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3.6 out of 5 stars151
3.6 out of 5 stars
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on 6 July 2013
I generally like to think that society prevails because we are inherently good and that deep down we wish to live as harmoniously as humanly possible. But perhaps we are just safe, safe from our own human nature and it is the status quo that provides that safety. Crash tells us that we are on the brink. That human nature is an unstable force which must be contained by the status quo.

If the structures that we hold so dear were to fall apart, what faith would we then have in the people around us? Our whole lives are governed by a kind of unchallenged civility. It is functional. Would the casual 'Good morning' we say to our neighbour each day hold any meaning when faced with a murderous sociopath wielding a gun. Perhaps the truth of this behaviour is just as apathetic and brutal as the world of survival in Crash.

Fear or compassion, which is it that motivates you? Crash forces us to look inwardly with discomfort when faced with the depraved potential of our basic desire to survive.
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on 28 June 2013
I read this book in one sitting. It was truly relentless.

Once you start, you really won't be able to stop. I genuinely felt anxious for the characters and I had to keep going because their plight seemed so real and plausible that I simply had to know how each new chapter was going to unfold as soon as possible.

Yes, there is graphic violence in this book but it is superbly described and executed to flawless perfection. I felt like I was literally in a horror movie and forced to sit alongside the protagonists, as they contemplate how despicable the antagonists are and how bleak their situation is, yet they still keep fighting and never giving up hope, despite the chaos of the world unfolding around them.

The dynamic between the Father and son really made me feel empathy for Chris and I also love how his son is called Michael too.

To witness how the world changes Chris and how he interacts with his son, you kind of watch it in bemused terror as each new development unfolds. This story was told with panache - each revelation of back story provides temporary relief before the next layer of tension kicks in resulting in a wonderfully paced read.

There are comedic elements in this story, which lighten its harrowing tone, bigoted sentiments of Chris's boss and Chris's wife also seemed perfectly realised and seemed both hauntingly familiar yet starkly original.

Michael reminds me of Charlie Higson, as he writes fresh metaphors and deftly handles both the explosive impact of the violence, whilst punctuating it all with humorous moments of brevity.

Michael deserves a ton of attention for this debut and I simply cannot wait for the next one, I am sure that you will feel the same - highly recommended.
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on 2 September 2013
This book was more than a bit unnerving for me, reasons being

1. Set in England and in an affluent area, so close to home.
2. I am that fat, 16st fifty something in a suit
3. I work for a bank , though to be fair my job is generic and I don't see money or customers and I'm not rich
4. We are only 48h from complete anarchy, the riots in the major cities like Manchester, Bristol & London a couple of years ago are an example of the police being overwhelmed by rioters from the "less fortunate than ourselves" community
5. The crisis with PIGS is not going away and will have far reaching consequences .

Next instalment please. Would have 5 stars if it was a much longer book, completed in just short of 2h
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on 24 October 2013
Michael has a superb way with words, that I found both unsettling and eloquent.

Our main MC and his son are alone in a desolate and desperate world, trying to survive after a massive economic disaster. We're painted a very bleak picture on what could happen if things are left to spiral out of control.
The once weak of society have risen up and are now the strong--if not completely disturbed, and those that are used to riches and the spoils that life has to offer, now live in fear.

Let me be honest with you, this book is a true horror novel. It doesn't dress itself up and try to be anything but a horror book. There's no HEA,there's only the quiet desperation as you frantically turn the pages to find out what the outcome will be for Chris and his son.

And Chris, the MC, man you hate him, yet you can't help be fear for him and want a better outcome, if not for him--then for his son. But there's a small band of psychotic scavengers outside ready to inflict their own style of punishment on these once wealthy men and women.

The book flits from the past to the present, giving you glimpses of how things came to be, and it was these parts that I particulary liked. It was these parts, for me anyway, that gave the characters true depth, and changed my entire feeligns towards nearly every character in the book.

If you readd this, do so on an empty stomach. This book had me heaving at times, and that's something that a book hasn't managed to do in a long, long time.
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on 16 November 2014
Probably some of the most sickening scenes with regard to the violence involved, that I've ever read. That said, it's clear that the author is trying to portray what happens when a civilised society descends into anarchy. The European economy has collapsed, water, gas electricity have all been cut off, and food is very scarce. An army of renegades set about taking revenge on those responsible for the recession, namely the bankers. Chris, a former banker is hiding in his home ( what once was a gated community in London) with his 10 year old son Michael. As the army of renegades enter their cul de sac, they peer from behind the curtains as house by house their neighbours are executed in the most vile ways. It's clear that this 'army' has more than its fair share of psychopaths, and this, coupled with the breakdown of law & order, gives them the perfect opportunity to carry out whatever monstrous acts they wish to. For Chris it's a matter of keeping himself & his son alive. A very scary read, but the author really gives a sense of a world gone mad!
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on 17 March 2015
This is not a book for the faint hearted. There is no love story and don't expect a fairy tale ending. This book is brutal, a few times I thought can I carry on reading this, I did. I couldn't read it round my daughter, it made me feel odd. I left it stupidly for bedtime reading.
I admired the authors reasoning for the grim nature of the book, I won't say I'm looking forward to reading the next book, but I will be reading them all.
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on 30 March 2014
I'll start by saying that a novel of this psychological depth needs a mature audience with a strong gut to swallow down all the violence. Thanks to tv shows like Spartacus or movies like Lovely Bones I was able to mentally go through the trauma narrated in the book.

The story is set in an apocalyptic world with no rules or crime punishment. The fittest survivors turn out to be the most dangerous, volatile men.
Even the protagonist, Chris, father of two and recently abandoned by his wealth-hungry wife, Isn't the fairest of men although he himself turns out to be the hunted prey.

The villain is a psychotic, volatile, blood-thirsty tyrant. It's very soon apparent to the reader that he's got some strong dysfunctional personality disorder.

Don't expect a happy ending, although personally I enjoyed reading the novel and it gives a lot of thinking material for what you would do in this dystopian future.
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on 12 July 2013
Michael's dark and brutal story was gripping from beginning to end. The creative and vivid description made me feel like I was watching the horrific events unfold right in front of me; I felt tense and on edge throughout. I particularly liked how he alternated the chapters from the present action to past events, enabling me to have a moment to breathe away from the horror that was unfolding and learn more about the main character and his relationships with his family. However, just as I had started to relax slightly, I was plunged back into the present day with a shock.

Michael's writing is raw and interesting and in no way does he apologise for his violence; the brutality never failed to horrify me chapter after chapter. I felt particularly concerned about the presence of the young child which made it even more terrifying and emotional. A great read, I can't wait for his next!
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on 2 August 2013
I really enjoyed this book. I found myself gripped and really felt for the lead characters throughout. The author has put a lot of effort into the characters and very quickly and thoroughly allows the reader to understand them.

I polished this off in a couple of hours as I could not put it down. Looking forward to the next one...
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on 25 June 2013
This novella was terrifying, horrific and contains some of the most graphic descriptions of heinous acts I have ever read.... That said, I could not put it down - the story is gripping and engaging.
I really liked the way the author set the story only months into the future, which made it seem more real, and I loved the flashback scenarios of the main character Chris as he remembers conversations from the past. I did feel that the characters could have been developed a little further but as the story was so action based, this did not detract from the impact. The ending is bleak but there is some hope and I can't wait to see what the author does with the next stage of the story.
Well worth a read, but be prepared for the gore as it can catch you offguard at times.
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