Monday, May 13, 2019

Nine top books that destroy New York City as we know it

At LitHub Emily Temple tagged nine books that destroy New York City as we know it, including:
Nathaniel Rich, Odds Against Tomorrow

In this oddly prescient novel, a disaster forecaster becomes a strange kind of celebrity when one of his predictions comes true, and a storm floods New York City with water. “The city had been blanketed by an uncanny iron darkness,” Rich writes. “The only time they could see anything was when the lightning struck, filling the sky with baroque blue designs...” As the water rises, the forecaster resorts to traveling the city in a canoe.
They saw things they instantly tried to forget. The swollen corpse of a tabby cat, its head unnaturally inclined; doggy-paddling rats; a child’s coloring book, the bleeding ink turning the water different colors; a red sports bra. On Forty-sixth and Second, a brownstone had capsized, effectively damming the street with brick sections of wall and squat sandstone plinths. The rooms were completely bare inside; even the wallpaper in some places had been torn off by the wind. And once in a while they saw bodies. These tended to gather at street corners and beneath the parked cars. They were all half submerged, limbs sprawled and distended. Many were naked, their clothes having been torn off by the force of the flood.
As far as the prescient bit goes: this novel, in which the city is decimated by Hurricane Tammy, was written before Hurricane Sandy hit, and came out soon after.
Read about another book on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue