The doomsday book of fairy tales A novel

Emily Brewes, 1982-

Book - 2021

"An astounding tale about a dangerous quest in an eerie post-climate collapse world. Twenty-five years earlier, when the Vanderchucks followed their neighbours into the Underground, Jesse thought that was it. Then Jesse's little sister, Olivia, ran away, and their mother died. Now, years later, Jesse meets a talking dog and everything changes. Fighting illness and a hostile world with no sympathy, Jesse and Doggo embark on a fool's errand to find Olivia -- or die trying. Along the... way, Jesse spins a series of stories from threads of memories, weaving together the past, present, and future."--

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Subjects
Genres
Dystopian fiction
Fantasy fiction
Novels
Published
Toronto : Dundurn Press [2021]
Language
English
Physical Description
281 pages ; 22 cm
ISBN
9781459747005
1459747003
Main Author
Emily Brewes, 1982- (author)
Review by Booklist Reviews

Taking place in a grim, climate catastrophe–filled future that feels all too real, The Doomsday Book of Fairy Tales follows Jesse Vanderchuck as they navigate the disasters that spell the end of the world, from the retreat by most of surviving humanity to the Underground, where survival is eked out among the scraps of the world above, to Jesse's quest to find connection and family in a harsh, often unfamiliar world. Brewes' debut work may have been born of a past National Novel Writing Month idea, but Jesse's persistent mystery illness and the fear with which disease is treated in general bring an extra "ripped from the headlines" urgency to the work. The world presented is bleak, which highlights the occasional kindness offered by a friend or stranger and the stories Jesse tells while traveling. These half-remembered tales underline the recurring struggles of loss, isolation, atonement, and hope. Recommended for those who enjoy dying underground cities like those found in Fallout vaults or Jeanne DuPrau's The City of Ember (2003) but also want a more personal, meditative story. Copyright 2021 Booklist Reviews.

Review by Publishers Weekly Reviews

Brewes's solid, genre-bending debut opens on a near-future Earth that's been destroyed by the ravages of climate change. Food scarcity, extreme weather, and dwindling options drove the Vanderchuck family into the Underground when Jesse Vanderchuck was 15. Thirty-five years later, Jesse makes his way to the surface again. With Doggo the talking dog by his side, he sets off in search of his long-lost sister, Olivia, who ran away when she was 12. Olivia was never able to forgive their mother for leaving their father behind on the surface, and with that knowledge, Jesse follows the suspicion that Olivia has headed back to their childhood home. Along the way, while battling his age and hunger, Jesse tells a series of charming fairy tales to his dog companion, and the tales intertwine with Jesse's journey until what's real and what's part of his imagination become blurred. Though the ending is shockingly abrupt, Jesse's introspective narration successfully draws the reader in. Dark and a little absurd, this will appeal to fans of intimate postapocalyptic tales. (June) Copyright 2021 Publishers Weekly.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

When he meets a talking dog while picking through trash heaps in Toronto’s abandoned subway tunnels, Jesse Vanderchuck and his new friend Doggo embark on a fool’s errand to find Jesse’s little sister, who fled the Underground, or die trying. Original.

Review by Publisher Summary 2

When he meets a talking dog while picking through trash heaps in Toronto's abandoned subway tunnels, Jesse Vanderchuck and his new friend Doggo embark on a fool's errand to find Jesse's little sister, who fled the Underground, or die trying.

Review by Publisher Summary 3

Twenty-five years after humanity’s narrow escape from climate collapse, Jesse Vanderchuck meets a talking dog named Doggo. Together, they leave the Underground to find Jesse’s sister and a new life. Throughout, Jesse weaves a series of fantastic fairy tales from threads of memory.

Review by Publisher Summary 4

An astounding tale of a dangerous quest, a talking dog, and fragmented fairy tales in an eerie post-climate collapse future.

A long time ago, the Vanderchucks fled the growing climate disaster and followed their neighbours into the Underground. Jesse Vanderchuck thought it was the end. Of the world. Of life. Eventually, Jesse’s little sister, Olivia, ran away and Jesse started picking through trash heaps in Toronto’s abandoned subway tunnels. Day in, day out.

Now, years later, Jesse meets a talking dog. Fighting illness and the hostile world aboveground, Jesse and Doggo embark on a fool’s errand to find Olivia — or die trying. Along the way, Jesse spins a series of fairy tales from threads of memories, weaving together the past, present, and future into stories of brave girls, of cunning lads, of love in the face of wickedness, and of hope in the midst of despair.

Review by Publisher Summary 5

An astounding tale about a dangerous quest in an eerie post–climate collapse world.Twenty-five years earlier, when the Vanderchucks followed their neighbours into the Underground, Jesse thought that was it. Then Jesse’s little sister, Olivia, ran away, and their mother died. Now, years later, Jesse meets a talking dog and everything changes. Fighting illness and a hostile world with no sympathy, Jesse and Doggo embark on a fool’s errand to find Olivia — or die trying. Along the way, Jesse spins a series of stories from threads of memories, weaving together the past, present, and future.

Review by Publisher Summary 6

Twenty-five years after humanity’s narrow escape from climate collapse, Jesse Vanderchuck meets a talking dog named Doggo. Together, they leave the Underground to find Jesse’s sister and a new life. Throughout, Jesse weaves a series of fantastic fairy tales from threads of memory.