Ice! (Arnold Federbush)

The first thing that came to my mind when I started reading this book was the movie The Day After Tomorrow. Though the plot aren't exactly identical, there are many similarities between the two. Unfortunately, I enjoyed the book a lot less than I enjoyed the film.

Ice! is about the sudden approach of an ice age, in which the majority of human population is destroyed. The changes that this ice age brings happen over the course of a few weeks, rather than the years that it normally takes.

The novel is mainly set in New York, where the protagonist, Mark Haney predicts sudden climate change. Soon there are ice storms that cause a lot of damage to New York city and it is apparent that very soon the climate change might leave the human race extinct. A group of people including Mark, and the woman he loves, Karen, try to survive in the extreme conditions.

The main reason I didn't enjoy the was the characters, none of whom I liked. Every one of the characters seem to contradict themselves with everything they say. Mark, for example, keeps talking about his grand plans to save civilization, even though his own group of survivors are barely able to keep themselves alive.

Karen, the expert on Eskimo culture, keeps preaching that the group has to live exactly like Eskimos if they are to survive, but changes the rules where she is concerned. At one point she argues with Mark about him carrying his scientific instruments (which Mark considers vital for their survival, and she considers useless) although she herself is lugging around wooden carvings that couldn't help them in any way.

Finally there is one question the survivors are left with -- do they try to save what is left of civilization, or do they live a nomadic life? They make their choice at the end of the book when they decide to abandon Mark and go on searching for better hunting areas.

Although the characters were annoying, the author's way of looking at the end of the human race was interesting. There's a lot of comparison with the extinction of dinosaurs, and there's one interesting conversation where the survivors speculate about what species will take over the planet once they are gone.

Rating : 4/10


My Used Machinery said...

Hi, I m impressed to see this post and now starting to read this book.
Thanks for this post.......

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