America is falling, ready to join the Roman Empire as a distant memory in the annals of history. The year is 2027. Tired and desperate, the American people are deep in the middle of The Second Great Depression. The Florida coastline is in ruins from the most powerful hurricane on record; a second just like it is bearing down on the state of Texas. For the first time in history, the Middle East has united as one and amassed the most formidable army the world has seen since the Third Reich. A hidden army of terrorists is on American soil.
This is the story of three men: Howard Beck, the world's richest man, also diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome. Richard Dupree, ex-Navy SEAL turned escaped convict. Maxwell Harris, a crippled, burned out Chief of Police of a small Texas town. At first they must fight for their own survival against impossible odds. Finally, the three men must band together to save their beloved country from collapse.
©2012 Richard Stephenson (P)2012 Richard Stephenson
This book has been on my to-be-read list for a long time, and I’m very happy to finally get the chance to read it. What I find missing in some dystopian books that I read is the beginning of the new way of life. Many books start years later with a character/resistance to take down the wicked government. Collapse is a novel that’ll bring the reader through the entire process of how America deteriorates and falls, as well as how a new government rises.
What I enjoyed most about this novel was that, as I said, it takes the reader through the fall of one nation and the rise of a new one. (I don’t feel this is a spoiler due to the New America series title and what’s said in the description.) Even though it’s known that the outcome of this book probably won’t be positive, the journey to the end is filled with much to enjoy. The book follows the struggles of a few group’s of American in the Second Great Depression. These interlaced stories about very different characters can be books all by themselves. That’s how much detail and planning seems to have gone into telling their stories. Stephenson is also able to jump around from story to story without me getting tripped up much of the time. That’s always an obstacle when carrying along with a few storylines in one book.
Whether others agree or not, I felt that much of what happens in this novel could actually happen some years down the road. For me, the fact that I could picture some of this being actual history at some point in the near future added to the emotions of the book. Some details are obviously exaggerated or too “out there” but overall, I see realism in Collapse and that enhances the “horror” these characters face. As with many dystopian books, the ability to fear realism from a book makes me enjoy it that much more. Maybe I’m just sick and enjoy reading about a dark near future, though.
The only real issues I had was that at some points in the book, the story was moved along by things out, rather than allowing the story to move things along. In this I mean some sections were written as “This happened. Then this and this. Followed by…” It wasn’t too troubling, but there were strong sections in this book, and these others were a bit dull. With as much detail of characters, events, and other elements that this book had, it’s expected that some things are glossed over though.
Book 2, Resistance, is on my Kindle now (as well as the short story Spider). I’m looking forward to the next installment of the New America series. If it’s anything like Collapse, I’ll find it hard to put down.
I was completely taken with this book. I couldn't stop listening to it. I think I finished it up in two days.
Collapse is the first of what is supposed to be a four novel series - though with all the storylines set up in the first book I have to wonder i there won't be more than four.
Collapse follows three main characters and many minor characters as the USA falls apart due to natural and man-made disasters and attacts. Stephenson takes us on a detailed exploration of the main characters, dipping into their pasts which builds a rich understanding of what makes Howard, Max, and Richard tick. As we get more involved with their world, and learn how the Collapse happened, we see the three main characters slowly being drawn to the same place. It may seem like a whole book is a lot to use to get to the final point of the book - but the stories are so beautiful woven together that you just have to enjoy the journey. It's been a very long time since a "world" that was created by an author made me want to know more and more of what's happening. I'm so looking forward to the sequel after reading the first few chapters of it.
I'm pretty sure I've found a new author to add to my "must read" list.
The only minor critique I have has to do with the production. I had a bit of a problem understanind what was being said when the "loud speaker" sound effect was used. And I was just confused by the name of one of the characters. It's been a long time since my high school Spanish classes but I thought "Jimenez" should be pronounced with an "H" sound. As I said, it's minor and I wouldn't ding the performance for just that.
The joy of listening to a good book is almost the best experience one can have. In my car on a long drive, sitting on the beach or in the forest, I love listening to books.
I enjoyed listening to this book and will listen to the series as I have many questions about what's next? Although I enjoyed this book very much I don't think it is a very realistic scenario. If you have ever read or listened to "One Second After" or "Patriots" those are more realistic. Still I do like what I have heard so far.
I like Mr Gilmore's delivery. I found him to be an entertaining performer.
I think we should all prepare and be ready for whatever is coming. The US economy is teetering on a fine line right now.
Really enjoy listening to these books sure am glad I was introduced to Audible. Best dollar I've ever spent.
At first I had a problem with the narator/performance but once I got involved in the story line I truly enjoyed it, the narator needs some experience I would guess though. Over all you'll enjoy the book if you pay more attention to the story line than the guy reading it.
remember when you were in grade school and the teacher gave you an incomplete when you weren't giving it your all that's what this book was like.
I suggest that the author go back and read some Stephen King or other good dialogue authors because the dialogue here was terrible. Read "The Stand" for some relevant examples.
now let's talk about the end I'm not giving any spoilers but let's just say that this was a very abrupt ending almost like the author said I reached my max I'm all done
References to Howard Hughes and Star Trek
I'm a strong supporter of the Liberty Movement and I like the facts surrounding the political landscape.
the author is definitely talented just need a lot more work.
More feeling, more action, and nearly any reader
Hesitant, unprepared, pausing in the wrong places, no emotion, no flow - complete disappointment and totally distracting from content. I was alternatively irritated and put to sleep.
A poor reader distracts from content and prevents listener from becoming involved in the story. It's tough to say what redeeming characteristics the book actually offered.
Please allow specific reader reviews to prevent this situation. The authors should also be aware of this disservice to their efforts.
I liked a few of the story lines better than others, typical
Not really, but I liked it
I think I will read this one myself some day
Irritation, after a short time I just had to walk away before Gillmore caused me to pull my hair out!
more believable story line , more professional editing ,
the more it went on the weirder and the worse it became,
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