Saturday, March 12, 2005

LOVE IN THE TIME OF THE APOCALYPSE by Gregory Blecha (iUniverse)

This ain’t no chick lit. In fact, it’s hard to say what it is.

How does this sentence reverberate with you?

“Phylogeny recapitulates ontogeny.”

This is straight from the first chapter. Sad to say, but I had to look up the first and last words. Not my usual cup of tea. But then I smirked: Ah, I get it. I read on.

Blecha’s book was passed to me by one of my POD sisters-in-crime, who got it from someone right after release. In fact, the book has been in print (so to speak) for less than a month.

Ah, word of mouth. We live and die by it.

Anyway, this ain’t no chick lit.

LOVE IN THE TIME OF THE APOCALYPSE is, essentially, about a young couple in love during the end times (duh, read the title) who shine as an example of (slight) normalcy during a time of bizarre living--and dying. Read the description of the book and you will get a flavor (the Amish run a casino in Vegas, landmarks are being systematically destroyed by interior terrorists, and, of course, America no longer has healthcare to speak of—you can only imagine the repercussions.)

This ain’t LEFT BEHIND either.

What makes the book magical is the prose. This may be difficult to pigeonhole, but I’ll try . . .

It has a feel of Hunter S. Thompson’s FEAR AND LOATHING IN LAS VEGAS. It’s also a little bit NAKED LUNCH-ish. Of course, there is Kafka, too. But most of all I got a LESS THAN ZERO (Bret Easton Ellis) vibe from the story, having the entire “we’re-here-and-we’re-trying-to-be-aware-of-what-is-happening-to-us-but-we-aren’t” sort of raciness to it. The book is trippy, as my burn-out friends would say, but in more of a magical way than you might expect.

The book is well-written and well-edited. It’s easy to read, though I can’t deny skipping over a hundred or more words I’d never seen before. In the end, I had to admit: There is nothing better than being entertained and taught at the same time. Get a full night of sleep, then start early the next day. You’ll be done in time for pizza and Seinfeld reruns.