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I found this a breath of fresh air, not the usual gun obsessed stuff with Zombies or Vampires running around everywhere.
This book focuses on one families attempt to survive a Spanish flu type outbreak similar to that of 1919. Most of the story examines human nature and paints an all too realistic picture of what could happen when medical and infrastructure resources get over stretched.
If the narrator had been better I would have given it 5 stars but he did a reasonable job.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful
I'm a little over half way done with this book, but I am going to go ahead and write this review, because at this point I've been mostly bored, so even if the book does pick up the pace, half of the book was still boring, thus earning 3 stars. I'll listen to the rest, because I'm this far in, and I find the premise of a pandemic highly interesting. So, I'm just hoping something will actually happen (and hopefully not all in the last chapter - pet peeve).
Some of the problem is the semi-bland narration. It's not offensive (like too many I've listened to), but makes the characters sound bored most of the time.
The writer talks far too much about details that don't matter. I don't really care which shoe a character puts on first. I like details about surroundings or characters that actually tell me something about what/who they are. But too many details in this book don't enlighten you in any way, they just fill pages and waste time.
Yes, some of these kinds of details are also in The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, but they told you something about the character and there were far fewer than in this book.
Are good editors so hard to find? Or is nobody listening to the editors? It just seems that too many books suffer from a lack of editing :(
8 of 9 people found this review helpful
From the reviews I read I thought this was going to be an intelligent EOTW survival novel centered on family facing the real threat of a pandemic. In my opinion it only made my blood pressure go up without offering much else.
The good: This book tackles the subject of a pandemic with a fair degree of accuracy. It portrays a virus that originates overseas and quickly spreads to all nations, including the USA. The book centers around one family that apparently expected such a scenario and stocked up appropriately. As the pandemic worsens so does the behavior of the neighbors that surround this family. The tensions between families and neighbors is realistic.
The bad: The main character, Alex, is described as a former marine who saw combat, but approaches situations in this book like a naive idiot at times. The author tells the reader/listener about the chaos and societal breakdown going on all around the main characters, yet they seem to sleep soundly and play games like they're living through a trivial snow storm and the roads are just temporarily closed. They seem to have every provision necessary to cope with this chaos and don't need to rely on anyone but themselves. The publisher must have forced the author to cut back on the "conservatives are idiots, and liberal progressives are smarter" banter, knowing that this would alienate most of the readers/listeners to this type of novel. However, this northeastern mentality still creeps out and is scattered throughout the story. Did it matter to the story that family hates Fox news, is PC in their conversation, does not mention faith and is disgusted at the thought of eating red meat? I'm no neo-con but It made me relate that much less to the main characters. I felt an undertone that the author is somewhat satisfied writing about the world's mass population dying off and leaving the "intellectuals" remaining.
This isn't a terrible book but I wouldn't listen to it again. I wasn't left thinking that I got anything substantially useful from having spent the time listening to it.
42 of 54 people found this review helpful