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Publisher's Summary

A tyrannical high school principal. A young anarchist with nothing left to lose. One way or another, this place is going down. 

Matt Moyer is an orphaned teen growing up on a primitive farm in the Pennsylvania coal region. He's homeschooled by his eccentric and philosophical great-uncle, who's a stickler for logic, reason, and intellectual honesty. Despite his uncle's reverence for veracity, inconsistencies arise regarding the old man's shady past and the teen's parents.   

Through a harrowing sequence of events, Matt is forced to attend a public school. The feral teen finds it difficult to cope with the hypocrisy, propaganda, and misinformation that adults and children so readily accept. Faced with the possibility of expulsion, arrest, and ostracism, he must make a choice. Will he choose the easy lie or the hard truth?   

Adult language and sexual content. Beware of spoilers in the reviews.  

©2015 Phil M. Williams (P)2018 Phil M. Williams

What listeners say about Against the Grain

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Thought Provoking Story

This was my first experience with Phil M. Williams' work and on the whole, I enjoyed it. The ideas and concepts which the author presented throughout this story are fascinating and thought provoking. I found the main character to be interesting and engaging. My only concern with the story, was that at times, I felt that the minor characters didn't always act, in ways that people would act. In spite of my disagreement, I am interested in more of this author's work. Tristan Wright's and Sarah Grace Wright's narrations were fine. I was given a free copy of the audiobook and I have voluntarily left this review.

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Worth the Read

Caveat: I received the of the book in return for a review. I thank the author.

I found the novel a mixture of a coming-of-age tale meets the outsider-against-the-system story.

The book fits firmly in the Young Adult category, but it can be enjoyed by anyone. I enjoyed it.

While in parts didactic (the protagonist’s political and philosophical positions standout) the story does not drag. The books mentioned as a part of the protagonist’s education should be read and thought about by all.

The narrators proved adequate.

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Wonderful!

What a wonderful story! It made me laugh and cry. It well worth the listen.

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I really enjoyed it

I love the story and the message behind it. I now plan to listen to more of his books this one really connected with me.

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Fun and thought Provoking

This was a fun read that really makes you think about how we live and what is lawful and what is moral. It’s not to heavy and moves at a good pace.

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Great book!

I agree with the plot line in this book. Every teenager should have the opportunity to voice their opinions and speak their mind. Adults tend to force kids to hold back & want kids to be cookie cutter. People rely too much on factories & stores to provide unhealthy foods, instead of growing their own healthy foods. I have been just as guilty of this! The older I get, the more I realize about life. My brother is 150k in student loan debt, unable to find a job. I owe 37k myself! Is college really necessary for everybody? I don't think so anymore. I would love to go back to the 1800's & live a simple, healthy lifestyle! Of course technology is a great thing, but at what cost?

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Engaging Read

This book kept my attention from the first chapter! Well-developed characters and a plot with just enough twists and turns kept me tuned into this book every chance I had over the last few days.

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  • Benyoba
  • 10-13-18

Refreshing anti-establishment story

The book reminded me of Little Brother by Cory Doctorow and The ​Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman. I also liked the permaculture references. The plot brought back a lot of memories from highschool. Even thought I'm not from the US I could relate.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Chris Wells
  • 08-22-19

Another Phil M Williams story that makes you think

Another story that makes you think from Phil M Williams. For me, this is why I particularly enjoy this authors writing, I want to be made to think at the same time as being entertained. This book is about a great many things from greed to bullying to the idea that one person can make a change in the world. I won’t spoil the story by telling you if they do or not!. Having read and enjoyed so many of Phil M Williams books is fair to say that I’m a fan. This story is one of his very best. It’s hard, and heart wrenching at times, to see the things that happen to the main character, Matt Moyer. There are forces at work that have greatly influenced his life and are set to do so again but will he stand up to them or will he fall? Can he stand up to ‘the system’ and show the propaganda for what it really is? This book is a complex look at society woven into an enjoyable tale that is written with skill and confidence that showcases the authors view of how our world works. A great read that I thoroughly recommend.
Tristan Wright and Sarah Grace Wright do a wonderful job bringing this story to life. The sharing of the characters between them offers a different feel that you don’t get from one narrator. I’ve listened to a few of Phil M Williams audio-books that have all been narrated by them so they’ve come to be ‘the voices’ of his books for me and they do a truly great job each and every time. Overall, a highly recommended story with a first rate narration.