Play it by the book

Updated: Mar 21, 2020, 11:05 IST | Sukanya Datta | Mumbai

Instead of imagining the worst, those under self-quarantine are turning to post-apocalyptic fiction. Here'Apocalypse now FOR Bengaluru-based comics creator Appupen, sucker for dystopian endings, the book to dive into now is The Road by Cormac

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Apocalypse now

FOR Bengaluru-based comics creator Appupen, a "sucker for dystopian endings," the book to dive into now is The Road by Cormac McCarthy. "Set in a post-apocalyptic world, the journey of a father and son is sensitively told." He also suggests Message to Adolf and Ode to Kirihito by Japanese manga artist Osamu Tezuka. "He creates a lot of end-of-the-world scenarios in the aftermath of the bombing in Japan."

One for the kids

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There's no reason why the kids shouldn't join in the fun. Reena Puri, executive editor, Amar Chitra Katha, picks Tripura: The Three Impregnable Cities of Maya by Luis Fernandes. "The cities had a boon that they could only be destroyed when positioned one above the other. But as the residents turned arrogant, Shiva destroyed them with a smile. It tells us how it takes something small to create havoc when we forget that we are only one small part of this earth."

Women at forefront

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Looking for more than just an end-of-the-world scenario? Mumbai-based writer Jerry Pinto suggests The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood. Set against the backdrop of a totalitarian regime, the dystopian novel explores the role of women in a patriarchal society. "The womb is the site of battle, as it always is when society is faced with dropping fertility rates. That's when patriarchy wants control of the power women have: to bring new life into the world."

Survival kit

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Turning to apocalyptic or post-apocalyptic fiction stems from a natural survival instinct. This instinct takes centre stage in William Goldberg's Lord of the Flies, which is one of city-based author Anand Neelakantan's pick. "It shows the origin of how the civilisation will evolve after an apocalypse. It is one of the most poetic novels," he says about the story of a group of British boys stuck on an uninhibited island.

Of human nature

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One of the first few titles that Jagath Tekkate, COO of the Fort bookstore KitabKhana,
is quick to suggest is Portuguese author José Saramago's Blindness, which revolves around a mass epidemic of blindness and the social breakdown that follows. "Saramago tackles all aspects of the human nature — love, fear, jealousy, heroism, violence, happiness and disappointment," Tekkate shares.

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