Reading Journal

What I'm reading

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Love in the Ruins, by Walker Percy

This was possibly the best book I've read all year, maybe excepting A Man in Full by Tom Wolfe. The full title is Love in the Ruins: The Adventures of a Bad Catholic at a Time Near the End of the World

It's a tale of a future United States, in which left and right have crystallized into their most strident and extreme forms. The only doctors remaining are psychiatrists, who treat liberals for nervous disorders, and proctologists, who treat conservatives for large bowel complaints. The liberals stand mainly for euthanasia, abortion, etc. The conservatives on the other hand are extremely patriotic and hold an annual pro-am golf tournament in honor of "Jesus Christ: the greatest pro of them all."

Society meanwhile has crumbled, grass growing on the interstate. Into this comes a psychiatrist, Dr. Tom More. He has invented a device which can scientifically detect the state of a person's psyche and even restore it to wholeness. Chaos ensues when a foundation grant representative (who may be the devil incarnate) gets hold of his device.

There's a great quote at the beginning of the book. There are lots of other funny and profound parts, but they're mainly in the dialogue and I don't want to type them all in.

"Now in these dread latter days of the old violent beloved U.S.A and of the Christ-forgetting Christ-haunted death-dealing Western world I came to myself in a grove of young pines and the question came to me: has it happened at last?

Two more hours should tell the story. One way or the other. Either I am right and a catastrophe will occur, or it won't and I'm crazy. In either case the outlook is not so good."


  • At 3:01 PM, Blogger Holly said…

    Wow, you made it sound so interesting... maybe I will read it too.


Post a Comment

<< Home