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After the rain begins as a kind of apocalyptic novel, but an unusual one, with events following each other just a little too quickly, and with its focus on appalling events counterbalanced by an equal focus on the absurd. I have read that John Bowen wrote this novel aiming to be for apocalyptic fiction what Michael Innes had been for the crime novel, and it seems to me that he achieved his aim for that is very much how the story reads: it is more fantasy than science fiction.
The unusual duality is there from the beginning, with this surreal story beginning in the most concrete and easily-visualised location - the lower floor of Foyles in Charing Cross Road. It is here that John Clarke meets a putative rain maker intent on selling his entire rain-making library to Foyle's book buyer before he heads to America. Clarke is a copywriter temporarily trying his hand at journalism and he elects to follow the rain maker to Texas where he has been hired on a fee-for-success basis to engineer the end of a nine year drought. The rain maker succeeds on a scale beyond anything he could have imagined, but it is his final act; as the rain maker plunges to his death the entire world is plunged into an extensive period of unceasing rain.