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Publisher's Summary

Once the safest, most prosperous place on earth, the United States is now a lawless, scantly populated wasteland. The machines have stopped. The government has collapsed. Farmlands lie fallow and the soil is contaminated by toxins. Across the country, families have packed up their belongings to travel eastward toward the one hope left: passage on a ship to Europe.

Franklin Lopez and his brother, Jackson, are only days away from the ocean when Franklin, nearly crippled by an inflamed knee, is forced to stop. In the woods near his temporary refuge, Franklin comes upon an isolated stone building. Inside he finds Margaret, a woman with a deadly infection and confined to the Pesthouse to sweat out her fever.

Tentatively, the two join forces and make their way through the ruins of old America. Confronted by bandits rounding up men for slavery, finding refuge in the Ark, a religious community that makes bizarre demands on those they shelter, Franklin and Margaret find their wariness of each other replaced by deep trust and an intimacy neither one has ever experienced before.

©2007 Jim Crace; (P)2007 Books on Tape

Critic Reviews

"[The book] is never funny, but Crace's mordant humor shines darkly, making it both provocative and winsome." (Los Angeles Times)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

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Performance

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Story

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  • Overall
  • Richard
  • Pembroke Pines, FL, United States
  • 06-08-07

Just missed it

This could have been a really good book but there was no preface to tell how people got in the situation they are in. Nothing about the disaster at all. More like a book from the 17th century than a holocaust novel. That said it is a good story which is why I gave it four stars but I did not like the narrator. Very flat and unexciting. The Road was better. Check the narration and if it is ok to you then download.

10 of 12 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Matt
  • Medfield, MA, USA
  • 02-19-08

wish I'd read the other reviews

Like others have said, not a lot of context around this story which makes it hard to understand. I could handle that if the narrator were better or the characters were compelling. I didn't really feel myself caring about the characters or their relationship.

The narrator was incredibly monotone - I'll actually keep him on a list of narrators to avoid.

2 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Donald
  • lagrange, KY, USA
  • 02-10-08

It ranbles and rambles

This is the first audio book I have not cared for. The premise is sound but the storyline is tiring.
I had to force myself to stick with this one. If your interested in this genre I suggest The Road by Cormac Mcarthy

2 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

The Pesthouse

You have no idea what happend to the U.S. in this book,,It was just about outlaw crazy ppl in the future that seemed to be set in the 1800's in early America and some wierd flux disease.What killed the ppl in Rivertown methane?? Who knows,,what a waste of money.

2 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Beware of the Pesthouse

If you liked The Road, you’ll love the Pesthouse. If you found the Road, drawn out, boring with a lackluster finish, you won’t like The Pesthouse. Count me in with the second group. This is my second attempt to find a good book that deals with the post-apocalyptic America theme, but after reading both The Pesthouse and The Road, I’m still looking

2 of 7 people found this review helpful