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Pilgrimage to Hell (Deathlands, #1)
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Pilgrimage to Hell (Deathlands #1)

3.78 of 5 stars 3.78  ·  rating details  ·  556 ratings  ·  50 reviews
On a crisp January day, a Presidential inaugurtion day, a one-megaton blast ripped through the Soviet embassy in Washington, D.C. Subsequent explosions around the globe changed the face and the shape of the earth forever. Out of the ruins emerged Deathlands, a world that conspired against survival. In the blasted heart of the new America, a group of men and women plan desp ...more
Audio CD, 0 pages
Published October 1st 2005 by Graphic Audio (first published 1986)
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Community Reviews

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One of the reasons I rate this book so highly is because I was expecting so little from it, and it is very rare that I have been so completely surprised.

On one level, it contained all of the elements I would expect from a post-nuclear-holocost-survivalist-novel, lots of focus on gun models (which mean nothing to me), scaly flesh-eating mutants, slowly awakening psionic powers in the more "acceptable" mutants, bands of killers roaming the badlands, baronies run by cruel, insane gang leaders, all
This is the first book in a long running series called Deathlands. The series is written by several authors writing under the pen name James Axler. This is the one that started it all, and I've waited a long time to be able to read it. I enjoy a good literary art piece as much as the next book nerd, but sometimes the old gray matter needs a break...well here it is. I've been looking for a good action Mad Max esque post-apocalyptic book for quite some time. A literary masterpiece this most certai ...more
Ana Mardoll
Deathlands 1: Pilgrimage to Hell / 0373625014

I'm a fan of the Deathlands series, although I can't quite put my finger on why. They're pretty much gun-'n'-torture fantasies that take place in an apocalyptic America where might makes right and men are real men and women are real women and death is always lying just around the corner. Not the sort of thing I usually eat up, but the setup is so fascinating that I can't quite look away -- each book is a very careful variation on the same themes and i
My ratings system is as follows. One star is GOOD. The book is entertaining, easy to read and you don't want to stop reading because something about the book is compelling you not to. Two stars is GREAT! This time the story is not only entertaining, but highly creative, unique, easy to read and hard to put down. Three stars is EXCELLENT. Here the book has all aspects of one and two stars, but now the book is thought and emotionally provoking. Four is AWESOME. This is the read that is not only cr ...more
I listen to a lot of audiobooks whilst at work to pass the time and i come across the Deathlands series by chance. I have read 88 of these buggers now via the Graphic Audio versions. Unlike your usual audiobooks Graphic Audio are fully casted with sound effects etc.
Being a fan of Apocalyptic novels i picked up Deathlands without realizing there are almost 100 of the buggers. Since there are so many of them i don't see the point in writing reviews for them all.

Deathlands set almost 100 years af
I have to say that I am torn about this book, because while enjoyed the story and the idea, I would be lying if I tried to say it wasn't cheesy as hell. But I like post-apocalyptic novels, and if I'm being honest, I'll likely read at least a few of the others in the series simply because of my love for said subject matter. However, if it were about anything else (and I read books from all genres) I would never have finished it. If you don't like action or post-apocalyptic stories, you may have a ...more
John Davies
I bought this book when it originally came out, and sold it some time later along with the other volumes I had up to then. Now, I regret selling them, as this was an interesting take on a post-apocalyptic world.

A friend recently gave me a whole load of ebooks, and much to my surprise, these books are in there, so I look forward to re-reading them at my leisure, and seeing what happened after I stopped buying them. Someone told me the series lasted for over 30 volumes, with a spinoff series as w
Joe Stamber
This was my first audio book with sound affects to accompany the narrative, and I wasn't sure what to make of it at first. The violent PA setting is ideal for this sort of treatment, with gunshots, explosions, shouting, screaming and the rest. However, I was pleased to be on the motorway and out of earshot when I hit a sex scene... The "Graphic Audio" treatment means that Pilgrimage to Hell comes across as more of a play than a narration, and overall I liked it.

As other reviewers have mentioned,
Fantasy Literature
Pilgrimage to Hell is the first book in the long running Deathlands series. There are 100 volumes of Deathlands, written by 12 different authors under the house name James Axler. Pilgrimage to Hell was started by Christopher Lowder under the pen name Jack Adrian, but Lowder became ill and Laurence James stepped in to finish it under the penname James Axler. Pilgrimage to Hell is the one that started it all, and I've waited a long time to be able to read it.

Life as we know it was obliterated in a
Jul 30, 2011 Tim added it
Glad I listened to it instead of reading it. Purple prose to the point of unintentional humor. Enjoyable post apocalyptic storyline but I don't think I could have forced my way thru this one. I have more on audio and will continue to listen on the train. Hopefully they get better.
My brother Scott bought a few Deathlands novels that I remember while growing up. By the time I was a teenager only one, "Ice and Fire" was still around. I read it and liked it, and a lot of the characters and concepts stuck with me over the years, but it was only recently I decided to try and get into the "trucker series" (these books and audiotapes seem to always be for sale at truck stops).

One hundred years after a devastating nuclear war, what is left of the United States is known as
My dad is a fan of this classic 80s pulp science fiction series about life after worldwide nuclear apocalypse (think if Matthew Broderick did not succeed in preventing global thermonuclear war at the end of War Games) and he gave me the first two books to read. It's a lot of fun if you go into with the right expectations, and by that I mean, no expectations of quality writing but lots of gore and explosions and weaponry and devastated landscapes and mutated creatures and a series of hard-bitten ...more
I have read this series on and off over the years, but I finally got to read the very first novel that sparked it all off. it was a truly action packed novel from beginning to end.

This is a must read for those who enjoy post apocalyptic novels with regards to what the world would be like if the "bombs" were ever dropped. It is told extremely well this series.
Darryl Miller
What a terrifying yet interesting look into the possible lives of the holocaust survivors. The book gives us a look through the lives of three warriors trying to make sense of the world they were thrust into. I Can't wait to see what they encounter next.
I wanted to like it but frankly I got bored. This was the third Deathlands book I read or listened to and each one dimished my interest. This story probably held the most promise as I do like the Trader character who is introduced and then disappears after this book for the most part. I find Ryan quite dull like any male power fantasy, Han Solo wannabee character. Just knowing that Ryan ends up being the main protagonist after this book made me less interested in the series itself. And Kristy's ...more
Overall, a mediocre plus read. Slow starting to me. Opening scene and characters felt cliched, probably because it's been so many years since the book was written. Unfortunately, I knew what was going to happen the whole time, it was just a matter of getting there. The bit of mystery that stayed unresolved and kept being hinted at, was the only thing that kept me interested. I was surprised by the ending though. It made the possibilities for the continued story seem more worthy of my time to fin ...more
Timothy Boyd
An average apocalyptic adventure story. This one takes a century after the last war and now there are mutants running around the earth. Recommended
Scott Flicker
This was a pretty good story. I would give it 3.5-4 stars. The narration was really good. One thing I didn't like was some of the voice acting sound fake and cartoonish.

This is the first story in the deathlands series originally published in the 80s and still being written until the end of 2015. The story is about the survivors after a nuclear war that wipes out civilization. I don't think these books are still available in book format however they have been transferred to an audiobook format th
Nicholas Mastrodicasa
I haven't read this book in particular but about a dozen in the series at different points. I have it on my list because these books are very interesting and there's a lot of them. They've been being written for quite some time and yes they fall into a similar pattern but that doesn't make them stale or uninteresting. It's a great post apocalypse series with it's own history, fleshed out characters and slang. There's so many re imagined places to check out and characters inhabiting them that it' ...more
I had a problem with a big portion of this book because I read "Encounter" (Deathlands #45.5) beforehand. Encounter takes place many years earlier and shows the legendary hero Trader in all his glory. Years later here we are and in the beginning of the book you come to find out that Trader is dying and this Legend of a man is now a shadow of himself. Don't get me wrong he's still a tough SOB but I wanted more of him and took me a while to shift gears. The end of the book was really enjoyable for ...more
too convoluted and it does not becomes good enough as it progressed.

it had its good momments, but overall i would not recommend it.
A.J. Maguire
This was my first Audio Book from Graphic Audio.

Honestly, I was very distracted by the ... well ... graphics. Blood and guts and squishy sounds and every time they mentioned a weapon they had to mention the ENTIRE weapon's name. Which got a little grating.

Otherwise I liked it. Though I did find that it lost my attention every now and then.
Always enjoy a good post-apocalyptic story. This was fun and reminded me of the old Gamma World or maybe Aftermath role playing games. Not as much humor as in Gamma World though still fun. It is a long running series so have to see how it holds up. Good escapist read.
Definitely worth checking out. My first "Graphic Audio" audiobook too, which had surprisingly high production quality. Fun in a sort of Mad Max meets Dark Tower way. Not sure if I'll read all one hundred and fifty million of them, but this one kicked ass.
A book I read in seventh grade, it stuck with me for a long time. I loved the story and read a couple of sequels, but they weren't near as good. Books I read and loved when I was a kid I tend to score higher, but I plan on a reread.
Audiobook: On my 5th book of this series. No complex story line. Quick listen. Enjoyable story lines. Remined me of tv show sliders (but no parallel universes)Teleportation to different parts and can’t get back to where you started.
May 01, 2010 Darby added it
This is book one. Read and own everyone in the series. Been reading it for the past 20 years. Over 100 books so far in the series. My all time favorite. If you like is the one for you.
I'm a huge fan of post apocalyptic stuff and always look for a good audio book to listen to while commuting to and from work. This book was great! Now I'm onto the second one ! :D
Light read, perfect brain candy. This looks to be a long series and I don't know how much of it I'll get around to reading but there could be worse ways to spend ones time.
How it all began. It's gory, and often sadistic but this is a gripping story with strong characterisation and better writing than some of the later installments.
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James Axler is a house name used by the publishing company Gold Eagle Books, the action adventure series published by Harlequin Enterprises Ltd.

The name was first used for the "Deathlands" series, which began in 1986 with Pilgrimage to Hell, co-written by Christopher Lowder (under the pseudonym Jack Adrian) and Laurence James. James went on to write the next 32 novels before passing away on 9 Febr
More about James Axler...

Other Books in the Series

Deathlands (1 - 10 of 124 books)
  • Red Holocaust (Deathlands, #2)
  • Neutron Solstice (Deathlands, #3)
  • Crater Lake (Deathlands, #4)
  • Homeward Bound (Deathlands, #5)
  • Pony Soldiers (Deathlands, #6)
  • Dectra Chain (Deathlands, #7)
  • Ice and Fire (Deathlands, #8)
  • Red Equinox (Deathlands, #9)
  • Northstar Rising (Deathlands, #10)
  • Time Nomads (Deathlands, #11)
Red Holocaust (Deathlands, #2) Neutron Solstice (Deathlands, #3) Crater Lake (Deathlands, #4) Homeward Bound (Deathlands, #5) Pony Soldiers (Deathlands, #6)

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