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Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Love in the Ruins by Walker Percy

Speculation about a future dystopia makes for good fiction; "1984", "A Brave New World", and "Farenheit 451" are all considered classics for the frightening visions they present, as well as insight into modern day circumstances. In "Love in the Ruins," however, Percy's "future America" startles not for its discrepancies with modern day, but instead for its remarkable similarities with our own culture. Percy focuses his prophetic tale on the bizarre creature that is man, and finds terror not in physical destruction, or endless war, but instead in mankind's lack of self-knowledge. The underlying commentary on the self-destructive nature of our culture is subtle but directly on target, and Percy is wise enough to offer no easy answers to the difficult questions that this novel poses. - Mark Geoffriau