On a recent Cafe Risque blog post, we listed our top ten books. Well, I couldn't possibly narrow it down to just ten (I am not good at choosing favorites) so I cut it down to genres and came up with my ten favorite post-apocalyptic books.
Among them was Nevil Shute's On The Beach,which I haven't been able to get out of my mind since I made my list. This wasn't the first post-apocalyptic story I read - that honor goes to Z for Zachariah, but it was either the second or the third one. And it affected me greatly.
The father in this story makes a decision for his entire family that is born out of utter hopelessness and I, a young teenager at the time, couldn't imagine being that desperately hopeless that death was the only answer. I know how lucky I was that suicide was never a solution to my problems that I contemplated -- hell, I knew it then. I had a family who loved me. I had dreams and aspirations and while things sometimes were bad, I always wanted to see what was waiting for me as I got older.
What's funny is that I can picture the cover in my head, but when I looked to see if I could find it to add to this post, I was able to find a whole bunch of images but none of them match the picture in my head. I'm guessing I'm not remembering it correctly, I just find it interesting that it's very clear in my head, but clearly not an actual memory.
From On the Beach, I searched out more books and found A Town Like Alice. This book also affected me a lot and from the moment I read that book, I wanted to go to Australia. I wanted to visit Alice Springs. Seeing a TV show on the Royal Flying Doctors only increased that desire, as did the Crocodile Dundee movies and the Mad Max movies, Gallipoli, every Peter Weir movie, even those not set in Australia...
And I did it - I spent six months travelling around in New Zealand and Australia and I loved it. We went to the Royal Flying Doctors headquarters in Alice Springs and we visited some of the caves where parts of Mad Max were filmed, among a lot of other things. That visit is still a big part of who I am and that all happened because I read a book.
smut fixes everything