Imagine being alone in the world, one of only a handful to survive a global pandemic. Not only do you struggle to find food, water, and shelter but you also deal with the sadness and losing everyone you know and everything you have.
Fourteen-year-old Greg Dixon is living that nightmare. Attending boarding school outside of Boston, he is separated from his family when a pandemic strikes. His classmates and teachers are dead, rotting in a dormitory-turned-morgue steps from his room. The nights are getting colder, and his food has run out. The last message from his father is to get away from the city and to meet at his grandparents' town in remote New Hampshire. Knowing the impending New England winter could be the final nail in his coffin, Greg packs what little food he can find and sets off on his 100-mile walk north with the unwavering belief that his family is alive and will join him.
As the fast-moving and deadly disease strips away family and friends, Greg's father, John, is trapped in South Carolina. Roadblocks, a panic-stricken population, and winter make it impossible for him to get to his son. John and his three brothers appear to be immune, but they are scattered across a locked-down United States, forced to wait for the end of humanity before travelling to the mountains of New Hampshire.
Spring arrives, and the Dixons make their way north to find young Greg. They meet others along the way, slowly forming the last tribe of humanity from the few people still alive in the Northeast.
©2015 Brad Manuel (P)2016 Podium Publishing
I did read the reviews and listens to the preview then passed it by (big mistake) came back to it as I couldn't find anything to listen to. This is blooming fantastic! It's beyond fantastic, this story could actually happen (have you seen the news lately!?)
No spoilers get this. Best two days of Audio tension and drama I have had in a long time.
Please can you write another book. I need to know if they do that thing and get some trouble makers
I was intrigued all they way through but by the end, disappointed at the lack of conflict and it all seemed a bit too nice. There was plenty of points throughout this story where we could have seen twists or anything to inject some thrill. All in all a good story, could have been better.
As above, it was alright to listen to in the car to pass the time, but I don't think there would have been enough there for me to finish reading it. I ended up really wanting to know how it ended but the ending was a tad disappointing. Nothing really happened in the whole book to be honest! My main gripe is that it was all a bit twee. Everyone got on far too well with each other, were way too jovial for it being post apocalyptic, and it seemed a bit unrealistic how nothing particularly happened to any of the survivors. Bit of a rose tinted glasses version to the end of the world.
What an amazing story. 22 hours done in 3 days, I just could not stop listening. I felt like I was there with the survivors. Scott Brick just reaffirms that he's the best in the business.
Although I enjoyed this book it stayed at one pace throughout never really got exciting.
Its a different take on survival story is a positive.
If you're a fan of sickly sweet, feel good stories, this one's for you!
No baddies, no danger, no threat, no violence gore etc etc etc
Just awful. There's not an ounce of malice and everything works out beautifully EVERY DAMN TIME for this All American survivors group.
If grit is what you're after, avoid like the plague (the primary school, weak, dull plague featured in this book)
Scott Brick is brilliant and the way that he narrates this brain numbing festival of banality is testament to his talent and skill. I will never knowingly listen to anything Brad Manuel writes again.
A Larry Mc Murtry book i have lined up in my wishlist.
The scene when she found the dog.
i would have cut a lot of the scenes when it seems like there will be some actual jeopardy and then very little actually happened? I was so desperate for some drama i actually started making up my own back stories and sequels where something interesting happened. Again and again Scott Brick tried to inject some tension, but then the promises of tension turned into a banal description of cooking tinned goods, or shopping for things like pots and pans.The dramatic efforts in N Y C and Boston were just THROWN AWAY! Some of the everyday stuff is nice and fun, but there has to be some kind of counterpoint to that.. I don't need Ultraviolence or gut churning action (though this did kinda promise that by its genre) just some kind of conflict that is drawn out and complex.
Does Audible have any kind of editorial policy? Or can anyone just chuck a dull book up here? Please ! Listen to 'Earth Abides' by George R Stewart instead; 'The Last Tribe' is like that book, but with the brain and heart scooped out of it.
This started well but ultimately disappointed. It lacks any excitement or tension and becomes a kind of latter day Swiss Family Robinson with cheesy dialogue. The chances of the group of survivors having the skill set they have is astronomical. And chances of a husband and wife surviving? Overall I found it hard to take this seriously our to have much empathy with the characters.
The premise of The Last Tribe is simple. A deadly plague sweeps the planet and kills 99.5% of all human life. This is the story of those who survive.
You'll read other reviews of course, and they'll fall largely into two camps. Some will say this is an enjoyable book, that Brad Manuel creates a plausible end of civilisation scenario, that you'll be drawn in to the narrative through careful pacing and a richly detail world.
To a degree that is true. The plot focuses on the human condition and the efforts of those who survive a global pandemic to rebuild, re-interpret their humanity and create a sustainable life AFTER the fall of man, rather than the events that lead to it. It's well-judged in this regard; the basis of the book is plausible enough to create intrigue.
That plausibility continues because Brad Manuel describes in great detail how the characters restore some of the basic human needs without modern conveniences; water, food, shelter, power, warmth, transport etc. These are interesting at first, but grow tiresome. It is entirely unnecessary in Chapter 57 to dedicate entire paragraphs to the ingredients of a post-apocalypse lobster risotto. Personally I don't mind longer books, indeed I think Audible is suited to them. However, be warned, the last couple of hours of The Last Tribe start to drag.
Therre is some decent character development in parts, though in others it is patchy, lazy, cliché or incoherent. I found myself invested in the fortunes of one or two of the main protagonists which is always a sign of good storytelling. However, there are a number of characters who are introduced, often in significant detail, and subsequently do nothing to progress the plot or add colour to the story. Others are unrealistically wholesome, like Manuel want to create the perfect archetypal 'good decent American man / woman / child.' These characters start to grate on one's neves in the later chapters.
The final criticism of The Last Tribe is that the story is devoid of adversity. This is the book's primary downfall. Despite modern civilisation ending catastrophically, nothing bad happens to anyone in 20 hours of narrative. Nobody gets sick, gets hurt, gets lost, has an argument, a fight, or any other trouble. Think Swiss Family Robinson or The Waltons with a nasty flu virus thrown in.
There is a great deal of convenience throughout the story. Houses are stocked with food and supplies, cars are left fully fuelled with keys in the ignition, the group encounters a child genius, a neurosurgeon, a pilot (who does fly a plane at one point) and an ex-gang member who can solve any engineering challenge presented because as a child he worked on a boat with his father.
By the end of the book the relationships that develop between characters become saccharine and twee. Predictable romantic relationships form that we're supposed to find heart-warming, but instead serve to undermine the book's central theme of overcoming adversity.
It's a shame there are these holes in the plot because Manuel sets the book up to be a gripping yarn. It doesn't turn out that way, but I didn't not enjoy it. I just didn't love it either.
Creates plausible characters
"A perfect year in the post apocalypse."
This was one of the strangest books I've ever read or listened to. It's an answering argument to the survivalist guns and gore stores. The premise is the very common, post disease die-off, empty world situation. A few survivors are left. What do they have to do to make it?
Unlike every other book I've ever read in that genre, there are no roving bands of thugs, no armies of raping and pillaging hordes, no herds of brain dead contagious zombies.
You would think a book where nothing goes wrong would be boring -- and on one level you're right. There isn't really any great conflict and very little serious tension. Everything goes right and nearly all the decisions made are the right ones, the very few survivors represent all the needed skills to a level that seems almost ridiculously unlikely.
So... you'd discount this as not worth bothering with -- and you'd be wrong.
The book takes a fairly mature look at what could be accomplished if the conditions allowed. The author deliberately set up the type of plague, it's onset and symptoms, the rate of infection and fatality, all in such a way that the world would be left relatively empty but mostly intact, and used that setting to tell the story of adaptation in a far more mature way than most zombie or plague books ever get around to doing.
Worth a read, unless what you're looking for is zombies and gore -- then you'll be disappointed.
"I can't believe I paid money for that...."
It's a book with no real events and it constantly wastes the readers/listeners time by rehashing the same tidbits over and over... I really don't know who would like this book.
Conflict, plain and simple... There is no real conflict anywhere in this book - man vs self, man vs man, man vs nature, man vs society, it's obscenely vanilla. I don't understand why it's rated so highly. I guess the voice acting is what saves it in most peoples minds, but that's not enough for me. In my mind I just wasted money on something I'll never listen to again.
The voice acting was great...
It's like a Lil Jon song... It keeps setting the listener up for something that never comes.
"A unique & important addition to the genre!"
Fans of Stephen King's The Stand and Justin Cronin's The Passage will definitely not want to miss this one. Those are my two favorite novels in this genre, and Brad Manuel's effort here follows very impressively in their footsteps.
As others have mentioned, an element that sets The Last Tribe apart from the aforementioned tomes is that there are no evil hordes (whether undead or living).
The great conflict for our group of protagonists is the brutal reality of survival - pure and simple. However, some of the previous reviews seemed to suggest that there weren't any bad people in the story, but that certainly wasn't the case. It's just that they weren't over the top embodiments of evil as is so often the case - they were much more realistic characters. Some were truly bad. Others were mostly just responding to their personal insecurities and fears. Very real and refreshing!
The other key element that sets The Last Tribe apart is that it's a predominantly positive view of how regular people would respond in such an event. And it's this aspect that I think makes it an incredibly intriguing and important addition to the genre. This is what really makes it an absolutely essential read/listen for any fan of the genre!
And it certainly should be a listen, as the great Scott Brick is very much in his element here. Just superb!
I just listened to 22 hours of audiobook and it was more of what was absent than what was present. The vast majority of the book comprised a relatively detailed description of how the survivors compensated for the loss of their modern day amenities...and then it ended. Where was the character development? Where was the complexity in relationships? Where were the plot twists? Where was the suspense and the intrigue? Where was the loss, the conflict and the horror?? This was purported to be a book about the end of humanity as we know it; instead, it turned out to be a mediocre survivalists guide with no plot. Disappointing guys.
"Refreshing Except for the Glaring Cliche"
Yes...sorta. I'm always looking for the left-field in a genre. The apocalypse is always littered with violence and evil and blah blah blah. This was so refreshing to finally have an easier pace. It was like the calm after the storm. Right up until Mary Sue entered the picture.
The Genius Teenage Girl. I would have changed her character. Completely. Every time Manuel started in on her brilliance I was rolling my eyes. Seriously, Manuel, you had everything going for you in this one. I could even forgive the bit of stretching in the other characters. But then you had to go and write The Genius Teenage Girl. I almost stopped listening.
I've heard Brick elsewhere and his reading always feels so genuine. I appreciate his approach to the reading.
Yes. Maybe. If they change The Genius Teenage Girl. If not, just cast Anne Hathaway and be done with it.
I don't know, guys. I guess go for it. The concept is interesting. Maybe you can forgive the characters and it'll be awesome.
"Utterly implausible apocalypse...couldn't finish."
No antagonists, no conflict. Implausible story because despite millions dying of epidemic, there main characters aren't tripping over bodies everywhere. The roads are even clear of cars and roadblocks! Also, no mention of flies and vermin. Ridiculous plot arc for characters to decide to fly to Hawaii to make a permanent home---why isolate themselves from an entire, vast continent of resources?
Only Scott Brick kept me listening, but I gave up just a couple of hours near the end. I like the SHTF TEOTWAWKI genre, but this one was just too implausible.
"Entertaining Due To Scott Brick. Period."
As many other reviewers have said, more conflict would have been better. If this was meant as a study of human nature it is a HUGE failure. The best of the genre for that, in my humble opinion, is 'Alas, Babylon' by Pat Frank. This story is a child's fairy tale, and nothing more. The characters, while likeable, were unreal. Story arcs were unreconciled. And many storylines were repeated ad nauseum. And this is a SPOLIER ALERT, stop reading this review if you seriously think you will read/listen to this book. You were warned. The author spends a good bit of the book working through a way for the survivors to contact other survivors so they can join the "last Tribe" in their Hawaiian Paradise, then NEVER TELLS IF IT WORKED! Seriously! I fast-forwarded from the last 27 minutes to the last three minutes and the survivors barely finished their first week in Hawaii, so the resolution of the attempt to contact/find other survivors was ignored. ALSO, the 6 hours of the Greg and Becky Show irritated the hell out of me. Manuel spends way too much time in the details of the day-to-day life of the tribe and repeats many words and thoughts of the characters to a distracting extreme.
The only thing that would have made this better/more enjoyable, is if Stephen King had written it.
I listen to just about anything Scott reads. The only reason I stayed with this story was Scott Brick's reading. But he even sounded bored in parts. A great narrator can make a bad book enjoyable. And Scott is a great narrator.
Where do I start??? I would have trimmed the Greg and Becky Show from six hours to maybe three. I would have explored the dark side of human nature more, as it is implausible to think that 3% of the world's population would only include decent people. This book, at 22 hours, dragged in many places; had implausible storylines; orphaned plotlines and a lack of conflict that was distracting.
I like a good, positive story. And this was one. However, as a post-apocryphal story it was incredibly insipid.
"A whole lot of nothing"
The first couple of hours of this story really had me interested and there seemed to be potential for a great story. However, after making it through the entire listen, there is one key ingredient missing. Conflict. There really is none! A virus kills something like 97% of the earth's population and leaves behind the perfect cast of characters to start a perfect new society, many of which are from the same family. What luck that among the survivors are a surgeon, though no one ever gets sick, a vet, along with the last dog on earth, a pilot and a genius. More than 22 hours and only three characters posed any kind of threat to this utopian society and all three just kind of disappear without causing any trouble. Curious that in gathering supplies for the new world, no one thought of or seemed to need to hit up a pharmacy for medicine of any sort for their current or future needs. The only shock was that no one in the tribe seemed to have an issue with the blue lagoon teens. I should have bailed on this but I was hoping that with such a long listen, something exciting was going to happen. I was wrong.
"Not worth it"
Six hours in, the post-apocalypse is still about plodding story, strikingly unrealistic teen dialogue, and extraneous narration.
Such a refreshing change from the standard end of world fare. I get extremely tired of a few good people against hordes of horrid ones. Loved the characters and if the mix of people that just happened to have the right skills is a bit unrealistically fortunate, what end of world scenario isn't. Loved the writing, narration was great, and just such a pleasant relief to really enjoy following the paths of survivors I could actually enjoy. Hope is always refreshing.
If you are looking for carnage and to read about the worst mankind has to offer, don't bother looking here. Go elsewhere and leave hope for the rest of us to enjoy.
Kudos to the author for allowing humans to rise to their potential rather than the lowest common element.
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