The Vast of Night
Chrissie Hynde Sings Dylan


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Ha. I loved and hated that book.


It was exceedingly grim. He is a great writer though. I wonder if he will ever publish again?

There’s a lot to appreciate in it, but so unrelenting.... And I didn’t find the relenting convincing when it finally came.

I listened to an audiobook, and the way the reader voiced the father’s continual “I know” and “It’s okay” began to annoy me. That contributed to my “how much longer?” feeling.

I doubt he will, Stu, it's been a long time, and he's 86.


The only book I was simultaneously unable to put down and fearful to keep reading. I read it not long before the movie came out in 2009 (which is pretty good, btw).

Someone else recommended the movie to me, but there are some things in the story that I don't much want to have to look at. Descriptions were bad enough.

Actually the movie is somewhat less graphic than the book, surprisingly enough. Still some disturbing images, obviously, but it doesn't revel in them.

It would probably be interesting to see a visual depiction of the book's world. Which reminds me: there seems to be a pretty big logical inconsistency in the premise. If the great poisoning--radiation or whatever--has killed *all* plant and animal life, including apparently that in the ocean, how could there be any people left alive?

Well, there is some food obviously, and then they are eating each other.

It wasn't completely unrelenting. There was at least one, and I think two places where there was some relief, although I may be importing the second one from another book.

I tried to watch the movie, but we had a REALLY small screen at the time and the movie is very dark (physically), so I couldn't tell what was going on. It wasn't until I watched part of the movie that the only color (except in the relenting place) that is ever mentioned is the red of blood.


I may have missed something, but apart from cannibalism I don't think there was any food that wasn't left over from before the disaster. It was all scavenging. The only non-human life that I recall being mentioned was one dog, and I'm not sure whether that was definitely true or just a "maybe." At some point, probably about halfway through, I started actively looking for some sign that there was anything at all left alive besides the few people, and never saw one.

There is definitely a relenting at the end. But although I was relieved I didn't find it all that plausible.

Oh, and I also at some point, maybe also roughly halfway through, began to look for some mention of color besides black and shades of gray. I don't remember noticing any. I remember thinking that it would be interesting to see what a cinematographer would do with it. Maybe I'll watch a bit of the movie, as the Scene I Seriously Do Not Want To See is fairly late in the book.

I watched the trailer for the movie last night. It looks like they injected some action/spectacle stuff that's not in the book, and spent more time on what's pretty much back-story in the book. Trailers can be misleading, I know. But remember the movie of P.D. James' The Children of Man? They bizarrely turned that into something pretty close to an action movie.

They really changed Children of Men. It was strange. They completely did away with the Nativity analogy, which, if I remember correctly, was the climax of the book.

The only scene in the movie that I liked at all was the one where all the chaos stopped, and there was complete silence as the baby passed by.


It's been a long time, but I remember thinking that all they had really taken from the book was the basic premise of the mysterious end of fertility.

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been posted. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


Post a comment

Your Information

(Name is required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)