Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Meet Ryan Daley

And now we meet the last member of the Young Trib Force, the youngest and currently least interesting, Ryan Daley.

Sorry, but I'm having a really hard time snarking this chapter. It's just that boring.

Ryan, like everyone else in this book, lives in Mount Prospect and has friends who go to New Hope Village Church. Now a lesser writer would attempt to show the globe-spanning consequences of this disaster by doing it from different perspectives around the world, like say, Yanomani in the jungles of South America or a Masai in Kenya, but Jerry Jenkins is far above such lesser writers and decides not to frighten his audience by sticking to what's familiar to them: white suburbia.

Now to be fair, it is possible to convey world-spanning consequences with a relatively small cast of characters but it still feels like a Cozy Catastrophe as TV tropes would put it.

Anyway, Ryan is bestest buds with Raymie Steele.

[tangent] Again, why is he nicknamed Raymie and not Rayfie since he's supposed to be Rayford, Jr.[/tangent]

Anyway, they like to hang out at Ryan's house when his parents aren't home, which is totally against the rules, but one day Raymie doesn't want to go and this conversation ensues.

"Well you're not supposed to have anybody over without one of your parents there, right?"

"Hello!" Ryan said. "We've been breaking that rule for a long time. My mom never even suspected."

Now, I must confess this seems a minor sin. I know Ellanjay are going for the whole "Honor thy mother and thy father" approach and this is disobedience but I can't help but remember that when I was twelve, I could stay home by myself if I wanted. Anyway, whatever your view of their sinning may be this hardly seems worth being tortured for seven years over.

Well the two have a conversation and Raymie tries to get his friend to convert to no avail. But Ryan does get to overhear bedroom conversation between Irene and Rayford Steele. Surprisingly, he's not creeped out by it.

"Can you imagine, Rafe?" she was saying, "Jesus coming back to get us before we die?"
Ryan heard the rattle of a newspaper. Mr. Steele said, "Yeah, boy, that would kill me."
Now Mrs. Steele sounded mad. "If I didn't know what would happen to me I wouldn't be so glib about it."

Yes, isn't it wonderful? Jesus is coming to slaughter us all.

And with that cheery note, I leave you until Sunday when we finally get to the actual story.


sophia8 said...

"Can you imagine, Rafe?" she was saying, "Jesus coming back to get us before we die?"
Ryan heard the rattle of a newspaper. Mr. Steele said, "Yeah, boy, that would kill me."

Why is Rayford reading a newspaper in bed, with his wife? And what started Irene talking about Jesus? (I suspect that one is connected to the other.)
And why is this kid listening in to their bedroom talk anyway? Yeah, creeeeepy....

Ruby said...

Ryan's story starts the slowest, but ends up being the most tragic of all, at least from my very-much-not-RTC perspective.

Apocalypse Review said...

In the bedroom? You know, I honestly kept assuming it was at the kitchen table for, like, the longest time. :O

Anonymous said...

Enjoyable blogging so far! Thanks for reading these books so I don't have to.

(For the record, the expression "cozy catastrophe" predates TV Tropes quite a bit. I came across it in the Encyclopaedia of Science Fiction, but it might be even older.)

Anonymous said...

I have heard it said thus: Brian Aldiss created the term in response to John Wyndham's novels in the 1950s.

Apocalypse Review said...

Reading this part. I have a lot of trouble believing that Rayford's and Irene's conversation could be heard throughout the entire house. L&J writing fail.

Also, as Raymie's and Ryan's conversation goes, I have to admit it's pretty easy to get a 12-year-old believing with a lot of religious fervor, but parts of the conversation feel kind of stilted.

Still, it's believable that a friend of Raymie's might feel a bit taken aback by the sudden change. That said, I think the chapter was designed more to appeal to the RTC faux persecuted feeling where all those ~unsaved~ just won't ~listen~.