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Publisher's Summary

In the sequel to his best-selling World Made by Hand, James Howard Kunstler expands on his vision of a post-oil society with a new novel about an America in which the electricity has flickered off, the Internet is a distant memory, and the government is little more than a rumor.

In the tiny hamlet of Union Grove, New York, travel is horse-drawn and farming is back at the center of life. But it’s no pastoral haven. Wars are fought over dwindling resources and illness is a constant presence. Bandits roam the countryside, preying on the weak, and a sinister cult threatens to shatter Union Grove’s fragile stability. Here is a novel that seamlessly weaves hot-button issues like the decline of oil and the perils of climate change into a compelling narrative of violence, religious hysteria, innocence lost, and love found—a cautionary tale with an optimistic heart.

Already a renowned social commentator and a best-selling novelist and nonfiction writer, Kunstler has recently attained even greater prominence in the global conversation about energy and the environment. In the last two years he has been the focus of a long profile in the New Yorker, the subject of a full-page essay in the New York Times Book Review, and his wildly popular blog and podcast have made him a sought-after speaker who gives dozens of lectures and scores of media interviews each year.

©2010 James Howard Kunstler (P)2010 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4 out of 5 stars
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  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Jennifer
  • Encinitas, CA, United States
  • 10-30-10

Takes A Wierd (in a bad way) Left Turn

The first book was pretty entertaining. I am about 3/4 through the second book and there is no storyline, just lots of random scenerios. ALSO- there are numerous instances where it becomes rather explicit sexually. I have to wonder if the author discovered Viagra between the first and second book.

10 of 11 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Bryan
  • University Place, WA, United States
  • 02-15-11

Very satisfying, and well-read

If you liked the first book in the series, I think you will also enjoy this one. Robert Earle is a minor character, but again, it's the setting and the situation of our possible, energy-depleted near future that takes front stage. The world Kunstler has created is well realized and the actions of the characters when facing such circumstances strike me as very realistic.

A word of caution, though: he doesn't shy away from occasional graphic violence and situations and this book seemed, fitting perhaps considering it takes place around Halloween, darker than the first in the series. There were a few shocking scenes that came to mind, but still, I don't think any of it was gratuitous.

Last, the reader does a very good job with the voices, bringing them to life. I could easily picture them all in my head and as the book neared its end, was hoping he will read the rest of the series.

Worth your money!

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Marcia
  • Grand Rapids, MI, United States
  • 01-21-11

Great read

This is book two of the World Made by Hand series. I am not yet aware of more in the "series" than these two but I am hoping the author will continue the stories of a small community in NE USA who survive and build a new economy of sorts after the USA has suffered bombing and plague and the government no longer exists. The characters are great, each portrayed as having unique strengths as well as great flaws. A little hint of the supernatural or is it? The author keeps the reader guessing. The gentle rolling narrative paints a picture which surprises with bold strokes of violence, love making and tension between good and evil. Loved it.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Maddrey
  • Riegelsville, PA, United States
  • 05-19-11

The Author has created a world worth living in.

This series and particularly this book in it offer less plot, character development or literary beauty than one would hope for. However, I love listening to this well read tale just to enjoy living in this moment of US history, or future rather. If one aspires to the return of simplicity, and of values, creativity at the cost of lost convenience, you may find your self enjoying the read just to be there, in that space for awhile.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars

A bit rushed and disjointed

I did enjoy this book but it's somewhat disappointing at the same time. It reads like a first draft of a book that could have been very good. About 2/3rds of the way in I was expecting all the disjointed plot lines to converge but that never really happens in any meaningful way. The original book did basically nothing to setup a sequel so I feel like this book suffers as a result.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • RJ
  • 11-17-10

uter and total crap

After the 1st book i was looking forward to this book but i was very disappointed, spend your credit on something else.

5 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Sex, food and some violence

Intriguing subjects all three, but this book is more of a light entertainment than the social criticism of the first book. As for criticism goes, it is over-articulated and somewhat unrefined.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Scary world I hope never happens, cannot put down!

Obviously I like this series, I've finished the 1st book and just read the 2nd book and have downloaded 3 & 4 from NC digital.
I love futuristic tales, whether they be a natural progression of people & knowledge or apocalyptic happenings. In early listening I was turned off by the 'humdrum" narrator's voice, but soon got used to it. I soon discovered that it was an interesting addition to a frightening world in which people found themselves.
I have to laugh, cause the big thing I take away from most sessions is hunger. LOL... his description of meals and food usually sounds yummy and healthy.
And... I take away a strange need to learn how to do things like, raise food in a garden, make wine and beer...search the woods for food, etc... There are so many people who would be helpless in an apocalyptic world.
I happily recommend this series!

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Brian
  • Lititz, PA, USA
  • 11-17-17

if you liked book one, you'll enjoy this one too.

Personally I found the character of the "Mother" at the new church a bit far fetched, but otherwise an enjoyable story.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

the first book was great...

I really enjoyed the first one in this series, but honestly this was less a book and more a series of lurid encounters...

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Brian
  • 03-31-11

Compelling story!

I really enjoyed this book. The narrator was excellent with his change of tone and voice to suit the characters. The book is set in the not to distant future where oil, gas and electricity are no more. It could just have easily been set in the 1800's. Great story and characters. Flows very well and the climax is excellent!! Highly recommend.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful