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Shut Down Paperback – June 7, 2011

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Editorial Reviews


As you read this exciting new apocalyptic work, keep telling yourself this kind of a disaster can't possibly happen. Not in America! No way!
--Northwest Connection, Troutdale, Oregon

Here’s the simple, yet fiendish, plot that gave me nightmares for a week:  On Monday morning the FDIC closes more than 600 insolvent banks nationwide. But under pressure from a deficit-hawkish, Tea Party Congress, the agency forgoes its customary caution and closes more banks at the same time than prudence would suggest. This shocks the financial system enough to shut down both debit cards and Food Stamp cards, sending the US public into panic when they can’t get cash and sending hungry people first into the streets, and then into grocery stores for looting. Electronic panic spreads throughout the world’s interconnected financial system. From there, with payments stopped, oil supplies are disrupted, depriving law enforcement of fuel for patrol cars. That leaves the streets to urban street gangs who start a massive LA Riot in every major city in the US, soon followed by civil unrest around the world.
Focused around the author’s hometown in and around Portland, Flynn seems unimpressed by the world-leading sustainability efforts and peak oil prep that the city has done over the last few years. Instead, just like any other doomed urban area, by Wednesday in Portland, survivors who can have cleared out of the city and are now evacuating the suburbs. Not far behind are the inner-city gangs who have quickly formed themselves into vandal armies to pillage the suburbs and the countryside.
You too might get nightmares after reading Shut Down. But, if they inspire you to start prepping your family for an emergency of any kind or to start working with your neighbors to start making your community resilient enough to deal with a more uncertain future along the lines of the Transition Movement, or both, then the bad dreams will be for a very good cause. --Erik Curren, Transition Voice

I found that I literally could not put this one down. It was like, wow, this is what we had been talking about all these years, condensed into one book, summarized into a single, action-packed, terrifying narrative ... get the book, read it, and be prepared to be blown away.
--Inflation, Investing, and Everything, Book Review by Low, Ee, Singapore


We have all, Flynn included, read a doomsayer novel or two. We have seen New York disintegrate in film and on the printed page. But Flynn launches his novel in Portland, toppling civilized society eastward through Troutdale - Gresham is in distant flames but you can't find out much because cell phones don't work - ending with a standoff in Corbett.
The tale is no picnic, though a lot off people flee carrying food. Flynn chose Corbett for a stand-off because its residents are more likely to have and use weapons, along with the land and ability to grow food and dynamite enough to topple the bridges over the Sandy River when hungry hordes advance. Further, it has a gravity-fed water system that will run without the necessity of pumps.
Corbett's survivors are remarkably cohesive - hard to believe if you've ever been to a school board meeting. The tale is so bloody that you will never see the scenery in the same way again driving Gordon Creek Road.
--Portland Tribune
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 314 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform; First Edition edition (June 7, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1460969413
  • ISBN-13: 978-1460969410
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.8 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (81 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,002,894 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

W. R. Flynn was born in Hibbing, Minnesota, one of seven children of a civil engineer at an open pit taconite mine. He was later raised in a rough neighborhood near Oakland, California, a few blocks from Foothill Boulevard. When Flynn was in his 20s, he pulled his way out of poverty by working his way through college as a steelworker in Seattle, Washington. He earned a BA in history from the University of Washington at the age of 28 and a masters degree in education from Western Washington University at age 32. Enjoying an interesting and colorful life, he travelled throughout much of the communist world during the 1980s including a one month experience working on a farm in Cuba. Since the 1990s, Flynn has travelled to Japan, Malaysia, Thailand, Hong Kong, Canada, Ireland, Mexico and Singapore with his wife and children. Retired from a career in law enforcement, he now spends his time writing books and raising his family.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

32 of 36 people found the following review helpful By TheTurtle on June 24, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Flynn has done a wonderful job creating a novel that is both exciting to read and also makes clear how truly vulnerable the global community has become. The economic downturn that he forecasts is not only entirely possible, but also looks more and more likely as our financial and political leaders become more and more desperate to cling to what they have accumulated.

He cleverly and unobtrusively considers how other civilizations before ours have grown and fallen and shows that a society as complex as ours has become is not only destined to fall, but to fall quickly and deeply when the time inevitably comes.

Set against this background of global collapse, Flynn astutely examines the different ways in which people will try to cope (and how most will fail to cope) when everything falls apart. As they say, forewarned is forearmed, and this novel certainly gives us a great deal to think about. It is distinctly possible that the future is not as secure as many of us might think. "Shut Down" shows us why this could be the case and some of the things we need to start doing to get ready for it.

As for me, I might just take up the study of dentistry. :-)
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29 of 34 people found the following review helpful By Texas Jack on June 26, 2011
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The novel is an exciting, action-filled story of fear, hardship, survival and ultimately, peace. Centered in today's world, and with events that read like the newspaper headlines, the book's characters face the sudden demise of their comfortable world as the systems we all depend upon collapse with remarkable rapidity. When a new governmental effort to balance the budget collides with a failed military effort in the Middle East, systemic failure rapidly engulfs the world. An all-too-believable crisis combines with a tale of courage, fear, pain, and a hint of romance as people change and adapt or perish. I enjoyed the book, and recommend it highly.
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26 of 31 people found the following review helpful By X-Wonderbug on November 28, 2011
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Well, a lot of doom and gloom. All of the characters seem to have the same names as the author's friends and relatives who did the reviewing for the typos, flow, etc., somewhat unsuccessfully.

While the book was interesting regarding his perception of daily life in a post-economic-collapse Oregon society, I was put off by his heavy handed approach in the Corbett scenes, e.g., a town unofficial community leader responding in a brutish manner to a legitimate question by another town citizen--possibly reflecting the author's own personality: e.g., a "might makes right" philosophy. The author apparently didn't understand that some people just don't have it in them, and it's no reason to condemn them or make them out to be less than a human being. That's Nazism. There was an excessive amount of narrative (page after page after page) describing how the economic collapse came about. Twenty-five percent of that would have been sufficient to background the plot line.

Some things didn't follow, such as the town of Corbett having a population of 4500+, yet not having a police force, doctor or dentist, or supermarket(s), one or more major gas stations, etc. The plot concerned their constant anxiety that they will run out of gas and have to conserve every drop by prohibiting the use of motor vehicles, even slashing the tires of one resident's, and taking his gas without his consent; using only bikes, scooters and small motorcycles. There is no mention of horses or mules. It would seem that most aspects of a small community were left out in order to further the plot, to a probably unrealistic degree.

In "Lights Out" by D.
Read more ›
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22 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Sloughpig on June 15, 2011
Format: Paperback
Mr Flynn has obviously researched or lived closely with his subject. It's very easy to meld with his characters and live through this death and rebirth of society. For survivalists this read is vindication. For the rest of us it should be a wake-up call. This author is now added to my watch list. I want more.
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32 of 40 people found the following review helpful By netloc on January 13, 2012
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I've read about 36 percent of this book and just can't go on. I do agree with others when they say he seems to be well informed in possible outcomes of the economic wonders our governments (worldwide) have put us in. But as far as an entertaining story, this is not it. I felt like I was going to take a test at the end of it... too much information and build up. I also didn't feel anything for any of the characters... they were unbelieveable and void of expected human qualities; physical descriptions seemed lacking as well. I also hesitate to say... no, I believe I'm accurate in saying, there is a lot of stereotyping. After reading books like 'One Second After', the 'Enemies' series by Max Brooks, and 'Patriots' by JWR, among many others, I can't even bring myself to waste my time here. I'm sorry Mr. Flynn, but your no Vince...
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40 of 51 people found the following review helpful By The Ridge Runner on January 10, 2012
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Wow, this is a very difficult read. It is simply too far-fetched to consider. The banks are closed without public warning because the conservatives have pushed their heavy handed agenda. The Fed is forced to make sweeping, unannounced bank closures without regard to the economic repercussions. Really? Then within literally a few hours the whole world comes undone. Uncontrolled looting, rape, random violence and murder ensue. Trains, planes, buses, and cars are suddenly at a standstill. Looting, fires and gangs shooting at anyone and everyone. Police are reduced to riding bicycles and fire departments and the National Guard are nowhere to be found. Cell phones, ATM's and of course the welfare debit cards no longer function. But the heroine's laptop and ISP march on through the turmoil. Really? Our heroine - the lovely but deadly (black belt, pistol toting - with four extra magazines in her purse) Starbucks barista is saved by the big burley former Special Forces dude. Then she saves him in route to her home and he starts to cry. Really?
They do make it back to the barista's family who welcome everybody with open arms, strawberry smoothies and tofu salad and of course a few words of Buddhist wisdom. It goes on from there with a move to higher ground - a berry farm that is run by the heavy handed "Chief" in an autocratic utopia. The fat guy comments are only surpassed by the "rednecks" that have been positively identified by the country music that was heard from these evil marauders who were to invade the berry farm community. Really?
I forced myself to read this because I had to have a baseline for pure literary slop. Please, do us all a favor and stick to being a community activist and volunteer. Writing is not your forte.
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