S.A.’s Book Review: 77 Days In September

77 Days in September by Ray Gorham. (Published in 2011.) 306 Pages.    

Note: Possible spoilers ahead. 

On June 16, 2013, “Retired Rev”. wrote a SurvivalBlog article entitled “Prepping For Seniors” and referred to the e-book “77 Days In September.” I made a note-to-self on my iPad to read it in the future. However, in the months in between, I’ve read several self-published End Times-type print books sold on Amazon, and those turned out to be somewhat painful experiences. A piece of advice to writers: If you are not positive that you can punctuate and follow standard grammatical rules, either hire an editor or engage a literate friend to polish your work as countless mistakes are fatal detractions to your story. 

This week I asked my daughter to put 77 Days in September on her Kindle so I could take it on a trip. Happily, Gorham knows the rules. While there were a couple of minor mistakes (an omitted period and a comma error), my husband pointed out that a person often can find errors in print pieces. 

For a light read, “77 Days In September” hits the spot. It’s not “War And Peace,” but not many books are. I cared about the protagonist and cheered for him to get home. An EMP attack puts the lights out in America, and Kyle Tait, a devoted husband and father, is desperate to return home from Texas to Montana. 

Kyle realizes he must walk the 1,400 plus miles, and winter will be coming up north. He encounters good guys and bad guys, as expected. The story affirms that there are more moral, ethical, and caring people than the opposite types. Many apocalyptic stories are full of only zombies, gangs, criminals, and assorted crazies. Gorham knows these people exist, but he believes that the world is full of good, solid people who won’t turn their backs on a person in need. 

How realistic is this story? In the 1500’s, Spanish Conquistador, Cabeza de Vaca, along with a slave, Estabanico the Moor, wandered and explored the arid American Southwest for 8 years. Coronado searched for the Seven Cities of Gold for two years in what is now New Mexico and Arizona. My childhood friend had a great-grandparent who got off the boat from Ireland and pushed a wheelbarrow to Texas. Throughout history, armies have marched great distances and climbed mountains in order to wage war. American pioneers walked from the Midwest, crossing the Sierra to California prior to the completion of the Transcontinental Railroad. Motivated people will do whatever it takes to survive and travel on foot. It’s possible, maybe very difficult, but possible with a bit of luck. 

One final thought is a take-away from this story. To Bug Out and go long distances, have something with wheels to carry your stuff, food, and gear.  Get a garden cart, a Radio Flyer wagon, a baby stroller, a grocery cart, a bike, anything with wheels. You will replenish your stash, and you will need a way to carry it. Think how much water you could pull as opposed to how much water you could carry. Water is heavy. Kyle Tait defended his homemade cart with his life, time after time because he recognized that his life depended on it. 

Thanks, Ray. I enjoyed the read. Recommended.