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Run Paperback – March 19, 2011
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About the Author
BLAKE CROUCH was born near the piedmont town of Statesville, North Carolina in 1978. He attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and graduated in 2000 with degrees in English and Creative Writing. Blake is the author of five novels and numerous short stories. He lives with his family in southwest Colorado, where he is at work on a new book. His website is www.blakecrouch.com.
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What I like about the story is that if you had to collect your family with little or no time to plan and get out of Dodge fast, this could easily be what happens to you. You try to get your SUV packed with as much food, water and camping gear that you can in spite of confused children who act just like children, in spite of a wife who prefers denial rather than action, not knowing where the heck you are going to go, and not even knowing what the ZTs are up to, and all you encounter is bad news everywhere. I can sure see it panning out the way Blake Crouch imagined it.
The heroes have to leave Albuquerque with whatever they can quickly stuff in the back of their Range Rover because roving gangs of ZT are killing people on a list that they are announcing over the radio and the heroes discover they are on the list, too. Woefully under-prepared, the family sets out northbound, heading for the Canadian border. On the way, they must kill or be killed, hide, travel by night, avoid small groups and long caravans of ZT who immediately pursue them if they are spotted, scavenge for food and supplies, abandon the SUV and go overland by foot, and encounter good guys and guys who are not ZT but are not all that good either. It is fast-paced, breathless, even.
Crouch writes very well. The story flows and it is hard to put down, except that I had to so I could catch my own breath once in a while. My only little issue is that adventure stories like these so often have the characters performing at such super-human levels of endurance that it pushes past the boundaries of credulity. I prefer stories where the characters are actually real people, not supermen. I know that will-to-survive heroics make for good reading, but this reviewer prefers realism in these kinds of stories. People who have not had a drink of water in three days are really not going to perform such feats against the enemy when, in reality, they would be unable to even move much. But that is my only problem. Otherwise, it was a great read.
I felt the book was really reaching for something and in my opinion the family in this story transitioned from a fractured family to a close family. A family who actually realized what they had in each other and then band together to survive (although the son and daughter didn't seem to do a lot by hide and cry).
I gave it a four because I saw the possibilities in the book and when you go through horrible events, sometimes it is the little things you hang on to, such as the first time you saw your wife or held onto you son and daughter after their births. The book is very graphic, death is a key character in this book.
Crouch does this thing where he jumps from scene to scene very quickly and sometimes it's. Hard to realize the setting has changed. This is where he loses some style points from me, as mentioned previously. One part of those novel was a giant thorn in my side. Every time they stop their car, is it really necessary to say they stop the engine? I'm half tempted to go through the book again and see how many times Crouch writes "He stopped the car and killed the engine". You'll see what I mean if you purchase this book, and sorry, now you're going to notice it and it will bug you as much as it did me.
All in all, I paid $3.99 for this book and I wouldn't have had a problem paying a little more for it. It's an extremely quick read and very much worth your money. Just want to mention again, GREAT and ORIGINAL idea. Loved it. Pick this up if you want a quick, action packed thriller.
Most recent customer reviews
Glad I read it & would recommend it!