The Dead Lands

The Dead Lands

A Novel

Book - 2015
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A MINNESOTA BOOK AWARDS FINALIST IN NOVEL & SHORT STORY
In Benjamin Percy's new thriller, a post-apocalyptic reimagining of the Lewis and Clark saga, a super flu and nuclear fallout have made a husk of the world we know. A few humans carry on, living in outposts such as the Sanctuary-the remains of St. Louis-a shielded community that owes its survival to its militant defense and fear-mongering leaders.

Then a rider comes from the wasteland beyond its walls. She reports on the outside world: west of the Cascades, rain falls, crops grow, civilization thrives. But there is danger too: the rising power of an army that pillages and enslaves every community they happen upon.

Against the wishes of the Sanctuary, a small group sets out in secrecy. Led by Lewis Meriwether and Mina Clark, they hope to expand their infant nation, and to reunite the States. But the Sanctuary will not allow them to escape without a fight.
Publisher: New York :, Grand Central Publishing,, 2015
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9781455528240
Branch Call Number: F PER
Characteristics: 403 pages ; 24 cm

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richmole
May 11, 2019

Likely one of the best novels I'll read this year (confidently posted in mid-May!)

Stephen King knows good writing and good stories so, when he tells us "Good God, what a tale, don't miss it," I grabbed this 2015 book by a young-ish American author I'd never heard of.

Very glad I did. The author, Benjamin Percy admits, "...though apocalyptic and post-apocalyptic have always been with us, there's been a tide of them lately..." And yet he wrote one. But not merely "another." Far from it. Percy had some things he wanted to say that--likely-he'd never seen others writing in the genre say.

He says it through the action, the plot, his characters (so this is a story that satisfies on that level) but it's his story-telling abilities (what to reveal, what not to reveal, how to reveal it?) that really puts this book aside from most of the others.

Happy ending? You decide. One thing for sure: there are none of the usual "heroes" or "heroines" here.

You haven't seen this on the screen yet--although, In watching the latest season on Colony (Netflix), I see others have likely read the book--but there's been no film treatment of this novel yet. And maybe there won't be. See my remark on "the usual heroes." In spite of suspense and action, this won't play well with the masses.

m
Matthew412
Mar 18, 2017

The book premise had the potential to achieve equal footing with King's "The Stand". But there is a difference between a storyteller, author and writer. A storyteller draws the reader in, an author can aspire to have written something of note, and a writer puts pen to paper. This book started off with much promise, but failed to deliver.

ArapahoeLesley Nov 09, 2016

Post viral epidemic nuclear meltdown apocalypse, yet still somehow quite fun!, re-imagining of Lewis and Clark's expedition with great villains and great heroes and great action. Sometimes silly and cartoonish (giant bats? why not?) but always vividly described and easy to see in your head while reading. A fun story for a fun reader.

m
Marge2015
Apr 14, 2016

Entertaining but no surprises. Many unanswered questions, and a silly ending. The parody of the Lewis and Clarke expedition is what forced the ending and feels completely tacked on and unsatisfying. An easy read if you want to coast along.

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