The best thing about this book? The narration, pure, plain and simple. The way Will Patton bends the timbre of his voice around the words of the story almost steals your attention away from the novel. The overall story is also excellent. Well paced with just the right amount of tension, poignant moments and even romance; it was a very easy listen. In today's world of terrorist suicide bombs and chemical/germ warfare, the Russian Nuclear Threat storyline seems almost quaint.
The only real issue I had with this book and why I say it is very obvious it was written in the 50s is the role the Henry family plays in the story. As the only black family represented in the book, they are viewed in an extremely paternalistic way by the main character. Also, their only reason for existing seems to be to provide for the main character and his adopted family. In a world suddenly plunged into starvation and deprivation , water, chickens, hogs, vegetables and even a life is given by/taken from the Henrys to accommodate Randy Bragg. He seems to expect these sacrifices as his due.
Still, overall, this book is definitely a riveting listen that I would recommend with no reservation.
I chose this title because I so enjoyed another book read by Will Patton. Again, he effortlessly brings life to a wide range of characters in this story of nuclear holocaust aftermath. Written over 50 years ago it feels as if it could have been last week as the results would be the same. With all our technology we are still dependent on the good will of each other in the end. How people survive or don't in the face of enormous challenge is told through the story of the Bragg family. I came to care for 13 year old Ben Franklin as well as his Uncle Randy and many other residents of the ironically named Fort Repose, Florida. Human nature is explored in all it's ugliness and resilience. Racial divides collapse as skills trump color in an emergency. A satisfying read, I mean "listen", on many levels. Chilling and yet heartening.
I did not write a review when I finished the book but a year or two later, it is still memorable - so many books blur a week or so later. Fascinating story with so many layers.... reality of nuclear devastation, learning to live again on bare minimum of resources (even more dramatic today than in 1950s setting of the novel), relationships of the various characters....Definitely worth listening to - different yet engrossing. See also, Will Patton below.
Will Patton is one of the best Audible readers ... dramatic but not overstated... a great story teller. There are certain "Audible" reads where I just feel the listening experience is better than if I had read the book, and this is one of them. Will Patton definitely contributes to that assessment. (FYI - some other better than reading - And There Eyes Were Watching God, White Tiger, Somebody Knows My Name).
It is hard for me to rank any book, but I definitely would rate this as one near the top of my list. While it was written years ago, the reactions of the characters still are valid for our times, provoking thought and introspection. But what really made it enjoyable was the narrator.
I enjoyed watching the growth of the main characters juxtaposed with the descent into base animalistic living of others.
I can't single out one character, but rather want to say Patton has one of the most pleasant, engaging voices of all the narrators I have listened too. I will be looking for other books just to hear his presentation.
When the little girl discovered the hidden room, and music came back into their lives, was one of my favoirte moments. She became the hero she wanted to be just by being curious little girl.
This book also struck a chord for me as I grew up near Omaha and the other bases and missile silos in the area. The reality of living near a definite target area helped me begin to fight the fog of addiction and draw closer to a Higher Power, which eventually became God.
Yes, it has some thought provoking themes and the narration is excellent.
I've only seen him in films. I didn't realize that he was such an excellent storyteller.
This is my mother's favorite book. I had never read it, and so didn't fully understand the attraction. I'm a speculative fiction fan, but the story didn't sound very exciting at first glance. I have to say, that this book is enthralling. It also causes you to ask yourself many questions, some of which include: What qualities are important in a person? What skills do I really have? Could I survive? Also, Will Patton's storytelling ability is first rate.
This is a classic story. The events leading up to the day are a bit dated but afterwards it could easily be in our present time. Great character development and narration. Perfect length for our road trip.
I very much enjoy post-apocalyptic fiction (especially the type without zombies or aliens!). Although written more than 50 years ago, the book portrays a realistic scenario of might happen today in the event of nuclear war -- except that contemporary humans would be even less likely to survive and adapt, because of our even greater reliance on technology and electricity. I'm certainly thinking about beefing up my family's emergency supplies after listening to this book. Makes me want to buy a set of encylopedia and a couple hundred pounds of salt. The narrator does an excellent job.
Gives good insight on what would be important in a distaster. I was pleasantly surprised that this book was written in the 50's - it didn't matter a bit. The needs of the characters would be the same in any decade.
The wonderful character and scene descriptions reminiscent of James Lee Burke
There is no one quite like Will to bring the narrative alive
Chillingly realistic. Having grown up "under the mushroom cloud" backdrop of the cold war, this was really possible.
Too bad Mr. Frank has passed away. I would have loved more from him.
Perhaps this book resonates a little more deeply with those of us in the generation that learned to duck and cover in school, but I found this book to be tremendously satisfying. If the bombs had dropped, this is how I would have wanted it to be. Death and destruction are inevitable, but deliverance is won inch by inch through human endeavor, courage, ingenuity, and compassion.