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Can’t Get Past The Incoherent Beginning

By Shutsumon, author of Tales of the First

Sep 8, 2012: Short version: Incoherent start may be a realistic depiction of someone attempting to keep a journal in the apocalypse but fails as a narrative technique.

Long Version: Setting an apocalyptic novel in an alternative universe where Camping’s Rapture prediction came true is an interesting premise. Unfortunatly "Oh God the Rapture Is Burning" does not live up to the promise of that premise.

The problem is not with the fact that this is a particularly whacked out and apparently non-Christian Apocalypse with Zombies and Interdimensional Invaders. It’s not even that as far as I can tell it doesn’t really adhere to Camping’s particularly idiosyncratic version thereof.

It’s that the storytelling method is so incoherent I can’t tell if there’s been a massive worldwide earthquake such as Camping predicted or not because I have absolutely no idea what’s going on. I guess it didn’t because several days in the TV and DVD are still working which means they have power.

To be fair the chaotic and confusing narration appears to be an attempt at realism rather than a lack of writing skill on the author’s part. Dipping into later entries suggests the narration does become more coherent later. I have to admit if I was living through some sort of supernatural apocalypse my diary would probably an incoherent mess as well. But this isn’t reality it’s epistletory fiction and so has to maintain a mostly coherent narrative – the odd incoherent entry can work but starting off that way no matter how realistic it may be doesn’t work for me.

I should also mention that the warnings suggest that the story contains triggery offensiveness such as rape. I have no idea if this is true and how it is handled if it is because I had no idea what was going on in the parts I read.

1.5 stars

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