CENTRAL PASSAGE by Lawrence Schoonover


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This will inevitably be compared with Shute's On The Beach but for this reader it failed to carry the very human message of that projection into the days of nuclear war. This goes farther cities have been wiped out, leaders climinated- and the ""burning up"" of Central America and the Panama Canal (as the result of an hysterical fortuitous incident) has had unexpected results. A new Ice Age threatens to engulf surviving humanity. But here a note of positive achievement is sounded. Humanity finds its leaders and begins to rebuild the world. But, and this is a shuddering aspect of the whole, there has been born at the moment of holocaust, a new race, boys and girls gifted beyond any expectancy of genius, lacking any moral sense (this is not convincingly handled), and threatening the whole newborn world. Two of these creatures are born to the two families around which the story is built-and at the end their climination- and others of their is accepted with a strange equanimity. ""Normality"" must be maintained at all costs. A cynical undertone here so that one ends by wondering just what Schoonover is trying to say, beyond the sheer horror and futility of nuclear war, with its probabilities. There's a kind of morbid fascination in the reading.

Publisher: Morrow-Sloane