Post apocalyptic listener with some thrillers mixed in. Follow me on twitter at @drewsant
“A World Made By Hand” paints a vivid picture of what life could be like when all of the modern world’s conveniences are gone through lack of oil. If you’re looking for an action packed post apocalypse thriller this probably isn’t for you, but what it lacks in action it more than makes up for in storytelling. Everything from what has happened to make the world this way to the everyday actions of the characters are painted so vividly that you could practically be there. The characters are liable well thought out and the story is so interesting compared to other post-apocalyptic novels. While other novels are almost exclusively small groups or individuals trying to stay alive this book focuses on a whole community. I can’t wait to get into the other books in the series.
The narrator was great with the different characters and really brought the story to life.
Disease and other complications have returned the world to pre-petroleum technology - a traditional setting for this genre. We are in a town that is hobbling along, relying on tradition and custom, rather than any real government or law enforcement. Much of this book, the first in a series (I know there is another one out, but I haven't yet read it), is a great introduction to the protagonist, whose wife has died and whose son left town a few years before. He is in a relatively secret relationship with the wife of his best friend, the local Congregationalist minister (although it is apparently not a secret to the minister - they just never talk about it). A cultish group of men and women have bought the local high school and are fixing it up as a place to live. At times cooperative, they also demonstrate that they are willing to violate others' rights to get them to conform to their expectations and religion. At the same time, a group on the edge of town who supply materials gleaned from garbage dumps and demolition, are also demonstrating their unwillingness to abide by standard modes of behavior; they engage in an apparent murder, coercion, and theft. So with this - and an attractive young widow - as the backdrop, we become engaged in the protagonist's life, a life that is expressed in great detail. But as we get closer to the end of the book, and as we become to suspect that the science fiction in this story may not be limited to just the hypothesized near-future (indeed, it may creep over into fantasy, but we don't ever get to really know in this book), the detail starts to be overlooked. The book rushes to an end. Now I know that the details may come out in the next volume, but the way that the likely war was averted between the town and the inhabitants of the junk yard was just too easy. If the book just ended there, ok. But the protagonist relates a summary of the next few months, and somehow peace happens, his conjugal relationship with the young widow continues, and there is no mention of the reaction of his previous lover, the minister's wife. It just ends too smoothly. I would have preferred a cliff-hanger to the easy gloss that is provided. I happen to relish (and am writing a novel in) this genre, and I really enjoyed this book, up until the last - rushed - part. I have bought the next in the series, but I am a bit worried that the craft of the first three-quarters of the first book will not be achieved in the second. We will see.
In the top 10 (and I have read over 100).
I like the detail the author puts into the characters and the location. I like the detailed descriptions of the way the world downsized and the way people had managed to cope.
His voice and narration sounded right for the lead character. If you close your eyes and listen you can picture him across the table chatting to you.
Not really, I enjoyed the story as a whole.
Just downloaded book two "the witch of hebron'. I hope its as good as this one
Enjoyable,Realistic& Thought Provoking
That the characters showed a world where the main characters were basically moral and Christians.
This book will cause you to be thankful to God for the small things we take for granted.
Robert ,although I was confused about his relationship with his friend's wife.
Yes ,the way the community supported the widow of the man that was killed at the General.
On the trip to Albany I was touched by the compassion the men showed by taking time to bury the poor suicide victim and her husband.
Looking forward to book two.
The pace of the book is good, and without being overly depressing, the author paints a good picture of a world that has run down, where society has had to regroup in small communities and revert to outdated technologies that don't depend on the Internet, electricity, fossil fuels, etc.
The only mildly annoying aspect is that during most dialogues, the "____ said" gets repetitive.
For a more fantastical portrayal of a world that has "moved on" I recommend Stephen King's Dark Tower series.
The guy sounded like the talking pc that you type into and the women's voices were awful.
Great book. Nice concepts based on Kunstler's future predictions of a post oil future with a fun story to go alongside it.
Yes, for a stark wake-up to our lifestyle's wekanesses and societal assumptions.
Yes, he has an intelligent but alternative view on things-
Overall good, a little overdone on some characters.
I didnt hate listening to it but there was nothing really to remember about it when I was done. If you like books about nothing, you will love this one.
Pretty good story and an idea of what the world could be but I would have enjoyed more detail. I would call this 'peak-oil or post apocalyptic lite'. I will listen to book 2 , The Witch of Hebron next.
I enjoyed Jim Meskimen's narration a great deal. Whether he was speaking for Brother Jobe, Wayne Karp, the main character Robert Earl, even the women, he was very flexible. I would definitely listen to an audio narration by him again and would put him in the class of Will Patton as a narrator (Alas, Babylon) - Excellent!
Did it in a couple of sittings, the story line was interesting enough and Jim Meskiman's narrating style were solid.
Minor annoyance: The word