Surviving the Non-Apocalypse: Thirst by Benjamin Warner

My latest book review over at the Chicago Review of Books is of Benjamin Warner’s Thirst, an engaging novel of speculative fiction

Chicago Review of Books

9781632862150_f4673Benjamin Warner’s debut novel Thirst literally hits the ground running. It opens with the most basic survival decision: fight or flight. Stuck in Beltway traffic for three hours due to an unidentified accident, Eddie Chapman decides to leave his car and run home. As he races past cars and through neighborhoods, it becomes clear that the emergency isn’t confined to the interstate.

“The important thing was to get home before Laura did,” Warner writes. “If he’d stayed with the car and been stuck out there until all hours of the night, she’d bite her thumb down to the bone. He could see her setting the phone on the kitchen table and staring at it—as if by the strength of her concern, she could make it ring.”

The catastrophe is the sudden disappearance of fresh water. Rivers, streams, ponds, and reservoirs haven’t just dried up, they’ve been burnt away in one fell swoop, crippling communication…

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