Friday, November 30, 2012

Collision Course - David Crawford

Collision Course
A Novel Of Survival
David Crawford
New American Library
In the interest of full disclosure, I feel I should admit that if The End Of Everything happens tomorrow – whether through economic collapse, nuclear war, or zombie apocalypse – I’m not ready.  I’m not a “prepper” or a survivalist.  So I can’t accurately judge those aspects of this story. 
DJ Frost calls himself a “security specialist” and is completely prepared for The End.  He’s got supplies, a heavy-duty ATV with attached trailer, and a lot of weapons.  He’s also got his “bug-out route” figured and a destination consisting of a piece of land purchased some time ago with a bunch of other like-minded individuals.  What’s already happened before the story begins is called the Smash.  It’s some combination of oil prices and economics and a lot of other things that the news commentators can’t agree about.  The upshot is that society seems to be crumbling and DJ is getting out of the city while he can. 
Gabe Horne doesn’t even know the Smash has happened.  He pretty much lives day-to-day in a drunken haze after the loss of his wife and son.  He supports himself by cultivating and selling vegetables at a nearby farmer’s market.  Once he realizes what’s going on, he starts to look around for the first time in a good while to try and take stock of what needs to be done, both in his own home and in his neighborhood.

The storyline is pretty straightforward, with DJ on the move and Gabe in one spot.  While Gabe gets some character development, DJ starts off sketchy and devolves quite a bit from there.  At some point, very late in the proceedings, the reader discovers (as DJ just happens to remember) that his safe place might have been sold years ago, because of a breakdown of his group.  It makes his trek and every event in it seem ridiculously pointless.  The narrative moves quite quickly, making this a fast, if ultimately demoralizing, read.

Rating: 5
November 2012
ISBN# 978-0-451-23807-8 (trade paperback)


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