A Land of Ash
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A Land of Ash

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3.47 of 5 stars 3.47  ·  rating details  ·  463 ratings  ·  91 reviews
The Yellowstone Caldera has erupted once every 600,000 years. We’re 40,000 years overdue.

A LAND OF ASH

Lava flows stretch for hundreds of miles. A cloud of ash billows east, burying the Midwest, destroying crops, and falling upon the Atlantic Coast like a warm, dead snow. The remnants of the United States flees south as the global temperatures plummet.

Amid this total devast...more
Kindle Edition, 124 pages
Published November 5th 2010
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Stacey
I'd love to be able to sit down and write a glowing review about Land of Ash, as with Grants Pass. But I didn't love it. I've always had a fascination with Apocalypse, be it man-made, or Mother Nature herself visiting doom upon humanity. It must be my eschatological upbringing, but I'm a sucker for a story that asks what happens after the end of the world?

The first story of this anthology drops the reader into the middle of a last supper among friends. Except these friends feel like some of the...more
Alazzar
Normally, when someone gives something away for free, that usually means it sucks. Sure, that couch sitting by the curb may look like a good deal, but as soon as you get it home you’ll realize that one of the cushions smells like asparagus and the other is actually a giant rectangle of matted pet hair.

But when it comes to e-books, sometimes free is good. When independent authors give away their product in the Kindle store, they’re doing it to advertise for themselves (after all, there’s no bette...more
Marvin
This is an unusual anthology using the Yellowstone super-volcano and the effects of its eruption as the basis for its short fiction. Most of the stories are by David Dalglish with various writers rounding out the rest, David McAfee of 33 A.D. being the only one I've previously heard of. The short tales are quite good and are very character-driven considering the topic on hand. Also, they tend to be quite depressing with only the last story having any real sign of hope. A foreword explaining the...more
Vex
HOLY CRAP! This book had me nervously looking out my window at an incoming storm cloud. What makes it so scary is how easy it is to relate to the characters in the book. It's so easy to put yourself in their shoes, to feel their same desperation and despair in a world now destroyed by ash.

This book delivers 11 gut-wrenching short stories about different people in different areas trying to survive after an eruption in Yellowstone. As you progress through the book, you find yourself at further tim...more
Bethica
(update on 9-13)
I had to change my mind and give this 5 stars after dreaming all day (I work nights) about different families running from the heated and heavy ash. If a book can have that kind of effect on my sleeping delusions, it fully deserves a 5 star rating.

(original post on 9-12)
Good set of apocolyptic short stories by different authors that are all tied into the same catastrophic event. If some of the stories had a bit deeper story line, it would have gotten 5 stars, but some of them ar...more
Randy Cashner
I don't remember when or why I bought this ebook. I assume it was inexpensive and I just took a chance. It sat in my not read collection for a couple of years until I sat down with during a cold day in February. I had no idea what I was getting into nor did I realize that it was a collection of short stories dealing with survival following the eruption of the Yellowstone Caldera. I soon found that for the most part this was an amazing collection of short stories.

As stated, the premise for all o...more
Sheila Myers
Written by a handful of authors, this collection of short stories doesn't follow the same set of characters throughout the book. Instead, A Land of Ash springs at you from a variety of directions. It offers a deep and often profound look at how people might react after a natural disaster which affects an entire nation. The reader will be introduced to the characters and learn how they choose to face either life or death. I disagree with the reviews that state such things as the book is depressin...more
Joseph Mitchell
I really enjoyed this book. It reminded me of why I used to love reading short stories so much, and was a welcome change from the long books I've been reading lately. I particularly enjoyed David Dalglish's short called "Toward the Storm", my favorite from this collection.
Jan Kuhlmann
I really enjoyed these short stories, very fast read.
Adriane
I read this book in a day, I know that's not a feat for most of you but it's pretty rare for me. I found this collection of stories to be unique and compelling. I was lead to this book by the fact that a few of the stories in it were in other collections I've read. I was not disappointed to say the least. The only thing that kept this book from 5 stars was editorial in nature, I feel this book could had done with a good quality edit as there were several grammatical and homynym related mistakes...more
Paulo "paper books always" Carvalho
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Book Slut -K
"The Yellowstone Caldera has erupted once every 600,000 years. We're 40,000 years overdue."

With that warning, we're plunged into a world where The Yellowstone Caldera's eruption is no longer overdue. It's happened & in A Land of Ash, the survivors are dealing with the aftermath.

Each story is written by a different author about a different survivor or set of survivors. Part of what makes this work so well, aside from the smooth transition between stories & authors, is that the characters...more
Joy
This is a book of short stories, all written on the same premise - what happens after the Yellowstone Caldera erupts? The resulting collection presents as a series of vignettes across the USA, covering a few hours after the eruption through a few months past the event. The author/editor wrote the first story "The Last Dinner Party" which is absolutely masterful, and the writing and topics touched upon in the rest of the stories live up to the promise of the first. There is hope and despair, ther...more
Dan C.
The tag line for A Land of Ash reads: The Yellowstone Caldera has erupted once every 600,000 years. We’re 40,000 years overdue. It was famously (and expensively) done in Roland Emmerich's 2012, but if you believe the stories in this anthology, the movie would have been over after the eruption. All but one of the stories take place in the United States, which sees massive devastation from the ash-cloud that results from the eruption. As with most anthologies, the quality of the stories varies wil...more
Larry McCloskey
The Yellowstone caldera has erupted, these are the stories of those living through it. Some sit back and accept their fate, some fight against it and some never knew what hit them.

The stories are uneven and, for the most part, too short. The length of each story made the book really easy to breeze through, but a lot of times, it left me wanting more at the end. Calling these short stories is generous - they're vignettes. For some - "One Last Dinner Party" and "Toward the Storm", for example - th...more
Stephanie
high school & up

A series of short stories about what happens in the aftermath of a the eruption of a supervolcano. This supervolcano is located in Yellowstone National Park. Each story is set a little further out in time from the main eruption. The stories all have different settings and different characters but with the same focus: surviving.



I actually read this twice because I had no recollection of reading it the first time. Well, at least not based on the title alone. I remembered it onc...more
Maggie Bermann
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Suz
So I'm a disaster/PA freak. Which doesn't stop books like these from being depressing at all.

Some time, right about now, the Yellowstone caldera explodes. This book is 11 short stories/vignettes from the initial onset of the ash to some time (not too long) afterwards.

The stories are presented in something of chronological order, each going further away from the explosion point.

None of them really connect, and to be honest, none of them are very compelling. You have anything from people facing th...more
Al
“The Yellowstone Caldera has erupted once every 600,000 years. We’re 40,000 years overdue.” Start with the assumption that this has happened and people know what’s coming – a large dust cloud traveling west to east that will kill most and throw much of the world into the equivalent of a nuclear winter. Then write a series of short stories about how people will react with contributions from a variety of writers. What a great concept.

Given the assumptions, how would you react? Would you hunker do...more
Danielle
I'm currently reading this - about 80% done - and while this collection of short stories is well written, it's a definite buzz kill. If you're looking for uplifting or inspirational fare then you'll want to keep looking.

Most of the stories deal with the aftermath of the Yellowstone Caldera. Like the post-explosion United States, the tales are grim, gritty, and gray. They're also all plausible. Especially thought-provoking is A Harmless American by David Dalglish, which flips the immigration issu...more
Julie
I love a good post-disaster story. Maybe I was expecting too much from a collection of short stories, but my problem with it was the lack of cohesiveness and the fact that only one story included characters from another story. I kept wanting to care about the characters, but the stories were too short to develop them to that point. In a world where there's so much death, devastation and struggle, it just becomes numbing, and it's annoying when a character or group of characters escapes from a ba...more
Lianne Burwell
The stories of this collection are all built around the idea of the supervolcano at Yellowstone erupting.

I was torn over this collection. The stories are all well-written, and did a good job of making me care about the characters and what happened to them. On the other hand, the stories are almost exclusively dark. Almost every single story ends with the death of the character(s). Even the ones that did survive, they have very little hope.

I guess I would say that while I thought the stories were...more
Linda
I don't know that I've ever read an anthology, and I'm not really big on short stories, but the premise of this book sounded interesting. David Dalglish started with the Yellowstone Caldera blowing to smithereens, then each author built on that. We have a series of stories of people...people reacting to the country being covered with volcanic ash, people in various parts of the country. I think it all came together very well. Given the circumstances, it was believable, not only from the disaster...more
Leighton
Not a big fan of a group of short stories brought together, it got three stars....

1 star - binned it before half way, please don't write anymore!!!
2 stars - finally binned it after really trying, I mean really trying and I hate to not finishing someth....
3 stars - finished it but boy was that hard work on times, it just about hooked me back in as I was about to dump it
4 stars - great book but it lacked something, something, can't put my finger on it but.... something
5 stars - want more, more boo...more
A.J.
It's an interesting topic to choose for a series of short stories. Some were better than others, and it must be quite difficult to come up with different angles on what would basically be a catastrophic event.

All the authors are men, and I felt the lack of a female perspective. There were also a few typos in the edition I read: garage-sailing for garage-saling (though not sure that's a word, either!) and feint for faint, for example.

Worth a read for the stories that held out some hope for the hu...more
Jayme
I think part of my problem may have been that I read this book in one sitting. Doing so may have made the stories run together a little more than they should have. However, none of the stories were really that thought provoking or even novel. There were a couple that I did enjoy. Especially the one with the old lady with a cat named Alice. That one and the one set in the football stadium is what gave it the 2nd star. There was also very little mention of what caused the disaster. After looking a...more
Geoffrey
This book is a series of vignettes showing the destruction of North America after the Yellowstone Caldera explodes and shrouds the world in ash, triggering a nuclear winter. Only one of the short stories takes place outside the US but one gets a sense of how things are elsewhere.

The stories are arranged in a mostly chronological order that gives the impression of an overall story arc even though each are unreleated to the other ... they show a wide array of reactions to the disaster and touch o...more
Paul Steele
Start with the Yellowstone Caldera having erupted. Next, assume people know a killing cloud of ash is coming. Then have a collection of writers create a series of short stories about how people will react.

The different characters in the stories cover a spectrum of possible responses and actions. Since several authors participated, this is a good chance to be introduced to several new authors. I thought some of the stories in the collection were quite good, while others were not so much.
Alisha
Some stories were good, some were not as interesting. It was interesting to read through the different experiences, but I'm really not a short story put into one book kinda reader. I would have preferred to have had the same characters come back a couple more times, I couldn't help wondering what happened to all of them. Very few of the stories gave a good conclusion, which is sorta a pet peeve of mine. Beginning, middle, and END!! That is the basic format for any story..
Nicole
I loved the concept of several authors responding to one situation for thi collection of short stories! Granted the subject matter is a bit depressing but for me the attraction was the creation of the stories. I would have preferred it not to have been about the death and destruction caused by a fall of ash, but I suppose it is the different responses of different characters,written by different authors which makes the collection so great. Worth a read!
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“The world got itself in a big ass hurry and didn't want to slow down to see what it was running from.” 2 likes
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