Listen free for 30 days

1 credit a month, good for any title to download and keep.
The Plus Catalogue—listen all you want to thousands of Audible Originals, podcasts, and audiobooks.
$14.95 a month plus applicable taxes after 30 day trial. Cancel anytime.
Wanderers cover art

Wanderers

Written by: Chuck Wendig
Narrated by: Dominic Hoffman,Xe Sands
Try for $0.00

$14.95 a month after 30 days. Cancel anytime.

Buy Now for $57.02

Buy Now for $57.02

Pay using card ending in
By confirming your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions of Use and Amazon's Privacy Notice. Tax where applicable.

Publisher's Summary

A decadent rock star. A deeply religious radio host. A disgraced scientist. And a teenage girl who may be the world’s last hope. From the mind of Chuck Wendig comes "a magnum opus...a story about survival that’s not just about you and me, but all of us, together" (Kirkus Reviews starred review).

Nominated for the Bram Stoker Award

Named one of the Best Books of the Year by:

  • The Washington Post
  • NPR
  • The Dallas Morning News
  • Kirkus Reviews
  • Publishers Weekly
  • Library Journal 
  • Polygon

Shana wakes up one morning to discover her little sister in the grip of a strange malady. She appears to be sleepwalking. She cannot talk and cannot be woken up. And she is heading with inexorable determination to a destination that only she knows. But Shana and her sister are not alone. Soon, they are joined by a flock of sleepwalkers from across America, on the same mysterious journey. And like Shana, there are other "shepherds" who follow the flock to protect their friends and family on the long dark road ahead.

For as the sleepwalking phenomenon awakens terror and violence in America, the real danger may not be the epidemic but the fear of it. With society collapsing all around them - and an ultraviolent militia threatening to exterminate them - the fate of the sleepwalkers depends on unraveling the mystery behind the epidemic. The terrifying secret will either tear the nation apart - or bring the survivors together to remake a shattered world.

In development for TV by Glen Mazzara, executive producer of The Walking Dead 

Look for the sequel in 2022 

Praise for Wanderers

"This career-defining epic deserves its inevitable comparisons to Stephen King’s The Stand." (Publishers Weekly starred review)

"A suspenseful, twisty, satisfying, surprising, thought-provoking epic." (Harlan Coben, number one New York Times best-selling author of Run Away)

"A true tour de force." (Erin Morgenstern, New York Times best-selling author of The Night Circus)

"A masterpiece with prose as sharp and heartbreaking as Station Eleven." (Peng Shepherd, author of The Book of M)

"A magnum opus.... It reminded me of Stephen King’s The Stand - but dare I say, this story is even better." (James Rollins, number one New York Times best-selling author of Crucible)

"An inventive, fierce, uncompromising, stay-up-way-past-bedtime masterwork." (Paul Tremblay, author of A Head Full of Ghosts and The Cabin at the End of the World)

"An American epic for these times." (Charles Soule, author of The Oracle Year)

©2019 Chuck Wendig (P)2019 Random House Audio

What the critics say

"Wanderers is amazing - huge, current, both broad and intensely personal, blending the contemplative apocalypse of Station Eleven with the compulsive readability of the best thrillers." (Django Wexler, author of the Shadow Campaigns series)

"Chuck Wendig’s latest, Wanderers, is a magnum opus of both storytelling and prose, epic in scope, yet told with an intimacy that hooked me from the first page. It reminded me of a technological version of Stephen King’s The Stand - but dare I say, this is even better: a postapocalyptic horror story that bares the best and worst of humanity in all its rawest forms. Don’t miss this tour de force. It left me awed." (James Rollins, number-one New York Times best-selling author of Crucible)

"With Wanderers, Chuck Wendig levels up - and when you consider the high level he was already writing at, that's saying something." (John Scalzi, New York Times best-selling author of The Consuming Fire)

What listeners say about Wanderers

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    88
  • 4 Stars
    33
  • 3 Stars
    14
  • 2 Stars
    12
  • 1 Stars
    5
Performance
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    90
  • 4 Stars
    33
  • 3 Stars
    12
  • 2 Stars
    7
  • 1 Stars
    2
Story
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    82
  • 4 Stars
    32
  • 3 Stars
    15
  • 2 Stars
    12
  • 1 Stars
    3

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Excellent Read .. Listen.

This was a terrific book. My first compliment is that I had to look at the authour's name because this sounded and started out like Stephen King.

The storyline is consistent and the characters engaging. There was enough back-story to not make me wonder. There was enough science (and written well too .. like .. hey .. is that true) to make it believable. My dis-belief was suspended. The story had a beginning .. bunch of middles and a firm ending. Sure I can see a sequel but if it never happens I am content with the summary and ending as a single book.

The narrators were fine and easy on the ears. In some books you get pops, squeaks and audio level changes and there was none of that nonsense here either.

Overall it was well worth my monthly credit for length, story line and narrators. If there was a clap-emoji I would put it here.

7 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Really enjoyed this!

I've listened to close to 50 audiobooks on here and this is definitely near the top of the list for me. Lots will compare this to the Stand (which is also a favourite of mine) but too me they are very different books.

why I liked it so much:
- unlike lots of apocalyptic books I've read this one is set in 2019 which i found very engaging, especially since Wendig does
such a great job panting a picture of how todays world would react to a situation like this.
- great character development throughout. Like lots of my favourite books these main characters will stick with me for a long time
- The use of science in this book is not preachy and dull, I found it really cool the way everything was broken down and
explained in detail. These details you're almost craving as your trying to understand whats going on.
- The Narration was awesome

I could go on and on but at the end of the day this was a great listen! kept me extending the sleep timer over and over again haha, got less sleep some nights but it was worth it.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Intriguing, Exciting, Heartbreaking, Concurrently

This is my first Wendig novel, and all I can say is, "Holy crap!". What a ride. The novel is very long, but so well-written that it somehow never feels at all like a slog. Never feels like exposition for the sake thereof. Never feels like it is lecturing, leading or lying to the reader. And it left me breathless. Like I wanted to laugh and cry and scream all at the same time.

Wonderful narration team truly made the characters come alive, can't praise them enough.

Is the story a warning? An allegory for our seemingly horrible current world situation? Or simply a great yarn with fully fleshed-out characters that truly feel like human beings that one can relate to? I can't say for sure what was in Chuck's head, but what I CAN say is that this was one of the best stories I have ever experienced. And it IS an experience. 5 Stars aren't enough.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Jesus CHRIST, Chuck.

I not only loved this story, I and am terrified of the real world parallels. Loved it, though.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Great book!

Kept me engrossed through the whole thing; I was never sure where it was going, but always in a good way!

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

Ugh--This is not like The Stand!

The Stand is top 3 of my favourite novels of all time, I own it in paperback and read it several times, I own it on Audible and have loved it dearly.

So let's be clear. This is NOT the Stand. This is drudgery. I have not finished this book, or even got past the 5th hour mark, because it's simply rambling, boring, drab, dull as dishwater, meandering, has awful 1 note characters, and while I AM a Liberal, large "L", give me a break. I don't need pablum spoon fed to me, because not all Democrats are white hats and not all republicans are black hats. "Nazi White Guy shit" is a direct quote from this book.
Seriously, if people are really singular notes like that, what a world.

Dammit-- at 5 hours+ it's just boring. Shana is a little shit. I don't care about these people, the sleepwalkers, Shepherds or any of part of this book. I'd really like my money back.

I loved Xe Sands narrative parts, but unfortunately she's Shana's voice and Shana is annoying. Mr. Hoffman's voice makes my eyes glaze over.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Truly great!!!

I’m getting near to the end and I couldn’t even wait to review it. The whole thing, from writing to the voice performances and did I mention the writing, are so fantastic. Ymmv, but for me this production was just truly great.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

We have seen this story before...

Start by saying that as a fan of post-apocalyptic fiction I mostly enjoyed this novel. Good character development and pacing. However the technical detail weighs it down considerably at the beginning and it takes too long to get going. Also, low score for inventiveness and I found it too weighed down by the political debates of the present moment. So a good novel but not great or overly memorable.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Woke lecture

I liked the idea and high hopes. But after hearing how politically geared the writing is I lost hope. I dont listen to stories at work to hear about the authors political views.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Enjoyed the ride!

Sci Fi doomsday with great caracters, scenery and adventure. Really enjoyed going through the story to figure out what was happening. Easy to follow, great guidance through out the book.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Allan T. Maule
  • Allan T. Maule
  • 2019-07-29

Recommended, with some issues

Wanderers wants to be a 21st-century rendition of Stephen King's THE STAND: an epic story of American societal collapse and survival in the face of a deadly epidemic. Sometimes, it succeeds: the scope of the story and the twists of the plot are top-notch, and it's certainly a good page-turner. There's no question I enjoyed this book, and if you need an engaging and well-researched read about how our troubled world could collapse, WANDERERS is easy to recommend.

So why only 3 stars Overall and for Performance? Mostly to give potential readers some perspective in between the absolutely gushing reviews and the 1-star haters on this site. So now that I've recommended this read, here are the reason WANDERERS is not perfect and might not be for you:

1) LENGTH: This is a marathon of a book in audio or print, and I can't shake the feeling that it needed another 80–100 pages of squishing in order to keep the plot moving. Wendig knows how to tell a good story, so the pacing is generally pretty quick. Still, every character had several internal monologues where I was saying "OK, I get it," as I wished the author would move on to the rest of the action. This brings me to my next quibble...

2) CHARACTERS: As an epic-in-scope story, WANDERERS has a LOT of main characters who get to command narrative attention and tone in their chapters. Some of them you will like a lot. Others you will dislike, but understand. And still others will make you ask: "Wait, why are you doing that? What's motivating you to think that's a good idea?" I've read enough novels to know I don't have to love or identify with all the characters to enjoy the story, but WANDERERS at times had me puzzled why certain characters behaved the way they did. At worst, it feels like they're acting to advance the plot or just do oddball funny things to lighten the novel's tone rather than behaving in a believable manner. Perhaps this will not bother a less critical reader, but it irked me.

3) POLITICS: If you've ever peeked at Wendig's Twitter feed, you know he's an outspoken progressive—and personally, I agree with him on a ton of levels. My issue here is not that I disagree with his rather bleak view of modern conservatism, but rather that there's not a lot of nuance in how he depicts the American political divide in this book. Outspoken conservatives in this book inevitably end up on the side of monsters, and those sympathetic to such views get co-opted by the monsters and suffer horribly as a result. This won't be a problem for many liberal-minded readers, but where I got hung up was how essentially every character has internal monologues that stop the action to reflect on their political leanings at some point in the story. At worst, these moments feel like the author is signalling us "Don't worry, this character is a liberal" in order to get us to like them. Perhaps this is an inevitable land-mine for a novel set in 2019 America, but I feel like the author is going to irritate or distract a lot of readers by constantly bringing politics into a story that doesn't always require it.

4) PERFORMANCE: There's a pretty marked contrast in acting ability between the two narrators. While Dominic Hoffman has a pleasant voice, he cannot do a British or Irish accent to save his life. What's more, his narration can sometimes become stilted when switching between characters during dialog. Xe Sands is generally better across the board at reading the sections narrated by the female characters, as she empathizes with the characters with more skill. These VO issues don't cripple the book, but I wish the producers had gotten two 5-star voice actors instead of one great voice and one okay voice.

5) SEXUAL VIOLENCE: There's one episode of rape in this book that is both graphic and unexpected, as the character perpetuating it doesn't give much warning that he's capable of this kind of sexual violence in this moment. While it may or may not belong in the story, I found it shocking when it occurred and kept wondering if it was really necessary to the plot. Other readers may not arrive at the same judgment, but I note this here as a trigger warning for anyone who knows they'll be bothered by this kind of content.

CONCLUSION:
WANDERERS is a good, long book that I enjoyed. I felt bothered enough by its imperfections to write this review. I hope this helps you decide if this novel will be up your alley or not.

321 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Megan Wright
  • Megan Wright
  • 2019-08-13

interesting

I struggled wth finishing this book, which rarely happens to me. I liked a few characters in the book but that is the only good thing I can say. I usually find redeeming qualities, not this time. 90 + chapters of liberal propaganda, hate smeared CNN talking points, dang near killed me. If you hate white Christians, if you hate all white, southern males because every single one must be a racist white supremacist, you hate police or military, hate God or dont believe, are mostly against guns.. but a bit on the fence, enjoy male on male rape and love constant cussing this book is for you. The rest of the rational, reasonable readers or non politicals.... keep looking.
I shouldnt know, and dont want or need to know authors political affiliations. It had potential...

54 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for WaterGeek
  • WaterGeek
  • 2019-07-06

Ideological Interference

I'm probably not far enough into the book for a realistic review (about 4 hours in....update, it gets worse, see below) but felt compelled to chime in anyway. Decent story idea, the writing and dialog are fine, narrators are good, even though I normally prefer a single narrator. The problem is the author cannot resist clogging up the story with every liberal cliche, meme or prejudice to signal the virtue of his good characters. It adds nothing to the story and is just clunky and distracting, at least to this listener. A doctor character cant just give a patient update without also randomly commenting on the high cost of healthcare, with no connection to the conversation. Huh?

The author should probably just stick to telling a good story and check his politics at the door, especially in a book of this length and pace. Too many more ham-fisted attempts to show that progressives are heroes and conservatives are evil scum without advancing the plot in any meaningful way and I may lose interest completely.

Update - Well, I made it farther than I thought because it's kind of like a slow-motion train wreck where you really WANT to look away, but you're also curious about how bad it will get. In the end I gave up at 22 hours and this will be the first book I'm returning.

I was wrong, Wendig wasn't clogging up his story with liberal clichés, the entire story IS a liberal cliché, wrapped in a plot that is a progressive fantasy.  Not only are most of the characters entirely one-dimensional caricatures, but it's all so predictable after a while; every white guy is fat, stupid or an alt-right racist, or preferably all three. Check.  Actually, in Wendig's world, the country is absolutely chock full of white supremacist's and militias, pretty much on every corner. Bring in the possibly racist, or just misguided preacher, who gets graphically raped by the racist, drug dealing alt-right bad guy....because everyone knows all those guys are hiding in the closet. Add a brilliant AI computer to create a flock of sleepwalkers with nano-bots to save and carry on the human species after climate change oh so predictably causes a disease to mutate and jump species. Don't forget a healthy dose of evil Republican politicians, an assination of the liberal, female president by right-wingers.  Wow, it's like the tri-fecta (or quad-fecta if that a word) of progressive hot buttons and boogeymen all wrapped up in what passes for a plot. Really? Ignore the complete illogic of the AI's designers constraining the brilliant machine, one that can receive messages from itself from the future, to a binary, yes/no communication style. What? Yes, that makes it harder for the AI to expose the most silly and illogical plot points for like 20+ hours when it decides to finally talk.  Also ignore that the AI selects a group of people to supposedly repopulate the species who are "better" than the population, since Wendig make it clear humans are a disease.  This flock is in better health, more intelligent, less Christian, more diverse racially, and more diverse in sexual preference than the normal population. Ignore the illogic of an Artificial Intelligence planning to repopulate the species, yet being concerned about including a much higher percentage folks who would be unlikely to reproduce; makes no sense but it fits the virtue signaling tone.  Apparently Wendig is not one of those who believe AI's cold logic is a threat to humanity...his AI is touchy feely.

Sorry to ramble, basically this one is an overly long, self-indulgent and convoluted mess of plastic, one dimensional characters plodding through a completely illogical and silly plot. Sadly, Wendig ruined what started off to be an interesting story idea

51 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Stephanie J
  • Stephanie J
  • 2019-07-03

Rare thing

I’m 11 chapters in and I can’t stop listening to this book. It’s thoroughly engaging. The science is fascinating. I really want to know why the sleepwalking is happening. I’m enjoying the heck out of this book.

41 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Amy Citlau
  • Amy Citlau
  • 2019-07-12

A worthy read

Apocalyptic novels are written to explore morality, existence and meaning. At their best, they teach philosophy, religion and ethics while being deeply entertained. The Wanderers”, is the high water mark of the genre. It considers AI, racism, global warming, love, life and death and without being preachy reveals the tenuous position our world is in.

Beyond all that, it was great to listen to. The pace might be too slow for some. But for those who love to be immersed into a story, you won’t do better than this.

22 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Dmz123
  • Dmz123
  • 2019-10-24

Without warning- brutal, graphic rape

Without any warning, the story has a brutal, graphic rape. I would not have purchased this book if I had known. I am disgusted and very disappointed. I am trying to return this book- only the 2nd return I have had.

21 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Doombbd
  • Doombbd
  • 2019-07-05

Too slow

First book that I ever returned to Audible. 7 hours in and I finally gave up. I was looking forward to this book for months, ever since Scott Sigler tweeted about it. It starts off interesting but then bogs down. Really bogs down. This book is DULL. At least most of the first 7 hours. I’ve read reviews that say the story gets going after the first half. An audiobook that takes 16 hours to get going is not one that I want to listen to... The comparisons to The Stand are ridiculous. I don’t recall having to read through half of The Stand before it got entertaining. This book was unfortunately a big disappointment.

19 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Eugenia
  • Eugenia
  • 2019-10-02

I Can't Believe I Listened To The Whole Thing!

And it was excruciating.
Overwritten is an understatement. This Stephen King wannabe had so many "like a..." that it would be impossible to count.
Examples:
"His chest heaved like a storm tossed sea."
and: "DeCarlo made a face like someone pressed a cat turd to his lips, made him kiss it."
and my personal favorite:
"...but Matthew caught it between his teeth like a stringy piece of gristle."
And this bit of fine writing: "...her eye rolls were so vigorous, they could knock a satellite out of orbit."
And don't get me started on the narrators. Dominic Hoffman with misplaced pauses and slow, endlessly slow narration. And Xe Sands with smiling voice tinged with sarcasm.
And there's more...SPOILER ALERT (as if it matters): What's with the white mask disease and nanobots or whatever?
I guess I listened to the whole 32 hours and 22 minutes so that I would know what happened in the end. I want those 32 hours and 22 minutes back.


18 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Dana
  • Dana
  • 2019-11-06

Listen to the negative reviews! :(

Wow, that was a painful 30+ hours. I read and rely on reviews. I should have listened to the negative reviews for this book! The storyline is interesting but is expanded upon WAY too much. At least 20hrs could have been omitted. Had I known of some of the sensitive topics in this book I would have skipped it altogether.

16 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for ellegreenland
  • ellegreenland
  • 2019-09-17

Disappointing.

The narration keeps you listening (both Dominic Hoffman and Xe Sands are outstanding!), but the storyline keeps you fast forwarding with endless descriptions, repetitions, and superflous information. I honestly skipped about 6 hours total, and always knew what was going on. The writing is brilliant in some places, with interesting and unique metaphors, but sadly more often it's mediocre. The characters are like just screen shots of actual persons. They're bland, showing emotion, but in an weirdly stunted ways, like they are AI and programmed to be human, instead of honestly being human. I'd be WAY more mad in some of the circumstances they faced, and they're just kind of ticked-off and oddly detached. The story line is regurgitated from many influencers. Stephen King's "The Stand" is even referenced in the dialogue "This is just like The Stand." Indeed. Even the title is out of sync with the book - the "flock" or "black swan" or even the "shepherds" would be better chosen. This is the only book I've listened to that makes me want an abridged edition.

16 people found this helpful