Rivers (Paperback)

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Due to the continuous excessive storms that caused devastation to the Gulf Coast, the Federal Government provided a declaration of a geographical boundary line drawn ninety miles north of the coastline from the Texas-Louisiana border, across the Mississippi coast to Alabama. This region was officially abandoned by the United States. The result was an apocalyptic no man’s land of disastrous downpour and relentless winds. Those who chose to stay took it upon themselves to live in a forbidden lawless province. Among the desolation was a vicious rumor of casino executives ordering the burial of trunks of cash. This supposition resulted in the coast being populated by money hungry devious rogues that prey on the weak. As the storms began slamming into the coast, Cohen loses his wife and unborn child to a fatal accident. He decides to stay and finish the lifelong project he and his mate committed to. For Cohen, survival becomes a struggle against Mother Nature’s elements and the roving deadly bandits hunting for food and shelter. Soon Cohen finds himself torn between staying and finishing his married venture, or beginning a long dangerous journey to reach the border, hoping the reports were true and the remaining areas of the U.S. still exists.
Rivers by Michael Farris Smith is a cataclysmic tale following in the footsteps of The Road by Cormac McCarthy. What if hurricanes relentlessly hit U.S. soil and the looting, fires, and constant downpour never ended? Could communities survive and endure catastrophic events like these? Michael Farris Smith puts all of these calamities to the test in the form of his main character, Cohen. As Cohen deals with moral judgments and dark survival instincts, so shall the reader. The story is told with a heavy handed grim dystopian setting balanced with beauty and hope. Following Cohen through his encounters with good and evil at times can be heart wrenching. However moments of aspiring heroic deeds are given for symmetry throughout the structure of this tense reading. The suspenseful ending will surely inspire the reader for a long time to come. A candidate for Best Book of the Year.

— Mike, Albuquerque

Heavily compared to The Road by Cormac McCarthy (and for good reason) this is a well-written stunning debut novel. Haunting, intense and prophetic “end of the world” scenario that I couldn’t put down. It begins with a series of storms that destroy the south, most of the general population leave. Some stay or come back. The desolated ruins are inhabited with deviants and soon what’s left is a lawless pit of hell. We follow the main character Cohen as he tries to live in the wreckage of the new world.
— Guy, Vroman's


For fans of Cormac McCarthy and Annie Proulx, "a wonderfully cinematic story" (The Washington Post) set in the post-Katrina South after violent storms have decimated the region.

It had been raining for weeks. Maybe months. He had forgotten the last day that it hadn't rained, when the storms gave way to the pale blue of the Gulf sky, when the birds flew and the clouds were white and sunshine glistened across the drenched land.

The Gulf Coast has been brought to its knees. Years of catastrophic hurricanes have so punished and depleted the region that the government has drawn a new boundary ninety miles north of the coastline. Life below the Line offers no services, no electricity, and no resources, and those who stay behind live by their own rules--including Cohen, whose wife and unborn child were killed during an evacuation attempt. He buried them on family land and never left.

But after he is ambushed and his home is ransacked, Cohen is forced to flee. On the road north, he is captured by Aggie, a fanatical, snake-handling preacher who has a colony of captives and dangerous visions of repopulating the barren region. Now Cohen is faced with a decision: continue to the Line alone, or try to shepherd the madman's prisoners across the unforgiving land with the biggest hurricane yet bearing down--and Cohen harboring a secret that poses the greatest threat of all.

Eerily prophetic in its depiction of a Southern landscape ravaged by extreme weather, Rivers is a masterful tale of survival and redemption in a world where the next devastating storm is never far behind."This is the kind of book that lifts you up with its mesmerizing language then pulls you under like a riptide" (The Atlanta Journal-Constitution).

Product Details
ISBN: 9781451699432
ISBN-10: 1451699433
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Publication Date: September 9th, 2014
Pages: 333
Language: English