And that's the funny thing about the end of the world, they never tell you how long it's going to take. Too bad they couldn't be more specific.
BRONZE MEDAL - LITERARY FICTION - READERS' FAVORITE
FINALIST - LITERARY FICTION - INTERNATIONAL BOOK AWARDS
The earth's magnetic poles have reversed and civilization has just had its clock reset to the great cosmic flashing 12:00am from almost a million years ago, and humanity, and everybody in it, is pretty much forgetting everything it learned since the last time.
Everybody except Hertell Daggett, who remembers pretty much everything because he'd once been shot in the head — the doctors got the bullet out, but missed a few tiny specks of copper that remained, floating inside his brain, connecting him to the things everybody else on earth is slowly forgetting.
Hertell sees an opportunity to start civilization all over again, and maybe even get it right this time. What could possibly go wrong?
Water Memory (re)acquaints us with Hertell Daggett Jr. who was once a celebrated physicist. A stray, celebratory bullet to the head left him qualified only to manage Li’l Pal Heaven, a forty acre pet cemetery located above a vast system of lava tubes in Bakersfield, California. As the book opens though, Hertell has become a father figure in a community that opted out of our civilization in book 1 of the Dog Logic triptych.
Upon his accidentally divine return to our near-future society, Hertell finds a world slowly slipping into chaos. A rather mundane magnetic pole reversal is rapidly eroding humans’ long-term memories. Hertell is exempt owing to that stray bullet.
While uniquely qualified to guide humanity through its off-brand apocalypse, Hertell isn’t sure he wants the job. Not under the circumstances, which include being a family man, having celebrity thrust upon him, and a congressional subpoena.
Hertell’s state of affairs seem like a natural extension of Hank Devereaux Jr.’s (Straight Man, 1997). Both shine fresh daylight on our big picture absurdities, which are often too near to spot. With apologies to Arthur C. Clarke, a miracle is just a scientific event we don't understand yet. Strelich artfully winds this theme around Hertell like a cord around a top, then yanks it off and sends him spinning through our silly society, ungracefully but transcendently.
Great book that bridges dystopian and post apocalyptic genres.