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on January 29, 2013
While most reviewers will focus on the dystopic portion of this novel in order to express their personal opinion, I, on the other hand, see the apocalyptic tale as a mere background to a greater and more personal tale. The story, itself, begins and ends at the site of a mental institution, the intial site of emotional turbulence and the ending site of personal victory. The middle portion of the story, which I call the background of the story, while exciting and dramatic at times, is not the adventure tale as some will view it. Instead, it is a symbolic tale of one man's struggle with and the eventual overcoming of mental illness. The author, himself, in his Afterword, admits this as the purpose he attempted to put forth. The struggles that ensue once he leaves the institution with his friend Calvin are what a person symbolically experiences as he fights the demons of the mind. The author sees the malady of schizophrenia as being a disease that can only be controlled through psychotropic medications, and never totally overcome. His disease, namely chronic depression, is not in that category. While the battle may be difficult, as shown through the dystopic imagery, if enough `guts and determination' are summoned up depression can be successfully defeated. This is clearly shown in the suicidal death of the story's antagonist, Dr. Beale. This character is not meant to represent any mental health professional that played a role in the author's recovery, instead it is meant to portray the concept of mental illness itself. All forms of this dysfunction produce within the patient's mind a long and never-ending series of lies, whether it be through the delusions of psychosis or the onerous weight of depressive thoughts. They, like Dr. Beale, tell you falsehoods that will emotionally destroy you unless you rise up against them. This is what our protagonist, Jason, did throughout his dystopic adventure and this is what the author apparently did in his personal life.

Bravo! to you Mr. Walker, for I personally and professionally know the courage that it took to summon up the stamina to continue the fight and defeat the monsters that you faced. Yes, it was indeed "A Long Winter's Journey" but a journey that can now be used to show other people the path to recovery. Congratulations.................
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on April 5, 2013
I really tried to get thru this book. I tried to like it. But it died for me when the doctor/patient relationship came roaring back. Maybe if I finished the book I'd see that it was more realistic, that what should have happened, in fact, did happen. Without spoiling it for you, if the patient's reaction to his doctor wasn't so unbelievable I might have continued. And the behavior of the patient from the beginning was annoying. He's locked away for years, he's released because of an world altering event, he's awkward in his new found freedom but he's bold enough to figure out how to get from one point to the next, to venture out in the dead of night, to protect himself, but then he does very, very stupid things. He's smart, he's stupid. He's brave, he's a wimp. I decided the long journey was a little too long for me.
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on June 4, 2013
I initially downloaded the sample, and two chapters in I was thinking about what a fresh and creative take the author had with the TEOTWAWKI. But... (SPOILER), it quickly fell into the typical story where a character stumbles upon a totally stocked bunker and has to fight off the bad guys.
The characters early on were very well developed and coming from a unique circumstance that I hadn't seen before. And the mental illnesses that afflicted them were described very well. It also manifested clearly in the characters. But the writing seemed to deteriorate rapidly after the first couple chapters. In fact, the "bad guy" character is so poorly written I sometimes thought I wouldn't be able to finish the book. The author really tries to give a back story as to why he does what he does, but it's so lame and obvious that it just wasn't interesting or plausible. The writing described events that happened and the characters were so flat and one dimensional the second half of the book that it was hard to stay interested.
There are a couple twists and turns, but in the end it was just another run-of-the-mill stay alive book. Such a wonderful start. First part of the book, 4 stars, second part 2 stars.
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on September 28, 2012
Mr. Walker. This was an amazing story. You captured my interest and kept it through to the end. Your characters were well developed and the situations, graphic and realistic. Your courage in writing about people with mental illness and the excellence you showed in portraying them in the context of their difficulties indicates you either know people of this nature or else you did your research. I would recommend this novel to anyone who likes their end of the world scenarios to be wrapped around very good entertainment.

Terry McDonald
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on May 5, 2014
I thought the idea of a mental hospital environment when the end of the world came, was fascinating. The start of the book was intriguing so half way through, for it to fizzle out and get boring and stupid, to say the least, I was disappointed. It just felt like the story and characters were constantly going in circles. Also, their wasn't very much that explained the deadly virus, why some survived it, or skills that would go into surviving the scenario. The story is solely based on a patient and his Doctor...that's it!!!
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on May 16, 2013
An apocalyptic story (sans zombies) that is the result of a pandemic whose source is never questioned. There is a good story that starts with the inmates in an mental institution who learn that they have to leave to live. The hero (Jason) learns that his DR. has been keeping him there only to drain money from Jason's father and did not need to be there all that time.
It's an interesting angle to the genre. It's a good read and I RECOMMEND THIS book to all.
THANKS.
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on February 4, 2013
this book sounded like it was going to be a little like "the road". It sadly was not. Still a good story.
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on February 8, 2013
This was awesome. Of course, I absolutely adore books that delve into the mind and relate not only the surface struggles but the struggles we have internally to complicate what is going on outside. The author did a great job. The story is good. People are people! In their own perspectives everyone has a good reason. i won't spoil it! Give it a read.
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on December 1, 2012
The search for well written post apocalyptic novels is fraught with disappointment and then amazing finds. A Long Winter's Journey falls into the later category. It is very well written, the story intriguing, unusual and compelling. Like another reviewer noted, I too almost passed this one by. The story of a patient from an asylum ( built by Frank Lloyd Wright ) surviving in a post apocalyptic world - well I thought it was going to be far fetched. It isn't. What it is is original - and well worth the read.

I have only one minor criticism of this work, the author has referred to specific events. As a result the timeline is already in the past - and in that way the novel becomes dated.

I can't believe this novel is only 99cents and I am only the seventh reviewer. It deserved much much more recognition. Am glad I bought it, enjoyed the read and am very happy to recommend it to others.
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on November 28, 2012
I was pleasantly surprised when I started reading this book. Many unknown writers, particularly those offered at bargain prices on Kindle, turn out to be disappointing and I find myself skipping through the book just to finish it. But this author has a wonderful flow, underlying humor, and appears to capture the essence of various mental illnesses, including the main character's depression. E.g.: "...the bleak thoughts and dark moods that could weigh down my brain with the solidity of a cinderblock sunk to the riverbed." If he would just fix some of the inconsistencies (i.e., main character's first name seems to jump around from Jason to Adam??), it would take away those little blips that ruins the overall enjoyable experience (which is why the 4 not 5 stars). Re-edit this, put it back on Amazon, and look for a mainstream publisher. You deserve a larger readership.
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