The Master-Knot of Human Fate

Author: Ellis Meredith
Published: 1901
Language: English
Wordcount: 35,800 / 103 pg
Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease: 84.9
LoC Category: PS
Downloads: 681
Added to site: 2007.02.18 16079

A most remarkable and interesting book; it is striking and has a singular purity of style. The circumstances surrounding the man and woman who live its chapters are far removed from the commonplace, in fact entirely and frankly improbably, yet it seems to be the consensus of opinion that the author has succeeded in making her story intensely human.

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waters with a despair on her face that made him groan. It was so like what he felt in his heart. She pointed weakly toward the water, but her lips formed no words.

"Yes," he answered, "it was not a dream."

Dawn found them still sitting by the boulder. The man shook her half roughly.

"Come," he said, "let us go back to the cabin."

"No," she answered. "I cannot believe it; we are both mad. We are dreaming the same mad dream; let us go down, and when we feel the spray on our faces, and taste the brine, it will be time enough to believe."

She began the descent with reckless rapidity, and he followed, checking and holding her back. The roar of the surf grew momentarily louder, but though she looked at him with wild, grieved eyes, she went on. A monster wave dashed up over the rocks and wet them to the skin. She flung out her arms, and would have fallen headlong into the greedy, crawling water, but he caught her and made his way back. The hot, bitter tears on her face brought her


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Average Rating of 3 from 1 reviews: ***
Paulo Respighi

Although society is destroyed, it isn't a dystopian novel; it resembles Robinson Crusoe more. A couple of friends are hiking in the Rocky Mountains, when the continent drops and the oceans flow in, leaving the Rockies as an island chain. The couple finds a cabin which has (not coincidentally) everything they need to survive.
A modern writer would immediately have the couple consoling each other with a roll in the hay, but these two take a year to reconcile themselves to their fate and ponder procreation.
Their religious, philosophic, and personal inclinations and objections to continuing the human race make up the last half of the book, which becomes the kind of drag that some of H.G. Wells' books turn into once his characters start pontificating about society.
The writing is good, though the author has her characters quoting just about everyone who existed in human history. If only the last half of the book was shorter.

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