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Ricky Buchanan ([personal profile] jeshyr) wrote in [community profile] post_apocalypse2010-04-05 08:18 pm

Post Apocalypse ... but only with happy endings?

OK, I just watched 'The Road' last week and yes it was a good movie in terms of movie making and all that but OMG IT WAS SO DEPRESSING. And I hated the unclear ending because basically all of the possibilities there were for how it could resolve were depressing too. [ObFangirl: OTOH Viggo Mortensen is always nice to look at...]

And I remember on the first post a bunch of people were saying they have read S M Stirling's Emberverse/Nantucketverse stories and that they were rather like fanfic. And yes they certainly are, more so as the story goes along and it veers into the realms more of fantasy than reality-with-Apocalypse, but I really enjoyed them all.

And I have read Parable Of The Sower which has a positive ending and that was the first post-apocalypse book I'd ever read and I literally got to the end and started at the beginning again I found it so brilliant! I really touched something inside me. I have started reading Parable of the Talents but I don't think I ever got to the end, although that may have had more to do with my RL circumstances at the time than the book itself. I should try it again but I have a feeling I got stuck when it looked like the ending would be really depressing...

I was wondering if others had the same experience - that if the survivors look to have a decent chance at building something that will work, the book is enjoyable ... whereas if it's just a slow decent into decay and death then it's just depressing. What do you find?

Cheers,
Ricky
torachan: (Default)

[personal profile] torachan 2010-04-05 11:38 am (UTC)(link)
I like all types of post-apocalyptic fiction (I loved The Road), but fiction can't affect my mood, so my reaction to everything is pretty much it was cool or it was boring. :p I can see why someone might say X is depressing, but I don't feel it on an emotional level so it's irrelevant to me.

However, I haven't seen the movie of The Road and I'm wondering if it might be different to the book? Because the book had what I would call a hopeful ending.

Anyway, the first post-apocalyptic book I ever read was Alas, Babylon, which is about a group of people who survive a nuclear holocaust. The focus is all on them banding together and working to rebuild and it's surprisingly upbeat.

[identity profile] zahrawithaz.livejournal.com 2010-04-07 04:12 pm (UTC)(link)
I've only read the book The Road (not seen the film), and I hated it and had trouble taking it seriously because of the gender politics, which in a weird way protected me from the depression it leaks across the page, but hell yeah! I know what you're talking about in that story. There I think it's actually much more the structure and way in which the world is built -- McCarthy has created a world which throws out all basic scientific plausibility to make it harder on his main characters, and there's an element of malice in his actual world-building that I felt more deeply in terms of depression than the plot or its resolution. (Though for me it backfired--because it was Too Bad to Be True, I experienced it more as the author torturing his characters.)

A lot of what draws me to post-apocalyptic stories is the sense of survival in difficult circumstances--people banding together and working hard to live in the face of insurmountable odds--so I do identify with what you're describing. I like the process of rebuilding.

That said, I can think of an exception--Into the Forest by Jean Hegland ends in a way that makes it unlikely the characters will survive, but it's a very upbeat ending, actually. Hard to describe without spoiling.