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Book Review: The Rift

The Rift by Walter J. Williams
This disaster novel is a 932 page failure that sees an earthquake (eventually) hit America and various trope characters have to cope. There’s a whining teenage boy, a pack of racists, a female general, the scared POTUS and a trader who dies off page. This is utterly terrible and lacks narrative cohesion and is full of racism and reads like an acidic parody of the genre. This does not show a spectacular annihilation of America or the turbulent aftermath or the moral journey of survivors.

This 1999 novel mentions a possibility of a 9/11 like situation, years before 9/11. People babble about sneaks, icebox pie, popovers, inline skates, a computer power strip, stern wheelers, edge living, a tape cartridge, the Iridium network, pumpkin oaks, Eurodollars, camcorders and shrimp boils. In one area, nobody has reticence about being racist and supporting the Klan. There is a badly written sex scene and the woman dies soon afterward. There is rampant sexism and even more racism. There is homophobia and a Nick Leeson mention. A guy wants a war to have purpose and that's before the quake.

There is no curious expectancy; it takes nearly 188 pages for the quake to hit. Why did the author decide there was permissive moral space for the social rage and distinctly hostile racists? There is no sepulchral gloom or social threats, just exposition dumps and unedifying people have personality weakness, as in they have none. This is a boring disaster and somehow some people watch ‘Dr Who’ during the disaster in 1999!

Best Lines:
“Cur dogs.”

“Horrid ruin.”
Tags: 2nd hand book store find, book review
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