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Going Home: The Survivalist Series, Book 1 | [A. American]

Going Home: The Survivalist Series, Book 1

If society collapsed, could you survive? When Morgan Carter's car breaks down 250 miles from his home, he figures his weekend plans are ruined. But things are about to get much, much worse: the country's power grid has collapsed. There is no electricity, no running water, no Internet, and no way to know when normalcy will be restored - if it ever will be.
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Publisher's Summary

If society collapsed, could you survive?

When Morgan Carter's car breaks down 250 miles from his home, he figures his weekend plans are ruined. But things are about to get much, much worse: The country's power grid has collapsed. There is no electricity, no running water, no Internet, and no way to know when normalcy will be restored - if it ever will be.

An avid survivalist, Morgan takes to the road with his prepper pack on his back. During the grueling trek from Tallahassee to his home in Lake County, chaos threatens his every step but Morgan is hell-bent on getting home to his wife and daughters - and he'll do whatever it takes to make that happen.

Fans of James Wesley Rawles, William R. Forstchen's One Second After, and The End by G. Michael Hopf will revel in A. American's apocalyptic tale.

©2013 A. American (P)2013 Penguin Audiobooks

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  •  
    Randall Haltom City, TX, USA 02-01-14
    Randall Haltom City, TX, USA 02-01-14 Member Since 2005
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    "A page turner, if. . ."
    Where does Going Home rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    If audio books had pages, this entire series would be a page turner. I enjoy TEOTWAWKI themed books because they tend to have lots of action plus I like to see/hear how different authors view life on the other side of civilization. The "Going Home" series is one of the best I've read.


    What did you like best about this story?

    A. American uses the TEOTWAWKI standard device, an EMP (Electro Magnetic Pulse) to usher in the end of civilization. This quickly gets us to the meat of the story. He introduces plenty of main characters, often developing multiple story lines so we can see each character develop. I think the author does an excellent job of painting what the other side of civilization will look like (since we agree so often, he must be a genius, right?). He weaves in survival tips and strategies, some of which make sense, some I could argue with. It is important to note that nobody really knows how people will react. Any theory posited by an author should be used as a launching point for your own thought exploration. Hence, the reason I enjoy reading this genre.


    Which character – as performed by Duke Fontaine – was your favorite?

    The retired Army Sargent First Class is my favorite character. His role would be useless without his well selected team but together they make a great story. NOTE: I cannot judge the reader's performance because I listen in a fast forward mode which speeds up the beat and changes the reader's pitch etc.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Re: Listening in one sitting. . . .not only did I panic when my battery needed charging, I loaded the other two books on my player so I wouldn't have to stop!


    18 of 20 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Denis G. Dimick Los Alamos, NM USA 04-27-14
    Denis G. Dimick Los Alamos, NM USA 04-27-14 Member Since 2009
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    "Very good series!"

    Normally after 3 books a series gets stale, however, A. American has managed to hook me in, and now I'm waiting for book 4 to come out this summer.

    A mix of 1 Second After, and the failure of society after a Zombie attack, this time the "Zombies" are the DHS; who doesn't like to hate the DHS?

    I wouldn't want to call this a "Prepper" book, however, I like that this book made me think about the story, even after listening to the 3 books in the series. If you're thinking about becoming a "Prepper", this book is going to make you think more then you may have before. Are you really ready?

    Fontaine does a really good job keeping you in the story, so even with 3 books it's not sounding old.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Nathan SPRINGVILLE, UT, United States 04-11-14
    Nathan SPRINGVILLE, UT, United States 04-11-14 Member Since 2013

    Love my family....along with guitars, cameras, and a good book!

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    "Loved it!"

    What a great book! For those of us out there that enjoy a good SHTF novel...this is a good one. Not as good as One Second After in my opinion, but still a very good book. This one was a little different from a lot of the others in that the story follows a few people as they attempt to get home after everything falls apart. They are stranded a few hundred miles form home and the journey to get home is what this book is about.

    I think that some of the situations, and the short amount of time it takes for society to completely degrade, might be a little bit of a stretch...but then again, who knows. We, as a society, MUST spend some time and make plans for how we are going to handle these kinds of possible scenarios. The thing that I really like about these kind of books, is that IT COULD REALLY HAPPEN! When you read this book, it's almost like you are reading a self-help book. I love to take the situations that the characters are put into and think about how I would handle them. Would I do something different....would I be able to, emotionally or physically, do what needs to be done. It is something that I think about a lot, and personally prepare for. LOVE IT!

    The narrator also did a fine job. Great, consistent characterization and voicing. This one is a winner!

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Chris Hookway Barrington, NH, US 02-19-14
    Chris Hookway Barrington, NH, US 02-19-14 Member Since 2012
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    "Intriguing "prepper" story, terrible writing."

    After reading this story, I decided to write a review. I sat down at my desk, and turned on my HP Pavillion desktop computer, running 32 bit Windows 7 Pro on an Intel Core i5 650 at 3.33 GHz. I turned on the computer, listening to the whir of the fans and the clicking of hard drive starting up. When the screen came up, I logged in with my regular user account, rather than the admin account I created for emergencies. As I did so, I thought about my other computer, my favorite actually, that is a Dell desktop with a Phenom II motherboard running Linux Mint 16 Cinnamon with a modified desktop, a custom dock and 4 standard workspaces. Once the OS booted, I saw that I had 14 new emails, many of which could be about work. Then I ran Chrome version 32.0.1700.107 m, as I like it better than IE 11 or Firefox, and I logged into Audible.com. I navigated to my library and found the option to review this book there. I considered what the best headline would be for quite a while, not knowing how to capture my feelings about this book in one statement. I finally arrived at "Intriguing 'prepper' story, terrible writing", and typed it in. And, so I wrote a review in the style of writing that the book is written in - with waaaaaay too much irrelevant detail and technical jargon that bogs down the whole experience immeasurably.

    I did enjoy the story somewhat, and find it an interesting "what if" about the cause and aftermath of the downfall of our technological society, but that was in spite of the very poor quality of the writing. The story unfortunately has the feel of a first draft rushed to publication (maybe to get it out there before the electricity stops flowing), which needs some hefty revising to become even moderately polished - like a great idea for a story that hasn't yet come to fruition. There were times when I didn't want to put it down, but there were also at least as many when I yelled "Come on!! DO something! I am not interested in what brand of knife that guy was carrying, what the specifications of his rope are, or how he cooked breakfast, and I don't even know what an SVG is!!" at my car stereo.

    If you like exploring the concept of what may happen when the lights go out for good, don't mind your head spinning a bit from a barrage thinly veiled product endorsements, can deal with some right-leaning anti-government paranoia*, and can hold your nose through the rough writing, I recommend this book. It fits into the genre including The Road and One Second After, although it is at the opposite end of the quality scale for writing. As the first in a series, it would get about 3 stars as well, as I am intrigued to check out book 2, although I'm not willing to pay full price or to spend a whole credit on it - I'll wait for the next sale.

    Enjoy! And, someone tell me what the hell an SVG is, please.

    (* which, I think, is fairly healthy and well-deserved in this day and age)

    47 of 58 people found this review helpful
  •  
    victoria Washington, DC, United States 11-26-13
    victoria Washington, DC, United States 11-26-13 Member Since 2003
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    "This is how we wash the dishes..."

    Funny book this. As mentioned by other reviewers, there's enough 'gear glee' to make you think the author works for the marketing department of some survivalist supplier. But more than that, just as the story starts to get going we pause to wash the dishes, pack the backpack, make dinner, wash dirty clothes, make hot chocolate, wash the dishes again, put on socks, tie our shoes, make the bed…seriously, most of us know how to do these things.

    Really bad writing, so I think the narrator was actually doing the best with what he had, and the politics will be off-putting to some. I hung in till the end though, so author must be doing something right. I'd be interested to see if book two has the same attention to minutia. Oh, no wait: That would mean I have to buy it.

    51 of 65 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jan Rochester, NY, United States 02-16-14
    Jan Rochester, NY, United States 02-16-14 Member Since 2011

    Eclectic, avid listener, favorite book is the one currently in ear.

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    "Interesting Twist"

    I read a lot of EOTWAWKI type books... my favorites being "One Second After" and "Alas Babylon." The premise of "Going Home" is an EMP while the main character, Morgan, is away from home and family... very similar to the premise of "77 Days" or "The Walk," except Morgan is a prepper and walks home with a complete inventory of supplies. Like "Patriots" this book states brand names of supplies, but honestly it was less blatant... no model numbers. Although I'm pretty sure if you liked Patriots you will like this, they fill a similar niche in teaching along with the story.

    There is a lot of gun violence, but I appreciated that it was in self defense by likable characters who didn't want to harm others (unlike "The End"). Swearing is a lot more than I would like but is limited to specific characters and much less than in "The Walk" which I couldn't bear. There is un-witnessed sexual assaults reported and a few sexual innuendos. If made into a film it would have to be R rated but the book felt PG-14 to me.

    The writing is very basic, the narrator not great, some internal inconsistencies... and you do have to suspend your disbelief regarding the government takeover. That said... I loved this book and its characters...didn't want to go to bed and shut it off. The twists are different than any EOTWAWKI books I have read and the author does a great job of showing us the many and varied ways people and communities might respond.

    Now for the series... yep, I have finished all three available this week and the next isn't due out until June of 2014. This book is the best of the three and there is a logical end point where you can stop and be content. Books 2 & 3 do not stand alone and leave you hanging. I am frustrated the 4th isn't available and am worried there might also be a 5th... as the 3rd book is much, much shorter... marketing game? Well I guess it worked as I will certainly buy the next when it comes out.

    8 of 10 people found this review helpful
  •  
    David Halethorpe, MD, United States 03-02-14
    David Halethorpe, MD, United States 03-02-14 Member Since 2010

    Indiscriminate Reader

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    "Prepper novel for hate-the-government types"

    I seem to be on a survivalist reading kick lately, enjoying various books about TEOTWAWKI scenarios. One thing that quickly becomes apparent is that survivalist books and those who write them tend to be of a particular political bent. It is stronger in some than in others, but let's just say there are not a lot of people voting for Obama who write books about how the government is going to collapse and the key to survival is stashing guns and silver.

    "A. American" is clearly making a statement with the very choice of pseudonym, but Going Home doesn't really get up on a soapbox until the end.

    Instead, the first part of the book is about Morgan Carter's trip home after an EMP device shuts down his car and the power grid. He is in rural Florida when it happens — setting survivalist novels in Florida or North Carolina seems to be awfully popular. Certainly it's easier to explain someone carrying a gun around, as opposed to a survivalist novel set in New York or Maryland.

    Morgan Carter is a prepper, and the chapters with Morgan are narrated from a first-person POV, so he goes into great detail describing the contents of his bug-out bag, the equipment he has, his survival tactics as he begins hiking home. Later he meets up with a naive college girl, another shotgun-toting survivor named Thad (obligatory Big Black Friend), and then some ex-army guys, and the novel becomes a little disjointed as it alternates between their viewpoints as they go their separate ways.

    Mostly there is a lot of talk about gear and prepper basics, obviously intended to enlist the audience's interest. There are some deadly encounters with the usual sorts of low-lives whom you'd expect to turn orc when the grid goes down. As a survival story, it's not quite as compelling as One Second After or Alas, Babylon or Dies the Fire because all those books (besides being somewhat better written) are about the survival of communities, whereas Going Home is mostly a collection of individual survival stories. However, it does illustrate some of the issues an individual might have, being caught on one's own in a SHTF scenario, though the author makes it a lot easier for his protagonists by letting them all start out heavily armed.

    Now, as I noted, a certain mistrust of the government and antipathy for dependent city-dwellers is at the core of most of these survivalist novels. "A. American" keeps this in check for most of the book, with Morgan making only a few comments now and then about screwed the unprepared are going to be and the observation that people turn "collectivist" awfully fast when they run out of stuff.

    The end of the book, however, reveals who the true culprits behind the EMP device were. Well, President Obama is never mentioned by name, but let's just say this is a book that will appeal to those who believe in the NWO's black helicopters and FEMA camps.

    15 of 20 people found this review helpful
  •  
    deedeeg gilbert, AZ, United States 11-20-13
    deedeeg gilbert, AZ, United States 11-20-13 Member Since 2010

    deedeeg

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    "Several flaws"

    This one was difficult to finish and I'm glad it's over. The narrator does a not so great job with the delivery of this text, reading with a herky jerky style that made me really aware that he was reading vs allowing me to concentrate on the story. I think the author just wanted to write about survival gadgets. There's a lot of detail about gadgets and guns but the plot is really lacking for substance. Overall, I didn't care for it and found myself just wanting it to be over vs see any sort of resolution.

    35 of 49 people found this review helpful
  •  
    David Irving, Virgin Islands (U.S.) 11-20-13
    David Irving, Virgin Islands (U.S.) 11-20-13
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    "Great concept, poorly told"
    Would you try another book from A. American and/or Duke Fontaine?

    No. If the level of grammar and storytelling is an indication of this authors other work, I am not interested.


    What was most disappointing about A. American’s story?

    The switch from 1st to third person and the obvious lack of a qualified editor.


    Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Duke Fontaine?

    Christian Rummel comes to mind. Duke Fontaine blasts through the material with a staccato reading method that completely misses proper emphasis and at times clouds understanding. There is range in his character performances but it is limited to southern drawl to slightly more southern drawl. Scene changes get little to no pause save what you would expect from one sentence to the next, creating confusion on my behalf at least a dozen times. This could be the editors fault however as Mr Fontaine likely had little to do with the final edit.


    What character would you cut from Going Home?

    The main character. See, I cant' even remember his name... that's how effective the writing is. And that's the danger of 1st person storytelling. This book started as a story about the main character but it quickly became evident that A. American was more interested in preaching against government authority and so spend a huge share of the book describing a cast of a dozen or so.


    Any additional comments?

    A good premise but wow was a mess. My biggest gripe is that stories that are to be told as 1st person should STAY 1st person. The writer spends the first half of the book in 1st person and then waffles back and forth through the 2nd half from 1st to 3rd person. Too much time is spent on what is really just product placement (how many times do you need to tell me what brand of water bottle you used?) Not to mention a clear preachiness every time the subject of 'being prepared' comes up. Really, so a highly skilled physician should spend most of his time digging holes in the woods and setting up solar systems instead of become proficient at his trade? Another thing: Why, for the love of Pete, does the narrator need to swear at me? I understand a character using an expletive here or there, but not when speaking to the reader... give me a break.Yeah, this book is an interesting exercise but it's poorly told and has little regard for grammar.

    19 of 27 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Brandon chesnee, SC, United States 01-08-14
    Brandon chesnee, SC, United States 01-08-14 Member Since 2005
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    "Great series!!!"
    Any additional comments?

    Great book and I'm so glad to see Audible is offering some non mainstream books. Though most books like this aren't very well written, this entire series is. It's a good story, well written and well narrated unlike some of the new books of this type on Audible.

    12 of 17 people found this review helpful
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  • A User
    4/17/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Going home. I was gripped form the start"
    Where does Going Home rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    I really enjoyed this. (and the next 2 in the series) I get through about 4 audiobooks a month. I would place this in the top 10.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Difficult to decide between Morgan and Thad. Both do what has to be done. but neither like doing it.


    Have you listened to any of Duke Fontaine’s other performances? How does this one compare?

    Other than the next books in this series, No. But I will look for out for some. I liked his reading style. It sounded like he was enjoying the book too


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Veronika
    Oxfordshire, UK
    8/11/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Book with a great premise but an agenda"
    What disappointed you about Going Home?

    I do admit that as a 30 something female I am probably not the target audience for this book. But the story had an interesting premise and I thought I’d give it a ago. It started really well and I actually believed the scenarios that the main characters were finding themselves in. But as the story progressed I got slowly tired of the constant references to backpacks, guns, ammo, food rations, radios and other various 3 letter acronyms for survival gear. Once the right wing politics underpin the story it really lost me.


    What was most disappointing about A. American’s story?

    This is obviously guys’ book. The female characters are sketchy at best and in case of Jessie just plain annoying. Her main contribution to the story is to flirt a bit and put others in danger because she can’t deal with the situation. Luckily she is only present in the book for a relatively short time.


    What three words best describe Duke Fontaine’s performance?

    Solid and well delivered.


    What character would you cut from Going Home?

    Jessie!


    Any additional comments?

    I’ve been tough on this book and maybe it's more of a 3 star book than 2 star. But I just can’t shake the disappointment. The story and the characters had a great potential so I just feel a bit let down by the story’s direction.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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