The Rift

Narrated by: Kevin Kenerly
Length: 30 hrs and 17 mins
4 out of 5 stars (530 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Fast-paced and terrifyingly real, The Rift is a blockbuster novel of destruction, heroism, and survival that is sure to grab fans of recent disaster movies.

It starts with the dogs. They won’t stop barking. And then the earth shrugs - 8.9 on the Richter scale. It’s the world’s biggest earthquake since Lisbon in 1755, and it doesn’t hit California or Japan or Mexico, but New Madrid, Missouri, a sleepy town on the Mississippi River. Seismologists had predicted the scope of the disaster - but no one listened.

For hundreds of miles around, dams burst, engulfing entire counties in tidal waves of mud and debris. Cities collapse into piles of brick and shards of glass. Hospitals and schools crumble. Bridges twist and snap, spilling rush-hour traffic into rivers already swollen with bodies. Within minutes, there is nothing but chaos and ruin from St. Louis to Vicksburg, from Kansas City to Louisville. Every bridge down, every highway torn, every house gone.

America’s heartland has fallen into the nightmare known as the Rift, a fault line in the earth that wrenchingly exposes the fractures in American society itself. As a strange white mist smelling of sulfur rises from the crevassed ground, the real terror begins for the survivors, who will soon envy the dead, including: 

  • Jason Adams, a teenager separated from his mother; 
  • Nick Ruford, an African-American engineer searching for his estranged daughter; 
  • Noble Frankland, the television preacher whose visions of hell have become all too real; 
  • Larry Hallock, a technician working frantically to prevent a nuclear meltdown at his power station; 
  • And Omar Paxton, a sheriff and Ku Klux Klansman who seeks racial vengeance in the turmoil of disaster.

Walter J. Williams has created a modern American disaster saga, a story based on terrifying fact, filled with non-stop action, peopled with characters who are heartbreakingly real. Witnessing authentic heroes surfacing in the unlikeliest places, you will share their horror, feel their despair, and triumph with them in their struggle to survive. One thing you will know for sure: It can happen here. And sooner or later, it will.

©2013 Walter Jon Williams (P)2019 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

What listeners say about The Rift

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Best of the best in post-Apocalyptic Fiction

I've been a fan of apocalyptic fiction for several years, but this one really stands head and shoulders above many greats in that genre. The story is very believable, full of tension and conflict, yet founded on the struggles of ordinary people trying to survive in a terrible situation. What would happen along the Mississippi River if there were a repeat of the magnitude 8-plus earthquake that shook that region in 1811 and 1812? The action in the story is interspersed with first-person accounts from the 1811 earthquake, which lends credibility to the author's imaginings about what would happen in today's world. Great narration gives distinct voices to all the characters making the story very easy to listen to and follow. If you like post-apocalyptic fiction, this one is a sure bet.

29 people found this helpful

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Unexpected great book

I tried this book based on readers recommendations. Do you ever have one of those experiences where you are reading a book and something happens in real life that makes the book even more believable- that’s this book. I started it right before the recent earthquake hit in California. Excellent character development and a story that continues to draw you in and root for the good guys!

18 people found this helpful

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Racist America Hating Trash

This book is offensive on so many levels one doesn’t know where to start. Nothing but a rich white liberal idiot’s revisionist America hating drivel. Do not waste your time or money on this toilet paper waste.

5 people found this helpful

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Fantastic Novel so glad it finally came to Audible

I am so glad this book finally came to Audible. It is a great listen with the research done. Living in Memphis I could see a lot of the parts of the story happening though now with Cell phones it would be a bit different. Still a great listen

5 people found this helpful

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sad take on a disaster story

liberal idea of what would happen in a disaster. so reality took a back seat. surprised science wasnt totally thrown out.

5 people found this helpful

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Very awesome.

I read the reviews before I bought the book. it's not about bigotry alone. Yes there are elaments of the story, and it is a major plot theme. But this novel shows it on all sides. I think it's is a great tale.

11 people found this helpful

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Fantastic Read!

This is a very well done apocalyptic story of a devastating earthquake that impacts the United States . It is not the darkest apocalypse book you will come across, but still very intriguing and captures your interest throughout. The author does a great job telling the stories of multiple characters and finding unique ways to intertwine them throughout the story. If you are looking for a solid stand alone apocalypse type book, this doesn't disappoint. Plus the narration is fantastic.

11 people found this helpful

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really loved this book!

This wasn't my normal read but decided to give it a try and couldn't stop listening. A very interesting look into the societal struggle of years past mixed with a very creatively writen and realistic look at the struggles someone would go through in the midst of a natural disaster.

4 people found this helpful

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Just WOW!

This book was well written and performed flawlessly. It kept my attention through out the length of the story and had me engaged with most of the characters, never felt as if it was dragging on.

3 people found this helpful

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What will America do when "the biggest one" hits?

The Rift was a wild ride -- just as wild as the after shocks and quakes that followed the main event. The author has done a great job with his characters and their growth. I felt I had been assaltef by Mother Nature along side the characters... Give it a try. I think you, will like it.

7 people found this helpful