"On for the Long Haul" substantiates the hysteria of the 'duck and cover' generation. The characters are put into a bizarre situation that borders on historical realism. The characters, Bayard Wemp, a successful business man who was used to luxury living, his highstrung neurotic wife, Fran, and their two adolescent children Melissa and Marcia, together are determined to survive an overpowering feeling of apocalyptic fever. Mr. Wemp enters into a nefarious real estate deal to purchase thirty-five acres of land in the secluded area of Bounceback, Montana. T.C. Boyle's references to "bomb shelters under patios," "world wide economic callapse,"  Kaddafi with "The Bomb" and the "temporarily out of food" signs suggesting possible rationing further imitate Bayards imaginary need to be prepared. T. C. Boyle writes, "Civilization itself--was on the brink of a catastrophe that would make the Dark Ages look like a Sunday-afternoon softball game."  The situation the main character hopes will eventually work itself out ironically ends with his demise.
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