Sunday, December 16, 2007

The Dead and the Gone

So, you can imagine that part of my impetus to read Life As We Knew It was the shiny arc of this title showing up at work.

The time frame is the same, but this time the setting is NYC and the Morales family's experience of the meteor.

With Papi missing in Puerto Rico, and Mami missing from a hospital in Queens, Alex is the head of the family. He has Bri and Julie to take care of, but he is sure that this is just a glitch, and that his plans of Georgetown and the Presidency may well come to fruition.

Alex is a kid who knows that there are a couple of different NYCs. He is, after all, on scholarship at his school, and some of the boys never let him forget it. He doesn't wonder too much when money loses its' value, and he and schoolmate Kevin turn to body shopping in order to provide what each of their families need.

Somehow I thought that the story told from NYC would hit me harder. I found myself persnickety about facts like feet above sea-level in my borough, and a certain lack of terror that surely would have taken place.

I wonder if it is the lack of first person narrative that led me to yearn for the feeling of Life As We Knew It. That said, however, The Dead and the Gone does several interesting things. I love the way that Pfeffer built the disparity between social classes so easily into the plot line. Rich families do not experience the losses that Alex and his family do. Folks that exist in a perpetually clean NYC do not have to see the filth of the dead, do they? This is a reality of NYC. People who live here have incredibly different existences, one could say solely because of income. Also, I enjoyed the difference between the country and city post apocalyptic experiences.

These books really make readers wonder, "What would I do if...?"


Anonymous said...

I think you mean Life As We Knew It. ...I make the same mistake all the time. How I Live Now is EXCELLENT too.
Maybe you should send me the arc for catching the title mistake! ...nono, I can wait.

Stacy Dillon said...

*blush* WHY do I always do that? I have always confused the titles in my mind. Thanks so much for the comment! If you're serious about the arc, let me know.