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09 September 2013

Lee Goldberg: The Walk

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A Nightmare Walk Home
What would you do if you had survived the most cataclysmic earthquake in LA history and you are 30 miles from home? Most roads and freeways are impassable and buckled, overpasses collapsed, skyscrapers are toppled or fatally damaged, LAX is on fire and the runways unusable and hundreds of thousands of the population are killed, seriously injured or trapped under rubble. And the aftershocks keep coming, bigger than any in living memory.

Martin Slack, a successful network executive, has been visiting a TV series set in an old warehouse when the earthquake struck and is lucky to take cover under his Mercedes when the warehouse collapses, crushes his car but leaves him unscathed. With devastation all around him Martin decides to walk home through the rubble to his home and his wife, not knowing if his house and wife have survived. Martin is not normally an adventurous type but within hours he rescues a boy from a car on a damaged flyover, and fails to rescue a woman trapped in her car. He is helped along by Buck, a mysterious hunk of a man with a flair for violence, who follows him through thick and thin.

This is a catastrophic tale of the aftermath of a major disaster and how people react, including inadvertent bravery. To lighten things a bit, Lee Goldberg mixes in a few touches of humour, especially focusing on the unreal world of TV series and movies. Along the way Marty discovers a lot about himself and his feelings for his wife, and his life.

This is a page-turning unusual adventure that I recommend to anyone looking for an enjoyable short read.


  1. Thanks for the great review!


  2. Thank you Lee for the kind comment. It is always an honour to get praise from the author.Your book hit home with me because we have had some exposure to earthquakes.

    The LA scene was a bit familiar as were overnighting at LAX in January 1994 en route home to Australia and were nearly thrown out of a hotel King Sized bed by the Northridge earthquake. We had a view of one of the runways and I can remember seeing planes trying to land when the landing lights had gone out with the quake. We also remember the day after, the aftershocks, and the impact of the damage on the freeways.

    Before that we lived for 2 years in Tokyo (180 shakes a year) where each area of the city had an assembly point in a park for when the big one struck. During the day I would be in one area, my wife in another and our only daughter (then 15) in another. We often spoke about how we would try to get back to our home assembly point to meet up if anything happened. Luckily the biggest we encountered were 6.2 and 6.4 but they were pretty scary.