In the late fall of 2013, a lethal pandemic virus emerges from the Islamic Republic of Indonesia (IRI) and rages unchecked across every continent. When the Jakarta Flu threatens his picture-perfect Maine neighborhood, Alex Fletcher, Iraq War veteran, is ready to do whatever it takes to keep his family safe. As a seasoned sales representative for Biosphere Pharmaceuticals, makers of a leading flu virus treatment, Alex understands what a deadly pandemic means for all of them. He particularly knows that strict isolation is the only guaranteed way to protect his family from the new disease.
With his family and home prepared for an extended period of seclusion, Alex has few real concerns about the growing pandemic. But as the deadliest pandemic in human history ravages northern New England, and starts to unravel the fabric of their Maine neighborhood, he starts to realize that the flu itself is the least of his problems.
A mounting scarcity of food and critical supplies turns most of the neighbors against him, and Alex is forced to confront their unexpected hostility before it goes too far. Just when he thinks it can't get any worse, the very face of human evil arrives on Durham Rd and threatens to destroy them all. Alex and his few remaining friends band together to protect the neighborhood from a threat far deadlier than the flu, as they edge closer to the inevitable confrontation that will test the limits of their humanity.
©2010 Steven Konkoly (P)2012 Sunny Day Audiobooks
If you are looking for a faster moving story, don't look here. In the interest of full disclosure, I enjoy books that keep the story moving and do not become bogged down in endless detail. So, with that in mind, if you enjoy minute detail of every aspect of the story then you will like this book.
The plot was a good idea and it could have been a riveting story. However, it could also have been 8-10 hours long rather than 16. I enjoyed the last two hours of the book, but in the other 14 hours the author spent far too much time on details that added little or nothing to the story line. I understand the need for color and background. Yet, the author went well beyond background and color. I found myself saying "Just move on will you please." As I said, the last two hours were good and I found myself drawn into the story. But, it takes far too long to get to the last 2 hours. In addition, I was turned off by the fact that the author felt the need to include his apparent dislike of conservatives and Fox News. I could not care less about his political views. However, I have an Audible account and listen to fictionalized novels to enjoy a little time away from the continual political wranglings of the day, not to be dragged back into it. Love Fox News or hate Fox News; I don't care. I just don't want to hear about it in a fictionalized novel I bought to get away from all that.
Morton's performance was good. I would listen to him again.
The book does make you think about what would happen in a pandemic or other national disaster that shut down the country's emergency services, medical services, infrastructure and food supply. It did not help that as I was listening to this book, Ebola was sweeping across parts of West Africa. It did not make me a full blown "prepper" but it caused me to realize the need to have a couple of months emergency supplies on hand.
Regardless of what I wrote above, it is not a terrible book. Nevertheless, there are far better books available to spend 16 hours on.
Pretty decent. The NPR, quasi-left wing views of the protagonist and his wife seem to offset the overall nature of the book. Even the flaws of the main character are constructed to build the story and teach an indirect lesson for end of the world scenarios. Even the fact that it's technically not an end of the world story, but merely a really bad time for humanity seems to make the point of a lesson for a prepared mindset.
A well thought through thriller, with good characterisation and plot development. Far more intelligently written than the "Zombie" apocalypse genre, and keeping the scene tight and focussed on a family & their local neighbourhood makes it very relevant to the listener.
Some reviewers have posted that this family seemed to be smug in their prepped - up house whilst the world collapsed around them; my view is that when the chips are down those who have done some preparation will inevitably be better of than those who have not.
The choices get harder and harder for the family as the story develops. Some people crack under the strain and behave in ways that would be unthinkable pre-pandemic.
As usual in the USA based scenario - the hero seems to have on hand a range of firearms to provide "Stand off" protection to his family and to deter potential disaster striking early.
I shudder to think of a similar scenario in Europe where the only people with firearms would be the bad guys, with no Law enforcement available to act as a deterrent.
A strict policy of zero firearms is great in times of peace and plenty, and when the usual 2% of the population who are criminals are being contained by a well staffed police force. Outside of that scenario - well this story illustrates the potential folly of that position and the risk it exposes the general population to. (Think of the London riots where the police where forced into retreat for days at a time).
It has to be Alex, who was shown to be a bit more complex and have more self doubt than the usual lead characters in these situations. Conversely I found Kate his wife more difficult to empathise with , particularly her ability to sleep soundly every night regardless of the previous days harrowing events - why the hero could not persuade her to have her share of "night watch" duty is beyond me !
I take on board other peoples comment on the obvious maturity of his voice. It did not fit with any of the characters ages, and at times that slightly irritated. On balance though, his measured delivery and pacing offset any misgivings and I really enjoyed hearing him narrate.
Probably Charlie - the weird Neighbour who turns good - just to hear some of his views ( for a laugh).
The Jakarta Pandemic gives you a look into the minds of people that prepare for disasters, and those that don't. And the inevitable clash between the two. You sit there and just cringe and people make predictable, and stupid choices. You want to yell at them! This book kept me interested the whole way through. I didn't want it to end. I wanted to know what happened AFTER. I really recommend this if you are into outbreak horror, or just prepping in general. My only complaint was the "inner dialog". The narrator would mumble when the main character was "thinking", or maybe he was mumbling to himself, I'm not sure... but it was really hard to hear it. I feel like I missed some things because of that. Overall, you should get this book.
Being less liberal, also too much useless detail and not enough storyline.
Only if you pay for it.
The main character and his family are vegetarian, anti-gun, NRA, conservative and fox news; but he is still a prepper for some reason.
There are too many times he goes out of his way to bash the right and how stupid it is before switching to "Good Morning America" and "The today show" for "real" news.
The story is very full of descriptions of useless things like; how he carries a cutting knife in a reverse commando grip and edges around the kitchen never exposing his wife to the blade before he cuts vegetables for a meal and light on details regarding the actual pandemic!
Lastly there is how unrealistic much of the story is. Example: Three thugs are ransacking his house and have roughed up his wife. He comes home and yells at them about how much trouble they are going to be in after he calls the police upstairs. They then bumble and argue like the 3 stooges while he goes up stairs, calms the kids, goes to the bedroom closet where a shotgun is kept under some blankets on the shelf. Then goes to a different area where the key to the trigger lock is kept, walks to a 3rd location where the shells are locked up, decides not to load the shot gun anyway (for safety) all while the 3 stooges are still arguing. ect. Basically many things happen in a way a liberal thinks they would, not the way they would happen in real life.
This is basically about the breakdown of civilization from the perspective of one well-prepared family as it figures out how to deal with external threats, mostly from the surrounding suburbs, but some from outside the neighborhood. The main character is frustratingly dense at times, but the story doesn't pull many punches about hot stark the situation could become when supplies are not available. I was entertained.
I'm not really sure why this book left me feeling like I'd wasted my time listening to it. I thoroughly enjoy dystopian fiction, but this one really felt like a waste of time. The main character is prepared for everything except his neighbors. I won't be purchasing the sequels.
Audible is the balm for an itch I can't scratch that sits right between my ears.
If you enjoy post apocalyptic, end of days, global catastrophe titles, this one might leave you a little disappointed. It is a close look at how one family man in the American suburbs deals with a global pandemic on a local scale.
The story if decent and his struggles are well told. The way the story unfolds is fairly predictable and does not really provide much in the way of twists, truly desperate situations or heartbreak. It pretty much happens as you would expect with an american hero protecting his family.
There is little to no content on the pandemic at the global scale, and I am not sure it would have added much to the story even if there was.
If you really like the genre and there is nothing else about give it a try.
Too much repetition. I know the literary device was probably to play on repetition as a way of drawing the reader into the characters' isolated world. But it was a little over the top. Book is 16 hours; could easily have been 12 without missing a beat. Also would have liked more detail on the "pandemic," itself. There were lots of references to death counts and surface symptoms, etc.. but minimal description of victims' "suffering." Would have developed more empathy and sympathy for their plight.
Most likely, with a caveat that you can skip mundane sections without missing anything.
Lulling. Steady. Relaxed.
It already has one.
Hoping the sequel is a little tighter, with less tedium. If I remember correctly, it's significantly shorter.
This book absolutely blew me away - completely plausible effects of a devastating pandemic infection. Great story, well-drawn characters - I love the "sub-narration" of Alex's thoughts to himself, and the narrator distinguished these very well. I absolutely could not stop listening. And, it made me want to stock up on disaster-preparedness supplies....
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