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
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....
amazing how this hits home...as a person makes all the sacrafices to prep his home and family for the possibility of a catastrophic situation. He trys to get others to join in or at least take him seriously, but they laugh it off.
But when the crap hits the fan those who laughed come knocking at his door to have him open his stocks to the neighborhood because they were to lazy and narrow-minded to try and prep themselves.
The story beats you over the head with survivalist tactics and a phony-sounding family dynamic. However, the whole time I listened to this, I kept wishing for more realistic scientific background on the virus. The main character is not particularly heroic or special. He doesn't have much/any special knowledge that could have made the story more compelling.
The most intriguing aspect of the story was the the tension of the neighborhood and local political dynamics between families.
Not unless the screen adaptation took it in a different direction.
I guess there wouldn't be much to read if the protagonist actually followed quarantine and didn't interject himself into the neighborhood politics. That said, I'm still disappointed and had to stop listening about half-way through. To go through all the effort to prepare and then blow off basic quarantine to attend neighborhood meetings and try to become a high-profile member just doesn't make sense from the prot.'s perspective. That in addition to the tedium that inevitably resulted from the fine-grained detail given regarding the neighborhood social scene and I was done.
Joseph Morton did an excellent job with the different characters, the story line was believable and held my interest throughout the entire book.
The gun fight
The planning and preparation.
Learned some great survival tips.
It was interesting to see a little subculture and how it might react in a situation like this (plague/flu) - a neighborhood/community. I thought it interesting that there was so much resentment toward the people who planned ahead and had enough - and that they obviously snickered about their solar panels etc. etc. long before they all wanted them to share their food with them. I like Alex -- even though he was a marine, he wasn't nearly as aggressive as my own husband would've been in this situation -- he was way more controlled than I thought realistic - though maybe that was the PTSD counseling kicking in...
My worst complaint was the wife, and I vocalized this while on my commute several times. Get off your butt and do something for goodness' sake. I can understand shielding your children as much as possible, but this wife just seemed way too clueless for the most part. Ah well -- it ended better.
I'd definitely recommend this book if you like disaster/post-apocalyptic stories.
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