When Gods Fail: Volume 1

  • by Nelson Lowhim
  • Narrated by Patrick Baur
  • 2 hrs and 47 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Exploring a cave, Tom finds himself trapped when a series of earthquakes seal the cave entrance. Weeks later he pulls himself out. But something is wrong; he sees nothing but ashes. A forest fire? With his wife in mind, he walks until he finds a sign of civilization. When he meets new people he learns a terrible truth: The world as he knows it is over, destroyed. He decides that he will pull the world towards a humane new order, but he soon realizes that in a fight for survival he cannot do what he wants. What he discovers instead is something that will horrify and change him, and you, forever.
This novella takes a brutal and realistic look at an ordinary man who faces a post-apocalyptic world, his hopes, and how he manages to survive.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Not your feminist, end of the world read

Where does When Gods Fail: Volume 1 rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

When Gods Fail is an interesting take on the end of the world. It's bleak and carnal, and you become immersed in the narrator's experiences and emotions.


What was one of the most memorable moments of When Gods Fail: Volume 1?

The narrator has some issues justifying his actions, which really gave a different perspective on some modern-day crimes, which go unchecked in the post-apocalyptic world.


What does Patrick Baur bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

Baur's experience really immerses you into the lead character, and plays the emotions and perceptions in a way to help build the dismal setting the novel occurs in.


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

Yes, this was a book I read in one sitting.


Any additional comments?

Cringe-worthy. It's dark, and offers a creepy insight into the male perspective when pushed to the limits. Feminists would have a field day with the character's inner thoughts and justifications. Quite an interesting read, to say the least!

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- Mazza

The Realism is perhaps too strong?

I have to admit I struggled with this review, and sat on my thoughts for a couple weeks, hoping to wrap my head around this novella's true message. I fear I've still allowed my offense at the protagonist's actions and denials to color my review, but maybe that's okay. The author's effort to make this as unapologetically realistic as possible is evident, but I can still jump up and state the obvious: "If this is how the average man would react in an apocalyptic situation, we're all (literally, if you're a female) screwed."

We follow a man as he finds the world in ruins, and though his mental transformation from welterweight wimp to self-designated Savior of the Species is more than abrupt, we watch him handle his new situation more or less as we'd expect. He tries to be smart and to use his skills and know-how. He attacks others in self-defense. He goes in search of his wife, only to find out she must be dead. And then...WTF...he encounters women and assumes each should wish to repopulate the species with him immediately and thankfully. He self-talks through embracing the caveman inside him.

This is where I lost focus. He murders one woman's family, and then hopes she'll promptly forgive him and want to have sex with him. She tries to kill him, and he kills her, not once feeling perhaps it's his fault for creeping on her. He obsesses over the people he's killed. Then he murders another girl's family, and rapes her, a virgin. He never worries that he's raped her, he is still fully ruminating on the murders and hoping his god will forgive him. She is petrified of him, yet he believes she should be thankful as he molests her again and again. From that first rape forward she is catatonic, and finally she commits suicide rather than face him, yet even then, he assumes it's the apocalypse she cannot handle.

Is the message that all men unapologetically turn into rapists at the world's end? I can see how some rules of civilization may change, but the re-emergence of Old Testament, women-as-possessions stuff isn't the first place my mind goes, or wants to go. Perhaps this is all resolved in When Gods Fail II? I want to read to find out, but I fear I'll discover the apocalypse isn't what my nightmares should be made of, but rather the (cave)men who survive it.
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- D. Backshall

Book Details

  • Release Date: 11-14-2012
  • Publisher: Nelson Lowhim