Cover Image: Reunion of the Good Weather Suicide Cult

Reunion of the Good Weather Suicide Cult

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Member Reviews

My thanks to the publisher for providing me with a copy of this book to review. I love anything that centres around cults. They've always fascinated me and I did enjoy this book.
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In Reunion of the Good Weather Suicide Cult by Kyle McCord, we see how well-meaning people seeking spiritual community can become ensnared in webs of intrigue and deadly manipulation. Through the lens of a Netflix documentary as well as Tom's personal struggle, this book takes readers on a journey through the dark heart of a simple Iowa commune gone horribly wrong. (less)

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I really wanted to love this one! I am fascinated by cults and I love this trend of "faux documentary" books lately. However, this one just didn't work for me. I didn't feel connected to the characters or feel the pull to keep reading after putting it down. 

Thank you to Netgalley, the author and publisher for my ARC!
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I really enjoyed the format of this book! One of my favorite parts is that the story is written with sections from Tom's perspective and then, opposite that, there are clips from the Netflix documentary. This is another book that I think is already written to make itself into a very interesting TV show or movie. 
Well done!
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I love a good cult story,and this book puts a new spin on it,
In Reunion of the Good Weather Suicide Cult there is one sole survivor from a mass suicide.
The story doesn't go too much into detail of the cult itself, rather the aftermath of those left behind but not just the lone survivor. We meet people who had left the cult and those from the town the cult lived in.
Some really interesting things in here. Great fast easy read.
This new angle on a fascinating subject really made this story interesting to read.
Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for the ARC in exchange for my honest review..
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This book was pretty good although it dragged in some parts. I liked how it alternated between members POV and Netflix episodes of the documentary. I wish we spent more time at the reunion or maybe flashbacks to the actual cult. I feel like there's a lot of the puzzle we just don't get to see.
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A very interesting take on the endlessly fascinating subject of cults and their strange inner workings. While I liked that we got a deeper look at those in the cult's periphery (survivors, deserters, neighbors, etc.), I wish we'd gotten a bit more depth when it came to the cult itself.
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Reunion of the Good Weather Suicide Cult by Kyle McCord tells of a man who survived a mass suicide of cult he belonged to, only to be vilified by a documentary maker as the murder. Mr. McCord is a published author, this is his first novel.

Tom Duncan was the sole survivor of the largest cult mass suicide in the United States. Slowly Tom tries to rebuild his life, and get to know his daughter and granddaughter.

However, Tom cannot get the anonymity he wants. A Netflix documentary claiming that Tom’s survival wasn’t an accident, but that he’s responsible

Reunion of the Good Weather Suicide Cult by Kyle McCord was a very well written drama. The author tells two styles of stories, that of Tom Duncan, and an emotionally manipulative documentary.

The uniqueness of this story is that it tells of primarily of survival. There are many stories, non-fiction as well as fiction, which tell of cults, and ask poignant questions.

Why do people join?
What makes them give up their previous lives?
What prompts them to kill themselves?
And, of course, the deep belief in one claiming to be a prophet.

The aftermath, however, could be even more cruel than ending it all. This is especially true when a smear documentary is made about you.

Another interesting aspect of the book is they way the author described how the cult got popular. Tom was one of the first people to join, so we got to view through his eyes the beginning of it all.

There were several interesting characters in the book, most of them were former cult members. I didn’t care that the author used their “cult name” throughout. I just thought it was a weird choice, especially since they are trying to move on.

The novel uses the narrative to tackle grief, not only for Tom, but also the rest of the ex-cultists. Tom, being America’s most hated man thanks to the documentary is, surprisingly, not had the most difficult time.

I do know what it’s like to be a part of a community, and then to leave. It is a difficult thing and a feeling one wants to get back, if possible. This novel, above all, captures that feeling at times.
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Excellent story! Totally engrossing!.  Looking forward to reading more by this author! Could not put this down!
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Not my cup of tea in the end. I'm interested in anything that has to do with cults, but I didn't like the format the book was written in. The Netflix chapters in between didn't do it for me and the book all-over was hard to read due to merged words and cut off phrases or sentences.
In the end I didn't feel like I got to know that much about the why's and history of the cult itself.

Thank you Netgalley for providing me with an eARC in exchange for an honest review.
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Good but not great, although I think I was expecting more of the ins and outs of what happened in the cult.
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This book will pull you in and you won't want to put it down until the end (maybe not even then). Reunion of the Good Weather Suicide Cult hit all my marks: mystery, death, cults, and faux mixed-media (what's the word for that) with Netflix transcripts interspersed throughout the book. I really enjoyed the tone of the book as well, more than anything it felt real. The world is a lot of ups and downs, but trauma is filled with a lot of greys and that's exactly how I would explain this book. It's grey, honest, and complex. 

4/5 Stars

Thank you to NetGalley and Atmosphere Press for providing me with an e-arc of this book in exchange for an honest review.
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I am obsessive about cults. They fascinate me. How did ONE PERSON get all these people (or even just a few people) to fall into the same collective insanity and have NO ONE question them? It's seriously mind-boggling and fascinating. 

So, needless to say, when I saw the title and read the description I was IN. I was ALL IN.

After being made the scapegoat by a Netflix documentary covering the mass suicide of the Good Weather cult, Tom Duncan is living a very limited life. He can barely leave the house without turning heads and eliciting comments from strangers about his culpability in the tragedy. Even taking his granddaughter to the park isn't safe.  So, in the interest of keeping his remaining family safe, Tom heads out to the so mentioned reunion. Over the course of several days, Tom works through the biggest pile of emotional baggage you've ever seen. Confronting tragedy and trauma is always difficult, but the time he spends with the ones who had left the cult pre-mass suicide is rife with tension and heightened emotions. 

As I said, I'm obsessed with cults. So the peek into that life, though fictional, was very intriguing to me. The story being interspersed with "clips" from the Netflix Documentary was definitely an interesting stylistic choice and worked well. There aren't a lot of characters with redeeming characteristics in this story, but that's to be expected considering the content. Tom DOES have the potential for redemption, and you see that change in him as the story progresses. 

My only real complaint with the story is that there wasn't a lot of detail about what exactly the cult was about. We know that the people involved fell under Rain's spell mostly due to loneliness or looking for some sort of direction in life. It would have been nice, to know more about the tenets of the cult so that I could understand WHY these people not only followed him, but gave their lives to cross over into his version of the hereafter. 

Thank you again to Atmosphere Press and NetGalley for this ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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The title and cover caught my eye, then I read the description and was intrigued. It took me a while to get used to the writing layout, but once I got my head around it was in interesting story and I'm very relieved that it's fiction even though it reads like a non-fiction. I enjoyed the whole experience and look forward to future books in this style.
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A tightly written cult survivor story with a pleasing amount of ambiguity.  Many will pick this up because of the subject matter but honestly the cult frame isn't necessarily required - it's a family/found family/guilt/media sort of jam, most importantly.
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So what happens when you are the sole survivor of a cult that commits mass suicide? And then a documentary states that you were involved in killing all your fellow cult members including your wife? Yeah, not the greatest. Because of course that isn't what happened and you are walking around as a scarred victim while strangers are calling you out in the playground where you've taken your sweet little granddaughter. Given that, when the opportunity to meet up with a few other former members of the cult comes up, you go, if only to be around others who are struggling with the same things. As the story goes a long, the characters are developed, mostly Tom Duncan, but also a few of the other remaining people. It was interesting to read a very non-sensationalized version of the life in the cult and how Tom survived day to day afterwards, under the weight of his memories. I know that doesn't sound very exciting, but it was interesting. And there are some other very surprising moments that pop up that I don't want to refer to so as not to ruin the reading for others. Needless to say, if you enjoy all those true crime podcasts, have any interest in cults, or like books with a strong character development, this will be one you will enjoy.
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Tom Duncan, the protagonist of the novel "Reunion of the Good Weather Suicide Cult," is the only survivor of the largest mass suicide by a cult in US history. (Picture a smaller-scale Jonestown on American soil but much, much bloodier.)

Several former members of the group who left before the suicide, and another who was away that weekend, plan a reunion/memorial for the anniversary of the mass suicide. Tom decides to join them, as his daughter has recently kicked him out of her home. His presence, post-Netflix documentary that exposed him as the alleged mastermind of the suicide plot, has brought unwanted attention to him and has put his granddaughter in danger. But the locals don't exactly want any members of the group to return to their town. 

Tom just wants the real truth to come out - he swears he didn't mastermind anything. And he wasn't even supposed to survive. But since the damage has been done by the popular documentary, will anyone - even the people who were in the group with him - believe the truth?

It's a complicated story in a rather short novel (~250 pages). Because the ARC I received had tons of errors that made it difficult to read and cut off sentences in the middle, I wasn't able to follow everything because I had to try to piece together sentence fragments that weren't consecutive but could be a paragraph or two away. Overall I wasn't able to enjoy it due to the errors.
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This novel centering on remaining members of a cult that took part in a mass suicide was extremely interesting. I think the depth of each character truly speaks to the variety of people who can be dragged under the control of a cult leader/abuser/manipulative person. We all feel it could never be us, but I think McCord goes a long way to proving there is no such thing as a "typical cult member".  I can't speak much more to this without ending up in spoiler territory, but the journey this group goes on is surprising and definitely kept me turning the pages.
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Tom Duncan is the sole survivor of the Good weather Cult mass suicide. After a Netflix documentary portrays him as a perpetrator in the terrible massacre and not a victim he goes into hiding but an invitation from a few other Good Weather exiles that left before the terrible incident occurred pulls him out and back into the past where he will have to face the not only the decisions he made the the uncover the truth of what really happened.

This was a gripping and addictive story; the Netflix elements made this feel like an actual documentary or true crime podcast. Tom's survivors guilt and his slow revelations of what happened in the leading up to the suicides was so interesting and the focus on the reunion group allowed the reader to see all of the varying emotions from those left behind after a truly horrific event.

Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for a copy of the novel in exchange for an honest review
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I was intrigued when I read the blurb for this. I always find the concept of a cult to be fascinating so I was looking forward to this book.

At first, I found the format difficult to adjust to - the whole concept of a Netflix documentary means that it is almost written like a script. However, once I got used to that, I actually quite enjoyed the layout.

The story was interesting and seemed almost as though it could be a true story, so it kept me engaged like non-fiction would.

A different but enjoyable read.
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[1 Stars]

Nope.  
There were A LOT of grammatical and structural issues in this book.  I sincerely hope that this is attributable to the fact that I was reading an advanced reader's copy, but still......it definitely detracted from my ability to enjoy the story.  The entire reading process felt like a puzzle and there were a couple of sentences that I still don't know what they were trying to say. 
 
Aside from that, the plot itself really didn't deliver.  The characters fell extremely flat for me.  It felt more like they were pawns that McCord was moving around against their will than naturally acting people.  Which meant that I didn't believe any of their actions, words, or decisions.  Furthermore, I don't think that this book explored or worked through the complexities of the Good Weather Cult's mass suicide in any meaningful way. It mostly just fell stagnant and a lot of loose ends were left behind (like I still don't understand how Tom possibly could have survived).

Overall, I wouldn't recommend this.  There are many other books out there that do this idea better.
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