novels in the Cold War Era. This is one of his best, contrasting two philosophies of life. one of preparation against the possibility of disaster and the other of refusal to face unpleasant possiblilty and taking refuge in denial, leading to a total lack of preparedness. The characters major and minor, are well-drawn and varied, the story skillfully crafted. The reader, or listener, becomes concerned and sympathetic wirth some of the characters; irritated at and angry with the self-inflicted blindness of others.
I cannot rank this book with many of the others, to which I have listened. Wylie is almost a genre unto himself and my interests range widely.
Tomorrow can only be compared with Wylie's "Triumph". Both are Cold War Era nuclear apocalypse stories. Tha major difference is the scale of the stories. Triumph concerns itself with a microcosm consisting of 14 people of mixed ethnic, edducational, economic and social backgrounds; while Tomorrow is set against the background of twin cities in neighboring states, located on opposite sides of a river and concerns itself with contrasting disaster preparedness political philosophies and the results when nuclear disaster strikes. The subject is patriotism and the willingness to courageously do what needs to be done to protect family, community, city and country, in spite of the resistance, refusal to face facts and denial of those unwilling or unable to accept the possibility of disaster.Wylie delves into the individual characters in such a way that they become intimately familiar with them. He deals with nothing in a superficial manner. Even minor characters are thoroughy presented. Opposing philosophies of life are explored equally well. Wylie is a social critic. It is an overriding factor in his writing. He deals often with what he perceives as the flaws and the strengths, he sees in American society; and the ways in which he feels society should grow.
The narrator could have, I think, drastically improved his performance by slowling his delivery and taking more care in his reading. It is clear that some of his mistakes are due to the speed of his delivery. As it is, he misreads and mispronounces words frequently. It irritates. The narrator has a pleasant enough voice and has vocal drama skills; but he mispronounces and misreads so many words, the listener is frequently distracted from the story.
Two cities; In one are those who believe in responsibility and preparation for the unthinkable and in the other, those who deny possible catastrophe, taking refuge in denial; till disaster strikes.
I liked this book very much when I read it, and reread it in the past. I was disappointed in the audiobook. Nevertheless, it is still worth the hearing.
So many books, so little time...
Philip Wylie was one of my favorite writers when growing up. I loved When Worlds Collide and After Worlds Collide, so I took a chance on Tomorrow.
Perhaps it is that I am not into apocalyptic books as much today as when growing up, and that this was written in 1954 and it projected too many of the values of a post WWII era. It is not very realistic in the portrayal of what happens after a plutoniuim bomb would go off, and yet it was a little too realistic in places. Certainly, what we saw after Hurricane Katrina should give us pause about what the depths and depravity of human nature can involve in the mass exodus of people from an area.
Had there been a nuclear winter from the number of bombs and retaliation of the bombings certainly there would be no kittens or babies or people for that matter. For that reason I would question the sensablity of the publishers to make this book into an audio book. It is dated material and perhaps should have been left on the shelf.
The narrator; Keith O'Brien did a nice job.
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