MAGAZINE BEACH by Lewis Gannett

MAGAZINE BEACH

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KIRKUS REVIEW

 A tale of doom from the author of the 1993 horror novel The Living One. Young Toby Swett, Boston neurotic and lonely guy, has always had a fearful fascination with disaster, personal and otherwise. He knows in his heart that the world will soon end because of two intractable problems: Third World overpopulation and global environmental abuse. It's 2001, and the US is reeling from the same stuff that made headlines in 1996: mad bombers, environmental disasters, the rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer, organized terrorists, riots, gimcrack evangelists crying Armageddon. Then, as he's trying to gain the attention of a beautiful young woman in a restaurant, Toby finds himself in the middle of global catastrophe. He inadvertently moves a microphone that's part of the Federal Anti-Terror Bureau's attempt to track down a bomber. Shortly, all hell breaks loose. It seems that a Harvard professor and environmental extremist, Earnest Trefethen, has concluded that humanity is beyond hope and has planted atomic bombs deep under the ice in Antarctica. When the bombs detonate, the ice will melt, drowning two thirds of the planet. As it happens, a meteor, rather than Trefethen, puts the plan in motion, the full implementation of which sets off a myriad of smaller bombs using electrical impulses as random as telephone calls and transmissions on the Internet. Chaos ensues: Communities lapse into barbarism, communications fail, military operations fail to proceed--and the waters rise. Young Toby tracks Trefethen, but that maddened scientist can't save the world. Boston's Magazine Street, where Toby lives, becomes Magazine Beach. Toby does find true love, but he and the missus will have to move to higher ground. Never really plausible, but Gannett's boundless energy makes his pages streak along, and his hero's self-effacing, almost juvenile persona is engaging.

Pub Date: June 1st, 1996
ISBN: 0-06-105235-3
Page count: 416pp
Publisher: HarperCollins
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15th, 1996




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