Lost Everything by Brian Francis Slattery

Vastly superior to Cormac McCarthy’s over-hyped and over-rated The Road, Lost Everything is a strange, fey, elegiac tale set in a not-distant-enough future America ravaged by climate change, economic collapse, and civil war.

Sunny Jim, a taciturn man with a violent and troubled past, undertakes a journey up the flooded Susquehanna River valley on a mission to collect his son Aaron, whom he left in the charge of his wild, animistic sister Merry. Accompanying him on the journey is Reverend Bauxite, Jim’s only friend; but also a man with hidden traumas and deep griefs that lie close to his heart.

Pursued by the ghosts of their respective pasts – in Jim’s case, the memories of his recently dead wife Aline, as well as the phantoms of three young men he killed while protecting Merry – the pair are also pursued by soldiers and agents of an occupying army, who have orders to execute them on charges of murder and espionage. But hanging over them all is news from the west and north that the “Big One” – the final, obliterating storm that is the end product of all of humanity’s environmental abuses – is closing in fast….

Moving, disturbing, by turns powerful and provocative, this haunting tale of humanity’s end times is nonetheless a searching meditation on hope and resilience, and how the light of compassion can illuminate even the darkest reaches of the human heart. Highly recommended.

(c) Copyright Brendan E Byrne 2018. All Rights Reserved.