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By Midge Lyndee
Book Review 


The TALE: Tehachapi Art, Literature and Entertainment


October 15, 2022

Are you disaster ready? During the last few years, movies and shows have had us fleeing from Jurassic dinosaurs, playing Battleship for real against alien attacks and trying to outrun the ravages of earthquakes up and down California, as well as across the globe. The earth has actually opened up at the tar pits in the current TV show "La Brea," swallowing a bunch of people into an upside down world. We are offered a variety of books and shows that promise to scare the living daylights out of us, plunge us into darkness and feel the menacing breath of some creature breathing down our necks. Which ones do you choose?

I lived under Mt. Rainier during my college days and can attest to its majesty and mystique. Both beautiful and a monstrous form looming above highly populated areas in the Pacific Northwest, students were warned that a sudden Mt. St. Helens-like eruption happening at Rainier would be devastating. Yet, we carried on normally day after day, only stopping to look up when the almost daily clouds suddenly parted and the mountain towered shockingly close. In K. Lucas' novel "Rainier," a geologist from the U.S. Geological Survey sees signs that an eruption is imminent. He tries to warn people, but most won't listen. A 9-1-1 dispatcher, a man with elderly parents and Tim, the geologist, do what they can to save those they love.

There are lava flows, landslides and raining ash, all expected with an eruption. But the most dangerous threat they must all face are the millions of people who initially ignored the warnings and are suddenly driven by immense fear, clawing at everything and everyone to take the lead to safety. Who will survive?

In "A Ghost Arrives" by Abe Moss, something shows up after the sun goes down. There are footsteps and voices in the dark and that is only an introduction to family secrets in the Harper household. Is the cockatiel Darcy written into the story for comical relief in contrast to the many horrors revealed? Will the story get under your skin with astral projection, dark magic and a touch of Egyptian mysticism? Is there truly revenge from the grave? Or will the whole story leave you stone cold in the process? Hmmmmm?

The end of the world is not always convenient as we find out in "Alpha Physics" by Alex Kozlowski. One minute people are living normally, the next moment everything is altered. In this book, nature itself changes. Those left alive must survive with the very laws of physics drastically compromised. The world, now full of strangeness and actual monsters, means survival is up to one's ability to adjust quickly to new learning curves in a moment to moment process. Adrian, who had been working in an isolated jungle environment, must fight his way back to what is left of the human population and his family. Will they be there?

Let us not forget "The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid" by Linda Williams. Walking through the woods, a little old lady realizes that a pair of shoes are following her. As she walks, other pieces of clothing are added. She makes her way home and slams the door tight, but... there is a Knock Knock Knock at her door! To find out what is on the other side, one must first find this book. May I suggest reading it by flashlight to add a certain aura and atmosphere?

Disasters can come in all shapes, sizes and situations, from physical to the mystical, shredding lives and emotions in a flash. Learning a balance between practical awareness and preparation helps stymie worry when nothing happens, and helps control panic when something does. The lists are out there for what to have packed and ready for earthquakes, flash floods, fires, meteor crashes and alien attacks. I make it a priority to add books, playing cards, pen, paper and sweets. I know myself; I like to be entertained even if I have to do so alone in my car or in an isolated cave somewhere. The sweets are a definite bonus.

We have a mantra in our family, "Whatever happens, we will figure it out." And I believe that to be true. We have used it successfully. We also try to channel our stubbornness into positive action. We don't give up, whether it is a flat tire in the desert or an early morning earthquake (which we have had quite a few and survived). I think all the movies, shows and books are given to us as exercise in order to expand our perceptions and to keep our thinking sharp. Just like body muscles, our survival muscles must be kept fit as well. So, don't think you are wasting time watching the newest or old disaster movie or curling up to read a spectacular catastrophe! They are a good stretch. And don't forget the sweets! Halloween candy works great!

Good Books.

Good reading.

*Midge Lyn'dee is a fictional character used for the purpose of entertainment though the reviews are real and sincere.


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