Roger Zelazny: Damnation Alley. A jpoc book review.


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JPOC Rating

Eight out of ten.

A great story

My review

This novel is an absolute classic portrayal of near future but post apocalypse Earth. It is set in a US in which what remains of the population is confined largely to the coasts and separated by a wild and dangerous interior. When the population on the East coast is threatened by a deadly disease, the only hope is for a medical supplies to be transported overland. The book follows one man, unreformed biker Hell Tanner who sets out to cross the badlands.

As a setting for a novel this is not very promising. However, the author brings a huge amount of invention and narrative skill to bear and the result is a page turner. Of course, you know from the start that Hell Tanner will reluctantly accept the assignment, that he will face almost certain defeat on the way and that, in the end, he will make it through.

Despite that knowledge, you want to keep reading this book because the story is just so well put together. For me, one of the marks of a really good book is the vividness of the images that it creates in my head. By that test, this book was very good indeed.

If you like SF adventure stories, then track down a copy of this book and you will not be disappointed.