Friday, October 05, 2012

Top 10 apocalypse books

Anthony Horowitz has published more than 50 books and written for television, film and the theatre. His books include the Alex Rider series of spy novels for teenagers, as well as The Killing Joke and The Magpie Murders. He created the TV drama series Foyle’s War and is collaborated with Peter Jackson and Steven Spielberg on the sequel to The Adventures of Tintin. Horowitz was commissioned by the estate of Arthur Conan Doyle to write the new Sherlock Holmes novel, The House of Silk.

For the Guardian he named a top ten list of apocalypse books, including:
The Road by Cormac McCarthy

Published in 2006, this is the apotheosis of apocalyptic fiction, rightly appearing near the top of every list. It's a grim read, made perhaps grimmer by how little it tells you about the world it describes. The two protagonists, a father and a son, have no names. We never find out exactly what happened to reduce the world to ashes. They carry a gun and two bullets … to use on themselves if they're taken by cannibals. The writing is pared down and poetic. "Ash moving over the road and the sagging hands of blind wire strung from the blackened lightpoles whining thinly in the wind." It's a short, searing, unforgettable book.
Read about another book on the list.

The Road appears on Karen Thompson Walker's list of five notable "What If?" books, John Mullan's list of ten of the top long walks in literature, Tony Bradman's top ten list of father and son stories, Ramin Karimloo's six favorite books list, Jon Krakauer's five best list of books about mortality and existential angst, William Skidelsky's list of the top ten most vivid accounts of being marooned in literature, Liz Jensen's top 10 list of environmental disaster stories, the Guardian's list of books to change the climate, David Nicholls' top ten list of literary tear jerkers, and the Times (of London) list of the 100 best books of the decade. Sam Anderson of New York magazine claims "that we'll still be talking about [The Road] in ten years."

--Marshal Zeringue