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"Goodbye California"
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I finally read Goodbye California by Alastair MacLean. Only 30 years after it was originally published, but in geological terms, that's less than an eyeblink.

I suppose everyone else has already read it, and my comments are superfluous, but I really want to say a couple of things.

I know it was a serious science thriller, but I kept thinking it was a farce, and didn't anybody notice but me? The characters are so predictable and two-dimensional (stereotypical roles), the actions right out of a B-grade movie (which the author himself mentions at one point). It had a lot of padding which I took to mean that the author expected it to be filmed and was making sure that the director and cameramen and sets director had all the details laid out for them.

The last statement at the end by the main character was a post-Katrina shocker, which the author couldn't have foreseen, and was probably, for me, the most dramatic moment in the entire novel.

Yes, California lives under the threat of The Big One and has for a long time. You just make sure that you don't stop under an overpass without leaving yourself a side path out. You don't sleep under a bookcase (not since Northridge, I don't); you have latches on cupboard doors; you have secure screw-on tops for sugar containers, etc. And if you have the brains God gave a mosquito, you have a supply of water and a way to turn off the gas meter.

Don't know about everyone else, but I also keep my gas tank at least half full. That way I can be 125 miles thataway before I have to stop for fuel.

When all the preparations are made, you just go back to living your life.

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