Novel Takes Readers Back to Y2K Days

Posted on December 27, 2006

The End as I Know ItFirst-time author Kevin Shay has written a pre-2000 novel set in the day of the Y2K hysteria. Shay's novel is called The End As I Know It: A Novel of Millennial Anxiety. USA Today's review of the book says Shay's main character Randall Knight has a serious case of Y2K fever and winds up in a Y2K survivalist's camp.
Terrified of what will happen on New Year's 2000, Randall Knight embarks on a coast-to-coast Cassandra tour, urging his family, friends and ex-girlfriends to take the looming crisis seriously and prepare for Doomsday. The children's puppeteer throws R.K. Raccoon, Salmon Ella and a pile of paranoid, pessimistic studies he downloaded from this new thing called the Internet into his Oldsmobile. His goal is to rouse a nation that would rather distract itself with a soap opera about the president and an intern.

His first approach is to calmly present people with the facts as he sees them. But after his own family stages an intervention to stop him from being the real Y2K casualty � and Randall responds in a very funny scene by crashing a party thrown by his sister and brother-in-law, a Lewinsky-obsessed reporter for CNN � he finds himself celebrating Thanksgiving at a survivalist's camp in Texas and wondering what went wrong.

Technically, Y2K was a potential problem that was solved by lots of late-night coding by many tech workers but there was plenty of Y2K hysteria that was over-the-top and often bizarre. Author Kevin Shay has created an interesting look back at Y2K with his On This Day Pre-Y2K online feature. Shay was also the former online editor of McSweeney's.

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