Left Behind: The Trauma/Curiosity of a World Without Children

.. Or she just might have seen that one more person walking by, shell-shocked, with the haunted look of the newly childless

.. But of course the world of Left Behind isn’t even a little bit like that. The Event — the spontaneous disintegration of every child on Earth — is regarded as little more than a curiosity.

This is, again, an insurmountable, fatal failure for this book. It turns every scene in the novel into something monstrous and horrifying. Think again of the previous chapter’s account of Buck and Chloe’s giddy, flirtatious stroll through the airport terminal.

.. Bailey updates him on “developments at the U.N.” In LB, the disappearance of 2 billion people is scarcely noticed, but the possibility of a new secretary-general at the United Nations has everyone on the edge of their seats like they’re watching the ninth inning of a perfect game.

.. They try to portray him both as a hardbitten, cynical pessimist and as a Kumbaya-singing hippy who thinks flowers and folk songs will bring about world peace.

.. In any case, Carpathia’s ridiculous scheme has nothing to do with disarmament, but with the consolidation of power. He’s not asking the world to lay down its arms, but to hand those arms over to him

.. That wouldn’t work. Nobody — not even a liberal media elite — would ever agree to such a thing. Carpathia’s plan to seize a global monopoly on military force would never happen because people are “so tired of war and violence.” Such a plan might work, however, if people were sufficiently afraid of war and violence. “Give me absolute power and we’ll all hold hands in unity” doesn’t work, but “Give me absolute power and I’ll protect you from the Evil Bad People” often does.

.. It would have made far more sense for Carpathia to have followed the classic demagogue’s path, rising to power by promising stability amid the chaos, turmoil, and trauma of the post-Event world. That would also have made more sense of the authors’ obsession with the Antichrist’s peace treaty with Israel, and of his eventual betrayal of that agreement