26 January 2012

Review: Things We Didn't See Coming by Steven Amsterdam

Things We Didn't See Coming by Steven Amsterdam

Published: March 2009 by Sleepers Publishing

Pages: 174 (paperback)

Genre/s: Post-Apocalyptic

Source: Own library

Check it Out: Goodreads ~ Amazon ~ Amazon UK ~ The Book Depository


It’s the anxious eve of the millennium. The car is packed to capacity, and as midnight approaches, a family flees the city in a fit of panic and paranoid, conflicting emotions.

The ensuing journey spans decades and offers a sharp-eyed perspective on a hardscrabble future, as a boy jettisons his family and all other ties in order to survive as a journeyman in an uncertain landscape. By turns led by love, larceny, and a new sexual order, he must avoid capture and imprisonment, starvation, pandemic, and some particularly bad weather.

My Thoughts

Things We Didn’t See Coming is the story of one young boy, 9 years old on the eve of the millennium, and his subsequent journey through a world irrevocably changed by Y2K. As the world falls slowly apart and suffers through drought, flood, fire and disease, he teeters on the fence of petty crime and respectable government employment and experiences all facets of the evolution of human civilization.

The writing is beautifully stark, poetic and chilling, and the story twists and turns along with his fortunes and falls. This is not a book for the faint-hearted; there are few redeeming moments and little happiness in his journey through his teenage years and adulthood. The characters are flawed, but fit completely in the story – alliances are easily broken and every person is focused on their own and their families survival.

I enjoyed Things We Didn’t See Coming immensely – Mr. Amsterdam’s writing reminded me of Tim Winton or Ian McEwan and I was more than surprised to learn Things We Didn’t See Coming is his debut novel. I look forward to reading more of his work in the very near future.

1 comment:

  1. new2me
    lov post-apocalyptic
    tnx4 reviewing
    on my wishlist



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