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Extended Audio Sample World Made by Hand, by James Howard Kunstler Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (2,837 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: James Howard Kunstler Narrator: Jim Meskimen Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Related: The World Made by Hand Novels Release Date:
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In The Long Emergency, celebrated social commentator James Howard Kunstler explored how the terminal decline of oil production combined with climate change had the potential to put industrial civilization out of business. In World Made by Hand, an astonishing work of speculative fiction, Kunstler brings to life what America might be, a few decades hence, after these catastrophes converge.

The electricity has flickered out. The automobile age is over. In Union Grove, a little town in upstate New York, the future is nothing like people thought it would be. Life is hard and close to the bone. Transportation is slow and dangerous, so food is grown locally at great expense of time and energy, and the outside world is largely unknown. There may be a president, and he may be in Minneapolis now, but people aren’t sure. The townspeople’s challenges play out in a dazzling, fully realized world of abandoned highways and empty houses, horses working the fields and rivers, no longer polluted, and replenished with fish.

This is the story of Robert Earle and his fellow townspeople and what happens to them one summer in a country that has changed profoundly. A powerful tale of love, loss, violence, and desperation, World Made by Hand is also lyrical and tender, a surprising story of a new America struggling to be born—a story more relevant now than ever.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Richly imagined.”

    O, The Oprah Magazine

  • “Far from a typical postapocalyptic novel…An impassioned and invigorating tale whose ultimate message is one of hope, not despair.”

    San Francisco Chronicle

  • “Brilliant.”

    Chicago Tribune

  • World Made by Hand is an end-of-days novel that is more a pleasure than a burden to read.”

    Baltimore City Paper

Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Jess | 2/16/2014

    " I originally wanted to give this novel a four-star review as it was a well-written and engaging book. I wanted to like this book more than I do. It's a dystopian novel set in the not so distant future where society and modern technology have fallen apart leaving the survivors left to rebuild a new world. That's the kind of stuff my favorite novels are made of! But Kuntsler presents us with a world where gender roles revert back to the dark ages without so much as a whimper from women or an explanation why. Seriously? Am I, the reader, just supposed to accept that women who were successful leaders and equal community members suddenly have no problem serving only as the cooks, maids, and caretakers for men? Oh, and these formerly independent women are seemingly satisfied with fulfilling the sexual needs of these men regardless of age or attractiveness? I don't think so, Kunstler. Nice attempt, but what could have been a great book (you are a talented writer which is why I gave this three stars) examining how a society rebuilds itself when all of its conveniences are gone ended up reading like some bitter, middle-aged man's fantasy of once again being king of the hill. Ugh. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Ivor Thomas | 2/10/2014

    " I occasionally like reading Kunstler's OpEd's and gave this a try. Pretty decent, but he's not really what I'd call an accomplished novelist. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Diana | 1/19/2014

    " It's a scary world after the bomb is dropped, flu takes thousands, no medicine. Houses are scavenged for usable materials. I sure hope we don't end up like this! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Karen | 1/19/2014

    " Got this as a birthday gift last year. Thought it was so great had to read more Kunstler. A realistic view of what we may face. "

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