Listen free for 30 days

When the English Fall

A Novel
Narrated by: Eric Michael Summerer
Length: 5 hrs and 41 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (3 ratings)

£7.99/month after 30 days. Cancel anytime

Editor reviews

Editors Select, July 2017

Maybe it's because as a kid, Amish country was a vacation destination for my family (Lancaster, PA, was far enough away to make it an overnight and close enough to make it a regular thing). Looking back, it does seem a little strange, but those trips were mostly all about the drive itself, the furniture shops, and delicious breakfast foods. Then came the 1985 movie Witness, and my slight obsession with anything Amish was solidified. Whatever the reason, I was immediately drawn to David Williams' debut, which he refers to as post-apocalyptic Amish fiction. I'm also a fan of the epistolary novel, so this story told in a series of journal entries written by Amish farmer Jacob further piqued my interest. Without attempting a put-on Amish accent, narrator Eric Michael Summerer beautifully captures Jacob's calm affect and unassuming piousness. When the upheaval that's hit the outside world eventually arrives on Jacob's doorstep, his reaction and the final consequences are utterly fascinating to follow. —Tricia, Audible Editor

Summary

When a catastrophic solar storm brings about the collapse of modern civilization, an Amish community in Pennsylvania is caught up in the devastating aftermath. Once-bright skies are now dark. Planes have plummeted to the ground. The systems of modern life have crumbled. With their stocked larders and stores of supplies, the Amish are unaffected at first. But as the English (the Amish name for all non-Amish people) become more and more desperate, they begin to invade Amish farms, taking whatever they want and unleashing unthinkable violence on the peaceable community. Seen through the diary of an Amish farmer named Jacob as he tries to protect his family and his way of life, When the English Fall examines the idea of peace in the face of deadly chaos: Should members of a nonviolent society defy their beliefs and take up arms to defend themselves? And if they don't, can they survive?

©2017 David Williams (P)2017 HighBridge, a division of Recorded Books

What members say

Average customer ratings

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    2
  • 4 Stars
    1
  • 3 Stars
    0
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0

Performance

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    2
  • 4 Stars
    1
  • 3 Stars
    0
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0

Story

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    1
  • 4 Stars
    2
  • 3 Stars
    0
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

No Reviews are Available
Sort by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Michelle Robbins
  • Michelle Robbins
  • 31-07-17

Read for the characters and community

I was enthralled by this book. Something about the pace of the life of the main character's family, and his community, was lovely and hypnotic. And it was very grounding to have the real tangible concerns of the land, the animals, and the health of family while the "English"society was falling apart.

I would only warn that if you are looking for some exciting post-apoocolyptic story this isn't quite that - not really at all. It is an intimate character study of an Amish man, written in diary form.

And I absolutely loved it.

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Deb C
  • Deb C
  • 30-07-17

worth a read for fans of alternate apoc fiction

A good length, I found it interesting. I suspect things would have progressed much more rapidly in real life as far as bad English preying on the simple folk.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Diane E. Wiese
  • Diane E. Wiese
  • 12-12-17

Good read!

I always said the Amish would be the last standing during an apocalypse! They have skills!

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for SW CORNER
  • SW CORNER
  • 26-10-17

compelling concept but...

The writing if this book is first rate, even if the familiar device of the first-person narrative as read from a written journal is always a strain on credulity. The concept, modern technology ceases functioning following a global atmospheric event whose nature is only guessed by the protagonist, is also familiar. The compelling element is that the protagonist is a member of an Amish community outside Lancaster, PA. This gives the reader a glimpse of how the end of technology is experienced by those who function fine without it. While this is enough to propel the narrative, along with some mysticism concerning the protagonist's daughter, the story ends too soon. I definitely wanted more, to enjoy more of the writing and voice performance , but, also, I yearned for a better resolution of the story. I felt I'd been left hanging.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for gjsclu
  • gjsclu
  • 24-09-17

Made me think a lot!

Was not sure what to expect, what I got was a book that kept me interested from a variety of angles.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Calinurseguy
  • Calinurseguy
  • 07-09-17

Excellent writing and believable story. Perfect narration!

I was very interested in finding out how the nonviolent would respond to violence. I'm the hands of a lesser author, this could have been a typical shoot-em-up. Good guy destroys bad guy. Or vice versa. It wasn't your tweenagers post apocalyptic novel.
I usually listen to books at 2x speed, the speed at which I read. I listened to this narration in normal speed, enjoying the nuances of the accent. All the character voices were done beautifully.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for BJNewFairfield
  • BJNewFairfield
  • 30-08-17

A Window to see Through

What made the experience of listening to When the English Fall the most enjoyable?

It renewed my hope and belief in what the human race can be and that we have a purpose, also in the power of faith in something. I loved having a window into another way of life I have long thought I admired but couldn't fully imagine. I liked all the characters, especially the main character Jacob. I wanted to be part of the family, learn their skills and attitudes, and have their strength of faith.

What other book might you compare When the English Fall to and why?

It reminded me a bit of Margaret Atwood's "Handmaid's Tale". The way the world really can turn on a dime and become an entirely different way of life - or death. So many things thought to have meaning could end up with no value at all. They are both wake-up call books.

Have you listened to any of Eric Michael Summerer’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

I have not but will look for them. His performance was extremely good.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Yes, in fact I almost did. If I hadn't had to go to work I would have.

Any additional comments?

I love books that engender respect in other ways of life and educate as well as uplift. This wasn't a book about an easy life but it showed plenty of the goodness of it. It was faith in the face of fear and adversity. It's important to have books like this.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for A Gamer at Heart
  • A Gamer at Heart
  • 02-10-19

Unusual perspective on the apocalypse genre

interesting story that I overall enjoyed. The narration was fantastic. Although apocalypse stories are not exactly unique, an apocalypse tale told against the backdrop of an Amish community was a fresh perspective that I enjoyed.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Steven Jett
  • Steven Jett
  • 24-04-18

Wonderful story.

This was simply a wonderful engrossing story.The concept for the novel was original, and I loved the writing style. The clear and believable evocation of the protagonists spiritual viewpoint or something I have seldom encountered in writings in this genre.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Linda Zaudtke
  • Linda Zaudtke
  • 26-03-18

Gentle words for troubled times

The thoughtful narrator expresses the gentle beliefs and a way to react to hard times. I just wish there could have been an epilogue.