Tuesday, August 5, 2014

"A History of the Future"

James Howard Kunstler was born in New York City in 1948. He is the author of numerous novels, including World Made By Hand and The Witch of Hebron, and four nonfiction books, including The Long Emergency. He is a frequent lecturer at colleges and professional organizations across the country. He lives in Saratoga Springs, New York.

Kunstler applied the Page 69 Test to his new book, A History of the Future: A World Made By Hand Novel, and reported the following:
In the post economic collapse world of A History of the Future, the law enforcement system and the courts have ceased to function. A double murder has taken place. A young woman has killed her husband and infant son. Five of the village’s leading citizens meet to determine how to proceed, including the congregational minister, Loren Holder, who also serves as constable, and wealthy farmer Stephen Bullock, the elected magistrate, who serves reluctantly. I like to advance the story and reveal character via dialogue. Here’s a passage from Page 69:
“What have you got, Loren?” Bullock said.

“Not much. A diagram of the scene. Notes on interviews, I guess you’d call them, with those who came to the house in response to the screaming.”

“Well, what the hell, Loren?”

“What the hell do you mean ‘what the hell,’ Stephen?”

“I mean… is that it?”

“It’s what we’re able to do,” Loren said, his voice rising. “We don’t have a professional police force here, in case you haven’t noticed.”

“Believe me, I’ve noticed—”

“Is there some crime lab I haven’t been informed about where I’m supposed to send materials?

“Okay, okay. Calm down. What about the murder weapon?”

“I left it in place,” Loren said.

“Where?” Bullock said. “What place?”

“In the chest of the victim,” Loren said.
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--Marshal Zeringue