Thursday, November 3, 2011

The Witch of Hebron by James Howard Kunstler

The Witch of Hebron: A World Made by Hand Novel

Sometime in the post-apocalyptic future in upstate New York, in Washington County, which is cut off from the rest of the world, a world without electricity or gasoline or telephone or cell phone service, a county that is now sparsely populated after the Mexican flu had killed off a large amount of the remaining population,  lives an 11 year old boy named Jasper who is learning how to be a doctor from his father.  When a horse kills his dog, Jasper poisons the horse and runs away.  The horse belonged to Brother Jobe, the strangely powered leader of New Faith, a Christian cult  that has moved into town which has a fat, epileptic woman who can see the future when she has seizures as it's "Precious Mother".
Jasper runs away after poisoning the horse and is forced to travel with a young insane bandit who calls himself Billy Bones and kills a lot of people.
Jasper's father and brother Jobe and others search for Jasper and we follow his travels with Billy. 
Somewhere around the middle of the book, we are introduced to the "witch of Hebron" who is either a prostitute or a witch or both.  She does not play a large part in the story and I am not sure why the book is titled after her.
I found some of the characters to be underdeveloped  - such as the "Precious Mother", and Brother Jobe's strange abilities are never really explained.  The character of the "witch" is also not really developed well either.  The author uses a lot of words that I had never heard of such as "ineluctable", "putative", "pentimento", and "pronking". 
I found several parts of the book to be distasteful and disgusting. 
I received this book free to review from Goodreads.

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