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Publisher's Summary

A mordantly funny, all-too-real novel in the vein of Tom Perotta and Emma Straub about a suburban American family that has to figure out how to survive themselves and their neighbors in the wake of a global calamity that upends all of modern life.

It’s Tuesday morning in Lincolnwood, New Jersey, and all four members of the Altman family are busy ignoring each other en route to work and school. Dan, a lawyer turned screenwriter, is preoccupied with satisfying his imperious TV producer boss’ creative demands. Seventeen-year-old daughter Chloe obsesses over her college application essay and the state tennis semifinals. Her vape-addicted little brother, Max, silently plots revenge against a thuggish freshman classmate. And their MBA-educated mom, Jen, who gave up a successful business career to raise the kids, is counting the minutes until the others vacate the kitchen and she can pour her first vodka of the day. 

Then, as the kids begin their school day and Dan rides a commuter train into Manhattan, the world comes to a sudden, inexplicable stop. Lights, phones, laptops, cars, trains...the entire technological infrastructure of 21st-century society quits working. Normal life, as the Altmans and everyone else knew it, is over. 

Or is it? 

Over four transformative, chaotic days, this privileged but clueless American family will struggle to hold it together in the face of water shortages, paramilitary neighbors, and the well-mannered looting of the local Whole Foods as they try to figure out just what the hell is going on.

©2021 Geoffrey Rodkey (P)2021 HarperCollins Publishers

What listeners say about Lights out in Lincolnwood

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Great book!

I loved this book! I could not stop listening. The characters were well developed and relatable. The story was intriguing. You will not be disappointed.

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Funny as hell

Just a great satire about most people’s favorite topic these days, the end of the world as we know it
I’ll read everything this writer writes.

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Laughed out loud. A little contrived but so what.

Lights out in Lincolnwood was referred by a friend. It did not disappoint. Great summer listen. Angst, love, paranoia between parents-teens; friends-neighbors; the neighborhood militia; friends-colleagues; and a random shared unexplainable event. It was a lot of fun, poignant at times. I laughed out loud more than once. Grab your umbrella, a (reasonable amount) of vodka, sit down (or walk your dog listening) and enjoy!

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Fun and Provocative

I completely enjoyed Lights Out in Lincolnwood. I read 40 Audible titles a year; its creativity and writing make this the best novel I’ve read in a long time.

The story involves a suburban family of four – harried, flawed, and unprepared – suddenly emersed in some sort of societal disaster. It’s not really an “apocalypse” book, but a novel that uses the context of a disaster to pressure test the family -- and suburbia. The result is an engaging and fun read, with plenty of “what if that happened to me?” moments available for awkward reflections.

Rodkey’s characters are richly developed, and events cause ever shifting sympathies. The author has a delightful voice and provides many laugh-out-loud lines. Pacing is spot-on.

I was uncertain about the four-readers format. In fact, it works tremendously well. The novel is divided among sections featuring the perspective of each of the four main characters. So one narrator reads for each character’s sections; each narrator is superb.

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Best book I've listened to all year

This is a great listen: the story itself is compelling (it's like if Stephen King's "The Stand" were written by a sharply observant comedy writer), and the characters ring true. It's a strong mix of laugh-out-loud-funny and disturbing insights into our brittle social bonds. It also made me look at the people around us-- like *of course* the parent-bullies at the little league games will assign themselves to "protect" the supplies at Whole Foods.

The performance is also strong. I like novels with shifting points-of-view. In this case, there is an actor for the 4 major characters, and it has been well-cast and directed.

For a reader in a certain stage of life (ie, 40s-to-50s, with teenaged kids), you will not be able to put this down (I'm in this category).

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Can’t wait for the next book!

Honestly, I was a bit skeptical at first. The Altman family seemed like a whiny bunch of spoiled entitled brats. I thought it was going to be tough to get through a book where none of the main characters were particularly likeable. But they really started to grow on me, and by the second half of the book I was listening constantly. The ending was fantastic, and clearly indicated that there would be a sequel, if not a series. Truthfully, it was really refreshing to read a doomsday apocalyptic novel where the characters weren’t perfect and weren’t preppers and didn’t have every imaginable item or tool or weapon like many of the other books in this genre. They were real people with real problems and real reactions. And I think every single human being knows a person like Marty. LOL Well done! Highly recommend if you like apocalyptic fiction.