Enter your mobile number below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
Getting the download link through email is temporarily not available. Please check back later.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Ashes of the Earth: A Mystery of Post-Apocalyptic America Hardcover – April 1, 2011
Top 20 lists in Books
View the top 20 best sellers of all time, the most reviewed books of all time and some of our editors' favorite picks. Learn more
Frequently Bought Together
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
From Publishers Weekly
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
"With a vital cast of villains and heroes, a vividly grim setting, and inventive, hair-raising action, ingenious mystery-writer-of-conscience Pattison explores the psychological toll of mass destruction and the need to salvage ideas and values, rather than material riches, so that a just society can rise from the ashes." Booklist (starred)
"Brilliant . . . Pattison blends the bleakness of The Road with a well-crafted whodunit plot for another winner." Publishers Weekly (starred)
Top Customer Reviews
I have read many, many stories set in various types of dystopias, in apocalyptic, and the end of the world as we know it scenarios, and I am not unfamiliar with accounts of Nazi, Japanese, Soviet, and Chinese brutality and concentration camps and seemingly hopeless or actually hopeless situations yet, the small society depicted,--although not so organized or violent as these real examples were and are--was just too bleak for me, and I found myself reluctant to pick up the book again and to continue reading. Moreover, I found the beatings, mutilations, and various other repeated violent assaults against the main character--at this time probably 50, if not older, not eating too well, and likely not in prime condition--and his response, to be pretty unbelievable i.e. I found it harder and harder to believe that he took a licking one day and came back the next day for more, and then more again a couple of days later and, still, he kept on going.
I just couldn't finish it, and back it went to the Library.
In many dystopian novels, the dystopia is the story. In this book, the dystopia is only the setting, but don't let that word "only" fool you. The mystery is the story, and it exists in a dystopian future so real that I dreamed about it. The settlers of Carthage have managed to build an existence that goes back to the days before technology, and they supplement by salvaging what they can find in the ruins around them. Some people, like Hadrian and Jonah, want to preserve the past and learn from it, while others are determined to censor the literature from before the holocaust, believing that their only hope is to forget their history and look to the future.
One of the things I love most about dystopian literature is the way books become valued artifacts and reminders of the past, often reminders that some people want to suppress. Lucas Buchanan, the governor of Carthage, is one of those people. He's a dangerous leader - the type who believes that the end justifies the means, that the survival of the village is more important than the rights and treatment of the individual citizen.Read more ›
Despite the formulaic approach (after all, that's why they call it a genre), this is quite a good book. Not only is it a thought-provoking, believable and evocative picture of a post-apocalyptic world, it reminds us that the true villain is the worst of human nature and not the Chinese/colonial government. And that it is the best in all of us that is the true hero. Pattison fans expect the formula, and they expect to be captivated by the setting, just as we are by Pattison's depiction of Tibet and the Tibetans. Fans will not be disappointed on either score.
Bye and large, I am a big fan of apocalyptic fiction. Too often the plots follow a formula, i.e. everything will be fine. Even though the author takes us a different route, i.e. there is a mystery, the outcome is still the same. The book is page turner.
Having said that,I have 2 quibbles with the book. The main characters always seems to be getting into a situtation and they never look over the shoulders to help avoid stepping into it. After 20 pages, I knew who the real power was - and he wasn't invisible. The other problem is the settlement of St. Gabriel - they are just waiting. They are raiders and that is what they will do. They are the predators to Carthage/New Jerusalem grazers. Look over your shoulder!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Unlike most of the post-apocalypse genre, this novel concentrates more on the people and less on the technological challenges to be faced. Read morePublished 17 months ago by Martin Greenberger
Exciting read in the beginning and captured my imagination did become disconnected at times or perhaps better to say missed some cohesion drawing it togetherThis had a potential... Read morePublished on June 8, 2014 by pugs
This was a can't miss for me. I am a huge Pattison fan and an absolute sucker for anything post-Apocalyptic. Read morePublished on December 21, 2013 by Alain C. Dewitt
I've long been an admirer of Pattison's Inspector Shan series set in Tibet. This book has the same sort of dark yearning and troubled, often compromised souls, now set in a fully... Read morePublished on November 21, 2013 by TT WPB FL
Having read and thoroughly enjoyed Pattison's other books, I, admittedly, had high expectations for Ashes... unfortunately, it was not very good. Read morePublished on May 28, 2012 by Otis T. Silas
Eliot Pattison has done a fine job of creating a post-apocalyptic America. The setting serves as the backdrop to a well-done mystery story. Read morePublished on February 23, 2012 by Eddie Whitlock
Having enjoyed Pattison's colonial American mysteries; Bone Rattler and Eye of the Raven, I was intrigued by the premise of this novel. Read morePublished on January 8, 2012 by Jeffrey Swystun
My main interest in this book was its post-apocalyptic setting, and some thought was given to this premise. Read morePublished on October 24, 2011 by Lupus
Ashes of the Earth is a complicated, indepth weave of relationships among survivors of a ruined world specifically around the U.S. Great Lakes. Read morePublished on June 14, 2011 by Sally Pattison-cisna