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[X-Posted from Reddit - /u/codejockblue5] - "The Witch of Hebron: A World Made by Hand Novel" by James Howard Kunstler

"The Witch of Hebron: A World Made by Hand Novel" by James Howard Kunstler

Book number two of a four book apocalyptic fantasy series. I read the well printed and well bound trade paperback published by Grove Press in 2011 that I bought new on Amazon. I have bought the third and fourth books in the series.

In this alternate reality, oil well fracking was not invented and the world started running out of crude oil in 2008. Then somebody popped off a nuclear bomb in Los Angeles and somebody popped off a nuclear bomb in Washington DC. And the world slowed down and the USA moved back to the 1800s over the next several decades. We were back to times that the flu and encephalitis killed significant portions of the population. This series is set roughly in 2030 or 2040. The books are page turners with short three to five page chapters.

The town of Union Grove, New York has decayed significantly over time. No cars, either buy a horse or walk where you are going. No electricity and the farms are worked by hand now. The population is maybe 20% of what it was at the turn of the century so there are houses standing empty all over town. All of the older people remember cars, airplanes, antibiotics, and air conditioning but the young people don't.

It is fall now and the kids are back in school after the farm harvests came in. Eleven year olds Ned and Jasper are out fishing and then walking home. On the way home, Jasper's three month old puppy runs in to the Brother's horse pasture and starts barking and jumping at Brother Jobe's stallion. The stallion ends up stomping the dog. Jasper comes back in the middle of the night and feeds the stallion opium balls covered with oats, killing him. He stole the opium balls from his doctor father. Jasper then takes off to become a doctor in the town down the way. But, Jasper runs into Billy Bones, a thief and a murderer on the road. Billy Bones is determined that Jasper will become his protege.

The author has an active website at
Warning, the author's website is fairly crude.

My rating: 4.4 out of 5 stars
Amazon rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars (616 reviews)