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Odd Billy Todd

By: N.C. Reed
Narrated by: Christopher Lane
Length: 25 hrs and 17 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (2,051 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

A post-apocalyptic fiction by N.C. Reed.

Billy Todd has always been different. Most people called him odd, and those were the nice people. Though he was born with a learning disability, Billy's parents never allowed him to consider himself disabled. Raised to be self-sufficient, Billy might not be as smart as some, but he was a lot smarter than people realized.

When the entire world is devastated by a plague that kills over 95 percent of the population, Billy is not helpless. Believing he may be the only survivor in his town, he manages to place himself in a good position to survive alone in a new world.

©2015 N.C. Reed (P)2019 Creative Texts Publishers, LLC

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

It's Forest Gump during the apocalypse!!!

interesting listen, narrator did amazing job with all the people's voices. I was a little hesitant but thoroughly enjoyed this audio. I kept thinking, it's Forest Gump during the apocalypse specially how the narrator did Billy's voice. Enjoyable.

41 of 42 people found this review helpful

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  • bebe
  • from SC
  • 08-16-19

Odd Billy Todd is fantastic

This is a long book, yet not long enough. I hated for it to end. I was totally immersed in the world of Odd Billy Todd. He was odd, but wonderful. His parents knew he had learning disabilities, but they trained him throughout their lives with him for Billy to be self sufficient. He thought things through carefully, always looked under the hood, made a careful plan, and stuck to it. He kept a notebook and wrote things down as soon as he thought of them so that he would not forget - he was extremely careful and his parents had trained him for anything that could arise, including the end of the world. There are no zombies. A horrible plague has killed almost everyone in the world. The people that are left must be resourceful but some choose to just take from others. Billy has collected some people in the valley where his family had a farm. They form relationships, work hard and fight to survive through hardships. The world building of the farm in the valley is fascinating and the people seem as real as the ones in my own neighborhood. I enjoyed listening to how they adapted to the new order of things and produced food and some comforts.

Even though there are no zombies, there are bad guys, and a train. The action scenes involving the bad guys are quite tense. However, the book does not leave your nerves shot from listening to one harrowing event after another. There is just enough tension to keep it moving along. There are also some dogs that are great characters - particularly Rommel, who is Billy's dog. I highly recommend this book and cannot imagine anyone being disappointed. The narrator is excellent. I enjoyed listening to his pleasant voice and his various accents. Good choice as reader.

The book ties everything up in the end and there does not need to be a sequel, but I hope there will be one. I would love to continue to live in the Billy Todd universe and find out what happens to my favorite characters.

144 of 150 people found this review helpful

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  • Rory
  • Calgary, AB, Canada
  • 08-02-19

Still Listening ...

Hell, I'm only 1/3 of the way through the book and I needed to write a review. Damn, this book is good ... and, kudos to Christopher Lane for bringing out Billy's character. I'm truly engrossed by this book and am hoping that once I get to the end, I'm going to find out that the door was left wide open for a series of books!

Took a chance on this, having read some reviews and listened to the sample ... I call this a winner!

49 of 53 people found this review helpful

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WONDERFUL

I did not want this to end , Loved everything about it .
Great story line , great characters, Great narrator.

8 of 8 people found this review helpful

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Loved it!

Love love love Odd Billy Todd! Idk how he manages it but he always has a wonderful set of characters! It’s Not even about how the story flows great, there’s not a boring page or how the story keeps glued to it. It’s the wonderful characters! I love them all! People you’d like to know in real life just like the Sanders! Anxiously waiting for whatever he releases next!

31 of 35 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Enjoyable enough

I have really mixed feelings on this book, so I'll simply post my praises first, and my criticisms second. The TL;DR of it is that it's a (mostly) well written book with good pacing. The characters alternate between well and terribly written, and it comes off as a libertarian gun nut fetishist's fantasy. The narrator is great. Overall I enjoyed it, but it had me rolling my eyes frequently.

So, the praise: I love the narration! The narrator does a fantastic job. The moment-to-moment writing is also really good. The conversation is well written and the pacing is pretty good, the author manages to set the stakes really well while also selling the day-to-day life on a farm. The characters can be really well written at time as well. Having the book set in the south was also a nice change of pace.

The criticism: The main character is a Mary Sue who only struggles with his issues when convenient and is otherwise beloved by all and respected and raised proper and sees solutions no one else does and etc. etc. etc. He's pretty much considered perfect and even when he does something that's morally questionable the author goes out of their way to highlight that he was actually right to do it. He's a perfect shot, he always talks straight, he's charitable but assertive and makes almost no mistakes. This is also a libertarian day dream book, which is unfortunately common in the post-apocalyptic genre. Characters are all constantly criticizing the government, praising gun ownership, talking about how everything they have is through hard work, saying "we'll help where we can but we aren't a charity", and it goes on. If it was just occasionally I wouldn't mind but it's constantly hitting those notes, CONSTANTLY. This comes off as someone fantasizing about how they'd do great in an apocalypse and do what needs to be done. That and just paragraphs going on about the details of guns and responsible gun ownership. Top that off with some pretty regressive implications that women ought to be there to serve men the main female character going on a long diatribe about how every woman wants a man that will protect and provide for her and be a good father. It's all a bit immature and had me eyerolling pretty frequently. The ending is also a bit anti-climactic.

In the end it's an enjoyable listen if you can overlook those problems, I don't regret the time I spent on it.

98 of 113 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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Billy ain't all that odd!

First thing that annoyed me about this book was the non-stop backwoods accent. I thought it was a bit over the top. But the biggest disappointment is that there were no real surprises. Billy Todd as a character did everything you would expect him to do. There was virtually no humanity to the character. He was "perfect" for his time, with all the other characters continually singing his praises. It would have been much more interesting if he had at some point snapped and done something truly out of character, or at least revealed a bit of a dark side. But this book just stuck to the same old post-apocalyptic tropes:" Prepping, surviving, having to make the tough decisions and act as judge and jury, because you know, "we ain't got time for all that stuff..." Good versus evil in the wicked new world. Really bad bad guys, and really good good guys. Nothing in between.

About the only redeeming quality for me was some of the practical things that a group of people in this situation might have to do to deal with the challenges of daily existence. Some interesting takes on what it would mean if the infrastructure completely broke down. Otherwise, what started out as an interesting character study devolved into predictable, well-trodden ground. Billy isn't really that odd afterall.

56 of 65 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Amazing - Can't Stop Listening!

Probably one of the best post-apocalyptic stories that I've ever heard/read/seen! I still have 9 hours left and only stopped to quickly write this review, we'll more of a straight up praise really. Great premise, character development, action, emotion, humor, morality, an eye-opening reality check into what it takes to survive in a "after" time where old rules don't apply anymore. It's an awesome combo with N.C. Reed/Christopher Lane, together - they put this one over the bleachers, right up there with Tufo/Runnette, Correia/Wyman and Mayberry/Porter. This has got to (hopefully) continue as a series! All right, enough - I've got to get back to it!

49 of 57 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Normal Billy Todd

Lets get this out of the way Billy is not odd. He is a normal person who they try to so how paint as special needs but also somehow paint as quick, decisive, focused, thinks outside the box, and is a leader. His biggest failings are he needs to notes to remember stuff, he gets anxiety around a bunch of people and loud noises, and likes to have a system in place. For goodness sakes he was a mechanic that owned and ran his own business. Not Forrest Gump in the least.

That aside its okay book. Everything was exceptionally easy for them as a group and any hardships are quickly conquered and mostly forgotten. They have more than they need of everything really, and anything they don't have they pretty easily find. There is some good prepper/survivor stuff in there but its all pretty superficial.

The bad people are really bad, and the good people are generally good, so not a lot of nuance there, but I'm not a fan of the anti heroes usually so okay with it.

This is also a super male fantasy. While not as bad as the harem books that have started arising on audible (sigh) its really not too far off. MC is strong, respected, a great shot, gets the girl quickly and easily, thinks of all the best ideas (despite being slow), and dispatches with evil at will. Female characters are subservient and fall easily into the roles of cooking, cleaning, sewing and raising kids. There are strong personalities on some females but even they are put in place by their "men folk" for not obeying.

If you don't mind vocabulary that sound like 1890s Tennessee, and some male chauvinism, it is an entertaining listen.

26 of 30 people found this review helpful

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Shallow and repetitive

Repetitive with very little character development. What started out as an interesting end of the world scenario soon became a tedious long winded story. Language was ridiculously clean considering the situations the characters found themselves in. Sexist. No one in the book would dare verbalize the idea of menstruation without referring to it in some country hick round about shy way. Or the fact that someone was raped, Instead referring to it obliquely. Men and women were very much pegged into specific gender roles which one might find possibly realistic in the beginning but which, due to its application to all persons of that gender, became narrow and constricting by the middle of the book and downright puritanical by the end.

17 of 20 people found this review helpful

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  • Monica Jackson-O'Neill
  • 08-09-19

Fantastic

A highly enjoyable listen indeed, and I fully recommend it. The narrator is perfect, and will look out for more of his readings. Superb!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • VJ
  • 07-29-19

A Beautifully Written Heartwarming Story.

I am so very happy to have discovered this novel. I enjoy most post apocalyptic stories - many follow a similar format and routine, but this one is refreshingly different. Without giving anything away, it demonstrates that humanity could when in the face of adversity, be decent and survive without modern amenities.
I hope N. C. Reed will continue the story or write more like this.
As an audio book it is first class and deserves to be priced accordingly - excellent narration!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Bryan
  • 11-22-19

A slow to fast post-apocalyptic adventure

A vastly enjoyable story, full of wonderfully well-drawn character’s. It’s slow at times, fast and furious at others, and a punch like a kick from a mule.
Billy Todd is not dumb like some think, he is much, much smarter than he thinks. And he starts a new life for himself and a small band of random people who somehow survive the worse epidemic in the history of the world, only to find that for some survivors it’s not a chance to rebuild the world into a fair and manly place but to pass a line into human depravity.

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  • Brendan
  • 11-16-19

reasonable storyline

good grasp of what would last and what to prepare for in a shtf event
liked the strong female portrayals
he did not make them scared of having an opinion and this is from guys view

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  • justin ford
  • 11-05-19

I loved this

Such a great listen, narration is also spot on,
The story is fantastic.
All in all one of the best books i have listened to this year.
Loved it.

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  • Mrs
  • 10-31-19

loved it

loved the story and the narrator was amazing. if you like feel good stories then this is not to be missed.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Dan Raskoll
  • 09-23-19

Odd Billy Todd,Just a plain old hero

Just a great story, listen to the sample,if you are not hooked after that, then it's not for you, its a great story, and I highly recommend it

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  • Anonymous User
  • 08-19-19

Thoughtful and unput-downable........

I found this book beautifully written with such clarity of characters and depth of detail. I love Christopher Lanes accents and his American drawl. It’s almost as if I could visually see Billy Todd and the other people throughout the story, they were so well described. The story flows well with twists and turns, keeping me ‘on the edge of my seat’, overwhelmed, but also with laughter at occasional funny family and relationship scenarios.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • I F Jentle
  • 07-21-19

White survivalists NRA supporters will love it!

If you are a white, male, American, survivalist supporter of the N.R.A, then this book is aimed at you.. The story is weak and improbable. That said, the characters, survivors of a global plague, are authentic Tennesseans. The audio -book is saved by it's narrator, the excellent Christopher Lane whose performance makes up for the shortcomings of plot and credibility.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • scobie
  • 07-16-19

odd Billy Todd

I enjoyed this book from start to finish and really hope there is another one

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  • Jane Davis
  • 07-18-19

A refreshing change for my preferred genre

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. You know you have a good one when you keep checking how many hours you have left to listen, dreading the completion.
I really enjoyed the layers of Billy Todd’s personality and resourcefulness of the community. Good job Mr. Reed. Also going to investigate other books read by Christopher Lane
Also appreciated the ability of an author to give us a great story with low swearing and blasphemy content.
Could we have book 2 please.