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The City, Not Long After by Pat Murphy
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The City, Not Long After (original 1989; edition 1991)

by Pat Murphy

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
4122038,900 (3.91)23
Member:PhileasHannay
Title:The City, Not Long After
Authors:Pat Murphy
Info:London: Pan, 1991.
Collections:Acquired in 2019, Your library
Rating:
Tags:1989, 20th century, science fiction, unread

Work details

The City, Not Long After by Pat Murphy (1989)

  1. 20
    Vanishing Point by Michaela Roessner (lquilter)
    lquilter: Murphy's The City, Not Long After is another post-apocalyptic story in a Bay Area setting; both explore Bay Area culture and peculiarities, and treat the setting almost as another character.
  2. 00
    A Gift upon the Shore by M. K. Wren (sturlington)
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» See also 23 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 20 (next | show all)
Read for an IRL book group. A post-apocalyptic community of artists use their art to defend San Francisco (population 50) against an invading army (population 150) led by a self-styled General. Written in the late 80's but with a definite 70's sensibility,plus elements of magical realism, which worked for me 90% of the time. Most of the novel is about the post-apocalyptic life of the characters, rural and urban, and I liked it better than the final war, which strayed into YA territory. Interestingly for a book with an anti-war message, the apocalyptic plague was introduced by American peace activists who imported monkeys from a Buddhist monastery in Nepal into the US as a symbol of peace. ( )
  badube | Mar 6, 2019 |
Maybe I'm a cynic, but this story of a post-apocalyptic SF populated by artists -- in which the artists must USE ART to fight off an invading force -- was just a little too fluffy for me. I picked it up to pass the time and it was pleasant enough, and I have to admit it did have a sort of charm, but on the whole nothing about it was especially deep or interesting -- especially given the liberal use of deus ex machina in the form of "the city dreaming" or "the city defending itself" etc. Good airplane read. ( )
  wirehead | Sep 3, 2018 |
This book has been sitting on my bookshelves for years. I can't imagine why I didn't get to it before. It's about peace and war, non-violent and violent disobedience, art, artists, political oppression, and thinking outside the box wrapped in a great story about post-apocalyptic San Francisco. Evidently, Pat Murphy really loves her city. Now I'm going to give it to my daughter. ( )
  Citizenjoyce | Apr 16, 2018 |
Reading this for our book group. Wow, my heart is broken by this book - and the reality of the city of San Francisco being no longer a mecca for artists but a hugely overpriced center for tech bros bro'ing out. I have read a lot of post-apocalyptic fiction; this has similarities to (and is definitely in some sort of conversation across the years with) Earth Abides. Because the plague in the book was clearly started by monkeys, and because 1989 was nearing the peak of the AIDS epidemic in the U.S. (and because HIV very, very roughly "comes from monkeys"), I think it's clear this is a response to the idea that most people would have died out, and reactions would have been varied. The book is also a response to theories of peace and war, how artists would fight, what books can do for people, etc. It's lovely and hard and intense. I loved Jax's character, and I enjoyed Ms. Migdol very much, but I felt that only Jax was truly given much depth despite several other close third-person POV chapters.

That said, I also felt that the book sets up weird differences, oppositions, between artists and farmers, between Buddhists and Christians, between San Francisco and Los Angeles (that's only hinted at, but it's there). I wonder how post-apocalyptic SF writers in SF and LA would write about those cities now. I also think @karlthefog on Twitter might have a few thoughts about his vital role in the resistance. ( )
1 vote SuziSteffen | Feb 20, 2018 |
The story is about a post-apocalypse San Francisco, and although there are human characters, the city is the main character. A young woman comes to San Francisco after her mother's death, bringing a warning about a general who wants to take over the city. The crisis takes place in the last 60 pages of the book, and the "war" is largely symbolic, and I found its resolution not entirely satisfying. But the book makes its own rules and mostly follows them. If it really was the end of the world you could do much worse than living in San Francisco. ( )
  unclebob53703 | Jun 21, 2017 |
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» Add other authors

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Pat Murphyprimary authorall editionscalculated
Bergen, DavidCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Biavasco, AnnamariaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Guani, ValentinaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Harrison, MarkCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Martin, JürgenTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pareja, AlejandroTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
Dedication
For Ned
Who understands Danny-boy better than I ever will
AND
For Richard
You might as well get used to it - sooner or later, they're all for you.
First words
The early morning breeze blew through the vegetable garden in Union Square, shaking the leaves of the bean plants and the lacy carrot tops.
Quotations
"You do it for yourself, not for anyone else. When you make something beautiful, you change. You put something of yourself into the thing you make. You're a different person when you're done."
"I don't really like this business of wanting to restore order," he said. "I think disorder works just fine. There's a lot to be said for chaos. It's a much more creative environment."
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0142404055, Paperback)

Half a generation ago, a gesture in the name of peace turned out to spread plague and disaster. In San Francisco, the survivors are heir to a city transformed. It is a haunted, dreaming place peopled with memories, and in a strange way nearly alive itself. And although it is only beginning to recover from near-ultimate disaster, the city is at risk again. An army of power-hungry men are descending on San Francisco. Teenagers Jax and Danny-boy must lead the fight for freedom using the only weapons they have—art, magic, and the soul of the city itself.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:00:32 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

Jax and Danny-Boy, scrambling to get by in a near-future San Francisco ravaged by plague, become fellow artists in their united struggle to stop a tyrannical general from taking over.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 4 descriptions

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