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The Harrows of Spring: A World Made by Hand Novel (World Made by Hand Novels) Hardcover – July 5, 2016
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A deliberate and suspenseful tale spiked with suffering and violence, rough justice and love . . . A slyly folksy, caustically hilarious, unabashedly proselytizing, and affecting finale in a keenly provocative saga.”Booklist
The fourth and final volume in a series of visionary novels begun with cult-favorite, 70,000-copy-selling World Made by Hand. Things are stirring in Union Grove, an upstate New York town in a future that feels much like the 19th century.”Library Journal
The book’s reflection of America has a kind of fun-house mirror effect in producing scenes that echo a distant American past while speaking in a contemporary tongue . . . An entertaining . . . account of an American society reinventing itself in the wake of a terrorist attack.”Kirkus Reviews
To my mind, the mark of a great book is when a reader starts to savor each and every page as the end draws near . . . James Howard Kunstler achieves this greatness not only in The Harrows of Spring but in his entire World Made by Hand’ series . . . I am going to miss this series of four books as much as any in recent memory . . . My reading life has been filled with many memorable books, but I do so envy any reader who gets to sit down with Kunstler’s series of books for the very first time.”Fredericksburg.com
Praise for the World Made by Hand series:
Far from a typical postapocalyptic novel. It caters neither to a pseudo-morbid nor faddishly slick vision of the future. Though grim with portent, it is ultimately, as Camus’s novel The Plague, an impassioned and invigorating tale whose ultimate message is one of hope, not despair.”San Francisco Chronicle on World Made by Hand
The verisimilitude of Kunstler’s world leads me to think the future is Union Grove. Thirty years from now, it will be interesting to see if that little town seems excessively sad, richly luxurious or spot on. But for now, I’m hedging my bets. Where I Live, one block east of ground zero, I’ve started keeping a compost bin and am thinking about adding a micro wind generator. Two blocks south, the damaged former Deutsche Bank building comes down floor by floor. To the north, the Freedom Tower has just emerged aboveground and may one day be full of investment bankers. Recently, though, I’ve started looking at that plot through Kunstler’s eyes. It gets good sunlight, and it occurs to me it would make a hell of a bean field.”The New York Times Book Review on World Made by Hand
Chronicles the aftereffects of the collapse of our technological society in the near future . . . Kunstler’s storytelling talents are in evidence here. Kunstler has punctuated the nightmarish scenario of his novel with . . . poignant moments where hope and despair vie for dominance of the human spirit.”The Seattle Times on World Made by Hand
In many ways [The Witch of Hebron] reminded me of Larry McMurty’s Lonesome Dove, set in the dystopian world of The Road. . . . By the middle of the book you are immersed in a richly imagined world made by hand,’ eagerly devouring every page. . . . [Kunstler] has woven his nightmares into a vision or America after a complete economic, political, and cultural collapse.”New York Journal of Books on The Witch of Hebron
Kunstler offers a sharply cautionary tale, conjuring up bizarre characters who would be right at home in the scariest haunted houses. . . . Kunstler excels at writing lyric passages about nature . . . His acute pessimism about the future coexists with his faith in the human instinct to survive and adapt . . . [and] he demonstrates that the human penchant for storytelling is unlikely ever to become extinct so long as a single human being has breath enough to speak and strength enough to write.”America Magazine on The Witch of Hebron
"What's after Armageddon? No government, no laws, no infrastructure, no oil, no industry....and sometimes a sense of relief. In James Howard Kunstler's richly imagined World Made by Hand, the bone-weary denizens of Union Grove (with its echo of Our Town's Grover's Corners) cope with everything from mercenary thugs to religious extremists, yet manage to plant a few seeds of human decency that bear fruit." O Magazine on World Made by Hand
One pitfall in painting a convincing picture of the future is forgetting all the small ways in which life would differ if big changes swept in. Kunstler avoids it, and his catalog of such finer points is a subtle, continuing pleasure.”The Boston Globe on World Made by Hand
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Top Customer Reviews
Picking up where A History of the Future_ left off, the _The Harrows of Spring_ focus on a new group who arrives in Union Grove with tales of an emerging republic centered in western Vermont and eastern New York, and the development of Daniel Earle, recently returned from his adventures on the Great Lakes and in what once was Tennessee. It is equally dark as the others in the series - there is no shortage of tragedy and heartache for the small community, although Kunstler does a remarkable job of balancing this with hope and moments of levity.
As with every good "science fiction" novel, Kunstler points to contemporary problems, shedding light on the silliness and meaninglessness of modern life (with its conveniences, soft living and pointless consumerism); in _The Harrows of Spring_, he is a bit more honest in pointing out the issues and inequities of the society he imagines, often alluding to the collapse of modern society with the implosion of the Roman empire. It is more than a little unsettling.
Kunstler is a fantastic writer with a careful eye for detail - not only of society and politics, but also of ecosystems and human nature. _The Harrows of Spring_ is entertaining, and I am anxiously awaiting another installment in the series.
The down slope lead to living like people in the 1800's.
No electricity, no medicine. They do have leftover over tools,
left over hinges, guns, left over pipes, left over axel grease,
No mention of where the nails came from for new buildings.
The book is about how people live during a sliver of time.
Each character is not worrying about the structure that got them there
or where their structure is taking them. The characters are as temporally myopic
as they were before the fall. They learned little. That may have been the authors intent.
I hope the reader reads between the lines. All four books are a wonderful read.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
One more to put things to bed!! Well done.