World Made by Hand

 world made by hand

World Made by Hand is a captivating post apocalyptic novel written by peak oil speculator James Howard Kunstler who is perhaps best known for his non-fiction work The Long Emergency. World Made by Hand provides some interesting speculation about life in a post-cheap-oil America where a series of terrorist attacks, subsequent wars and an uncontrolled pandemic brings the world economy to a grinding halt. The story follows Robert Earle through some of his post apocalyptic trials and tribulations in a small northeastern New York town. While Union Grove is not without serious problems it has fared well relative to other regions, perhaps due to its more remote location and its distance from the terrorist attacks. Actually, in some ways it is thriving. With the recent arrival of a resourceful and well-organized religious sect, the town is in the midst of a rebirth of sorts, only as the title implies, this world is made without the benefit of machines. In some ways World Made by Hand explores some topics that aren’t often considered in this type of fiction. For example, with the often brutally shortened lifespans, particularly among the male population, the protagonist Robert sees more than his fair share of “activity” with the ladies shall we say. Though there is a certain religious vein throughout the book, Robert, who is a basically good man, is not necessarily a subscriber to God and acts somewhere on the fringes of Christian morality. For the people left in this world, the abundance of “free love”, pot and alcohol offers them only a small reprieve from their violent and sometimes brutal existence. A certain ingenuity and pioneering spirit flows through the story that this reader found energizing and somehow inspiring. If people can accomplish so much with their bare hands through cooperation, surely we can do even more with all of the machinery and energy at our disposal. World Made by Hand is a good book that should be added to your “must read” post apocalyptic reading list!

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3 thoughts on “World Made by Hand

  1. I took a lot of the behaviour to be more in keeping with the wish fullfillment of a libertine aging boomer author. The aging boomer hero of the story also manages to pull of an improbable feet of arms (shooting someone from a moving horse with a gun he barely knows how to use, and a horse he barely knows how to ride), wows everyone with his now popular rustic style of music, has his casual carpentry skill become much in demand, etc.

    • Great point! Everything goes a little too well for Robert Earle. Some of the benefits of a breakdown were exaggerated so the author could live out his fantasies. That’s ok with me though. Surely that is one of the rewards for writing a book? There just has to be some.

  2. Pingback: The Witch of Hebron A Post Economic Collapse Novel

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