[Full review is on my blog.]
When the World Shook
"All I know is that I am not talking of reunion in Mr. Bastin’s kind of conventional heaven, which he speaks about as though to reach it one stumbled through darkness for a minute into a fine new house next door, where excellent servants had made everything ready for your arrival and all the lights were turned up."
- H. Rider Haggard, When the World Shook
, page 38 (HiLoBrow edition)
is a beautiful and silly book. It has very clear flaws and is definitely not one of the best books ever written, but it may turn out to be one of my favorites. This thing is deeply flawed, but I fully intend to read it again and again throughout my life.
The book is, at its core, the adventures of a troubled agnostic and his buddies the atheist and the believer, as they explore a mysterious island and meet the powerful man-god-king asleep in its bowels. They also argue philosophy and theology a lot. Oh and there's World War I? Plus a touch of racism, but not as much as I expected
! Basically, it's your normal "boy widower who suffers anxiety about where we go when we die and what our place in the universe might be meets girl who is an ancient scientifimagical princess who has slept in the Earth for eons and might be a reincarnation of someone who lived during her sleep" story.[Read the rest for where I say the book is "a rollicking fantasy/sci-fi adventure about growing old and coming to terms with change, obsolescence, and death."]