Everything is Broken

( 4 )

Overview

Twenty-year-old Russ arrives in the northern California town of Freedom to visit his dad. Freedom has peculiarities other than its odd name: the local mayor''s ideas of "decentralization" have left it without normal connections to state or federal government and minimal public services. Russ meets an interesting young woman, Pendra, but before he can get to know much about Freedom or its people, a savage tsunami strikes the West Coast. The wave of human brutality that soon hits the isolated town proves more ...
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Everything is Broken

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Overview

Twenty-year-old Russ arrives in the northern California town of Freedom to visit his dad. Freedom has peculiarities other than its odd name: the local mayor''s ideas of "decentralization" have left it without normal connections to state or federal government and minimal public services. Russ meets an interesting young woman, Pendra, but before he can get to know much about Freedom or its people, a savage tsunami strikes the West Coast. The wave of human brutality that soon hits the isolated town proves more dangerous to the survivors than the natural disaster. Russ, his father, Pendra, and the other townsfolk must tap all their courage and ingenuity - and find strength they never knew they had - if they have any hope of living to find real freedom!
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
In this slim, grim, and powerful novel, Shirley lets his imagination loose on the frightening possibilities of a massive natural disaster striking a small American town. A tidal wave transforms Freedom, Calif., from seaside idyll into a broken and perilously unstable landscape. Survivors include some natural helpers like Drew Haver and his son, Russ, as well as psychopaths Dickie Rockwell, a gang leader and drug dealer, and Lon Ferrara, the town’s ultralibertarian mayor, who privatized emergency services and now refuses help from FEMA. Treating women like commodities and wielding a plethora of weapons, these men fight for survival and ownership of the ruins. Shirley’s vision is vivid and horrifying, and it’s a testament to his talent that he makes this very unlikely instant-collapse-of-civilization scenario seem almost plausible. Agent: Guran Literary Services. (Feb.)
Library Journal
Russ visits his father in Freedom, an independent-minded Northern California town with a mayor who doesn't believe in big government. When a tsunami reduces much of the town to rubble, Mayor Ferrara, backed by a gang of ruthless young men, decides to forego government help and institute a reign of terror. Russ, his father, and a few others decide to make a stand against the self-appointed administration—but a peaceful revolution is not in the cards. VERDICT Using the tsunami to unleash cosmic upheaval, Shirley (Bleak History; Black Glass; The Other End) creates a tale of natural violence and human cruelty that should appeal to fans of violent horror.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781607012924
  • Publisher: Prime Books LLC
  • Publication date: 1/31/2012
  • Pages: 320
  • Sales rank: 1,336,813
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 4 )
Rating Distribution

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(3)

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(1)

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Sort by: Showing all of 6 Customer Reviews
  • Posted January 23, 2012

    I Also Recommend:

    Not bad...

    But not that great either. The storyline kept me captivated, I pushed through some difficult parts just to see how it ended. Twice during the 511 page book I thought about putting it down and starting another, it was almost TOO detailed during the tsunami. I know the author wants the reader to feel that they are experiencing this horrendous disaster along w/ the characters but at the same time I felt that the wave had more personality than the characters. I wanted to hear more from Jill and Pendra, but instead I heard way too much from Nell who's crotch was on fire during the entire story. Being a woman I ached for this girl, but really...what does John Shirley know about an infection such as that? It kind of weirded me out a little. He should have picked a different type of injury for poor Nell. Russ was too weak, until the very end where it counted but I would've liked to see some more depth to his story as well. I wanted to see him go after Pendra that first night she was kidnapped. But I dont think John Shirley has read too many romances...LOL. Overall, I think the book could have added another 500 pgs if it meant more character development. I was also expecting a much more apocalyptic story and it turned out to be centered on this one tiny town. There was no detail giving to the "clusterquakes" and the problem of global warming on a world-wide level. It was mentioned, but not discussed.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 28, 2012

    A romp, with ultraviolence

    The ensemble cast of the damned populating Freedom are drawn with Shirley's characteristic eye for the precise details which define them as complex human beings. The insanity and entirely human horror of this classic situation is deepened by your ability to feel sympathy for everyone stuck in this dire (and preventable -- that's part of the horror) situation. The emotional satisfaction of the novel comes from the tragic flaws of heroes and villains alike. Recommended.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 17, 2012

    Fiction that is too close to fact these days!

    Fiction that is too close to fact these days!

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  • Posted April 11, 2012

    When twenty-year-old Russ arrives in the northern California tow

    When twenty-year-old Russ arrives in the northern California town of Freedom to visit his dad, he finds a town cut off from state and federal government. Thanks to the local mayor’s ideas of “decentralization,” Freedom enjoys minimal public services including medical care and law enforcement. Before Russ can get to know much about the town and its people – including an interesting young woman named Pendra – a massive tsunami strikes the West Coast, killing most of the town’s inhabitants and leaving Freedom helpless to combat the wave of human brutality that soon follows. A local gangster, Dickie Rockwell, has plans for Freedom and they include the town’s increasingly unhinged mayor and a whole lot of killing. Now, it’s up to Russ, his father, Pendra, and the other townsfolk to find the strength to survive and find real freedom.

    I've heard this novel described as a “thriller and political allegory,” but it’s so much more than that. In just a few hundred pages, this book manages to shock, frighten, and enrage, all while making the reader think. What struck me most about this book was Shirley’s powerful use of imagery, both during the tsunami and in the aftermath. He has a unique ability to observe people, places, and events and then distill them down to their purest, most basic forms.

    Bottom line: A different kind of disaster novel. One well worth reading.

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  • Posted April 8, 2012

    Thrilling Apocalypic Allegorical

    Well worth reading. A town devastated by a tsunami gets taken over by its rogue mayor and methhead bikers. Cut off from help by the diaster and the mayor's own anti government leanings, a band of ordinary citizen must do whatever it takes to survive. Not every character is as developed as they could have been, but the ones that are show dimension and depth. A scary fun ride.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 24, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

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