Sunday, March 29, 2015

eBook Review: An Etiquette Guide to the End Times

Maia SeppAn Etiquette Guide to the End Times 

  • Product Details

    • File Size: 2858 KB
    • Print Length: 116 pages
    • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1502779900
    • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
    • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
    • Language: English
    • ASIN: B00KPPFA6Y
    • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
    • X-Ray: Not Enabled
    • Word Wise: Not Enabled
    • Lending: Enabled
    • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars (19 customer reviews)
    • Price: $2.99 

1. Short review: *:D big grin (Amazon rating: 5 out of 5 stars -- I love it. Will read it again.)

2. Long review:
2.1. What I liked: I enjoyed An Etiquette Guide to the End Times. I found it engaging.
Roller-coaster or walk-in-the-park? A walk in the park with a view of roller coasters.
Good value for the money.

2.2. What I did not like: Olive O'Malley, the heroine, struggles with the 'Core', meaning the city government of Toronto. The provincial government of Ontario and the federal government in Ottawa are completely absent.
     One stylistic note that did not bother me but may bother you is that AEGttET is written in present tense.

2.5. On the basis of reading this book, will I buy the author's next book? Yes. Already have The Migraine Mafia and The Sock Wars.

2.6. The work in a nutshell:
     Olive O'Malley lives in a borough of Toronto. The Greenland ice sheet collapsed, and ecological disaster and cultural chaos are the orders of the day. Everyone in her neighborhood tries to adjust. Olive just wants to get her grandfather Fred back, 'cause he is the only family she has left.
     The Core come to enlist Olive in their campaign to pacify the public. The Core means the Toronto downtown core, those who live there, or the Toronto city GOVERNMENT. (Ms Sepp never capitalizes government, but it is clear that we should think of it that way.) The Core applies carrot and stick: 1) promises to search for dear, old Fred and 2) confiscates her chickens when she does not agree immediately.
     Olive winds her way through eco-terrorists, Core machinations, growing selfishness (un-Canadian), and rudeness (very un-Canadian). In the end, she succeeds in bringing Fred home, but it is not clear that this is by any means a cause for celebration. 

2.7. Other:
     I enjoyed AEGttET very much. 
     AEGttET is not a post-apocalyptic novel. It is an apocalyptic novel. Ms Sepp constructed a scenario in which the world does not wake up one morning and BAM! it's in the apocalypse. No. In her scenario, the apocalypse comes gradually, a day at a time. Things Olive O'Malley once did without thinking now take disproportionate amounts of her dwindling resources to accomplish. 
     The Core has insulated itself from the collapse of civilization. The members of the Core have lights, cell phones, vehicles, restaurants, and so forth; all the things Olive once had but has lost in life outside the Core. Authorities in the Core offer Olive membership. The price of admission is her integrity. Olive wants only two things: 1) the return of her grandfather and 2) to be left alone. 
     As I read this I recalled William Gibson's statement that the future is not evenly distributed. Perhaps the most powerful image Ms Sepp draws comes from Olive's Herculean efforts to put together a dinner for four. The contrast between how easy that is today and how difficult it is for her is powerful. And Ms Sepp drew the contrast with food, a necessity. 
     I think Maia Sepp has drawn an accurate picture of how the apocalypse will come: day by day, creeping in at the windowsills, so slowly that we will not notice until civilization lies in its death throes. 


2.8. Links: Maia Sepp

2.9. Buy the book: An Etiquette Guide to the End Times