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Having read and loved Above the Ether by this author I was looking forward to this and I was delighted to find that it was just as good. There is a haunting dreamlike quality to it - partly because of the main character who lives alone in the nearly deserted city and who rarely speaks and sometimes isn't sure if he actually has spoken. He photographs the damaged abandoned building and writes about them for the newspaper - run by himself and two other people. This is not exactly an apocalypse novel, more an observational one on the conditions that could go either way - the city here is threatened by the slow decline of the levees that keep the sea from flooding it and is divided by vast roadways set deep into concrete canyons between North and South. The Northern side has been abandoned gradually as levees collapse and industry moved south and only a few hundred people remain, living quietly in the North. Neither the country, the city or any of the individuals are ever named - it could be anywhere, they could be anyone. The characters in this novel do not rush about pushing a plot or making points yet somehow there is a plot and points are made, about climate, coercion, choices, kindness and why we live where we do. It's very beautifully written. I highly recommend it.
I selected this book as my cli-fi choice for the PopSugar Reading Challenge 2019. Not my usual read as I don't like dystopian fiction, but it was only 244 pages so should be a quick read, and it was under £2. But I enjoyed the book very much, the writing is very good and the way the chapters are set out suits the fractured life and times. My only comment is the price on here today (5th August 2019) is £17.09. That's a ridiculous amount to expect anyone to pay for a digital download.
I thought this was going to be a desolate, gloomy and depressing book, which in the most part it was. But thrown in there is a good shovelful of hope and a faith in human nature. Love it. love it, love it.
I've read a lot of apocalypse books, beginning many years ago in junior high school with Pat Frank's Alas, Babylon. In the last ten years I've acquired a collection of them, over 200 at last count. Many of them are older books that I simply didn't know about until I began looking for books in the genre. More current books present a dilemma, in that there are so many of them, not just stand alone books but series of 3, 5 or more, there are entire sub-genres like zombie apocalypse or supernatural-tinged apocalypse that don't interest me at all, and the sheer numbers make it all but impossible to tell a good book from something someone is cranking out in their basement, In short, there's a lot of crap out there, and I've become very careful about what I pay for . There are good books being written now, but they can get lost amid the trash. I bought this book because a "prequel" to it, Above the Ether, was offered as a $2 bargain ebook. That book was very deliberately paced, had many different characters and points of view, and didn't surprise me until the end. I felt it was good enough to take a chance on this book, so I bought a hardcover, which is still my preference. This book contains some of the same elements as the prequel, such as the deliberate pace, a sense of hopelessness, and vivid descriptions of the broken environment, but it has a single narrator--he's a writer and he writes stories and takes pictures for a small newspaper that's printed in what's left of his city. He has a past that haunts and wounds him, and that is slowly revealed, but it's his routine as a "reporter" that leads him out of his own prison and the prison of the city. It's a very quiet book, though there are violent things that happen. I was two months into Coronavisus quarantine when I read it, and somewhat alarmed by parallels between my current life and the narrators. Mostly I found him very sympathetic, tragic, and ultimately, the key to what happens to the city toward the end of the book. I don't want to spoil it, though it's hinted at in the blurbs on the dust jacket. If I have a negative criticism it would be that parts of the resolution are a little too giddy and seem exaggerated and abrupt, but the epilogue settles everything down again. The writing is spare and elegant, almost dreamlike, as the narrator, who doesn't like to speak out loud and doesn't always know when he has, finds his voice again. I think this is one of the best apocalypse books I've read in many years. It doesn't lecture about environmental issues it simply describes what has happened. and why. Highly recommended.
First I liked this book because the author managed to capture the 'foggy' mindset that I and many of my friends have had since Covid started -- is it Monday? is it still 2020? He really nailed it. Second I liked the idea that people, once they become "unmoored" from our busy lives anchored by shopping and working at 'industrial/service industry' jobs, are basically quite peaceful and can live with very few physical needs. Third -- what I liked best was the ending, which was, for me, quite the surprise. It is an optimistic ending!!! But I won't spoil it for you by spelling it out.
Although it’s not said, this is a book that could easily happen with climate change. The 1st part of the book is a bit sad but still draws you in. The characters are interesting. There is eventually some hope of not for everyone. I would recommend this book.
Wow! How appropriate for our times. Climate change is real! And the scary part is that with all of the feedback loops in play, scientists aren't even sure how it will unfold: gradually or dramatically at a tipping point.