Cover Image: The Deluge

The Deluge

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Member Reviews

Such a long story, almost 1,000 pages of what we are heading for or are already in, depending on where in the world you may live. Is it possible to happen in our future? Yes, Climate change is ruining our world and the longer we argue about it and not change our lives to hold the future back, the faster we will lose what we have now.

There were too many characters for me and only Kate was someone I cared about. Some were disturbing, some were trying to help, but there were just too many to keep track of. I should say here, I have not finished the book and don't know if I will as the doom and gloom is something you can only read for so long and then you have to go do something more cheery.

A lot of research went into this and yet we didn't have to learn all of it to know how the future is heading in the wrong direction and for all the wrong reasons. It could have been a lot shorter without as much research and with fewer characters.

Thank you NetGalley and the publisher for an advance reader copy in exchange for an honest opinion. The contents are scary, but likely to happen unless we all change our ways. In fact, it is already happening so maybe instead of reading, get out there and do something to prevent this from happening sooner.
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In its length and breadth, THE DELUGE is a statement novel—perhaps a way of steering Markley's career from airport novelist, with his first book OHIO, into a grander American tradition. Despite moments of narrative tension and excitement, this is a novel for wonks: a play-by-play of every political maneuver between activists, corporate workers, and elected officials for the next three decades. At its worst—which comprises most of the book—it feels like reading news commentary from Vox for the next three decades in a single 900-page installment. Markley takes seriously the political reality of climate change, but his book has almost no appreciation for the natural world, so it can hardly be said to be "EcoLit." It is, above all, a political novel, but in the most sterile way: The Jungle written for people addicted to the New York Times editorial page. It will certainly win the respect of political wonks with literary bents like Ezra Klein, but I struggle to imagine that it will connect with a literary audience, who will find it exhausting. This was a misguided, though perhaps inevitable, attempt to treat climate change as a political problem above all else, which may be true in real life but is not what the novel as a form, or at least this specific novel, can do well.
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I thought this dystopian novel was an interesting and scary look into our possible future. I did think it was too long, and I DNF. Thanks for letting me check it out’
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This is a well-written Eco-Thriller. Within the structure of this fictional scenario lies a very real discussion, an examination of society and politics . . . of where we are and where we will be if Mother Nature decides she’s had enough of our shenanigans.

The narrative on occasion felt like it had faint echoes of The Road and The Stand in its fevered march into an uncertain future, a future not so far-fetched in its woes. I have heard many debates about our environment . . . heated arguments about whose at fault, and whose plan will be most likely to save us. You don’t have to believe one way or the other to know that the government, the economy, and polite society won’t mean a thing in the face of a large-scale disaster, of extreme thirst and hunger. After all the fingers are tired of pointing and all is said and done . . . what fraction of us will ultimately endure? Are we doomed to savagery? Or can humanity and hope survive these rising tides . . .

I'd like to thank NetGalley for an advanced copy of Deluge for my unbiased evaluation. 4 stars
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A terrifying dystopian story -Stephen Markley is sure to scare you.

It's California, 2013, there are violent storms, extreme politics (wait, is it 2013?)

In Deluge, Tony is a scientist who receives death threats.  He, and many others are attempting to address the danger of climate change. There are many, many characters and all are addressing climate change in different ways.  It's very very long, but a complicated and beautifully written story that blends science, politics, and current events in to a warning to us all of what will happen if we do simply nothing. If you like dystopian, climate change realism, complicated casts and all around long but beautiful books, The Deluge is for you!
#Simon&Schuster #TheDeluge #StephenMarkley
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This is hands down my favorite book of the year. Markley has showed a depth of knowledge into science,  humanity and the world that that we live in unlike any other author I have read.  Each of the characters are incredibly detailed and diverse and they stick with you long after you finish reading.  I found myself wishing for more time with each of them even though I knew my time with them was up.  This book made me feel enlightened, frightened and filled with a sorrowful longing. I thought this would be your run of the mill apocalypse novel but I was rewarded with what felt like a passionate plea from a time traveler from the future.  Like, markley has traveled back in time from 2040 to give us hope for what lies ahead in the future and to let us know there will be dark times but humanity will win in the end thanks to all of these little things he has laid out in the book.  I enjoyed the different writing styles used in the book for some of the characters, it’s something I don’t think I’ve ever seen done as well as this. This book is more than just cli-fi so it should appeal to a wide audience. I will be purchasing a paper copy when it’s released so that I can read this again in the future.
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I really liked the idea of this novel, but ultimately I couldn’t really “get into” the story itself. I think, for me, it really needed to be pared down with further editing. This was a DNF for me.
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This one took me forever to read as I hadn't realized it was so long! Usually that doesn't bother me (who doesn't love more time in a book?) but there were so many characters that I had trouble keeping track. Of course it's relevant and important; climate change is apparently inevitable and we must take heed and be responsible for our habits and our hopefully not the destruction of our planet! That being said, I had difficulty with so much science and I had to go back and re-read quite a bit to fathom all the information. I was also reading another book at the same time (bad choice) so the alternating made it harder for me to stay on track even as I took notes. It's a delicate concept and one on the forefront of our history so you may enjoy it more than I did!
Thanks to NetGalley for this ARC!
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A work of massive scope and depth, THE DELUGE is a devastating look at what the very near future of our planet could hold for all of us: the haves and the have-nots, the climate change believers and deniers, those in a position to make meaningful change, and those who have nothing left to lose. From Wall Street to Congress, Appalachian petty drug dealers to master hackers, THE DELUGE brings together a cast of characters that will leave an indelible impression on the psyche of every reader. Rooted in the reality of the present-day Covid-19 pandemic and the political and social upheaval of the early 2020s, the all-too-real scenarios of massive wildfires, unprecedented dust storms, sea-level rising, political upheaval, protests, terrorism, and greed are masterfully woven together to create a work of terrifying possibilities. Markley's encyclopedic knowledge of everything from Big Data to methane hydrate phase transitions is dizzying. I will be recommending this book to every person I know.
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I’m some 400 pages into (41% of the way through) this approximately 1,000-page novel (electronic ARC) about global warming, the ruination of life as we know it, and the possible end of life on this planet.  Parts of the novel are quite absorbing. Others are very instructive. As a whole, however, the novel is way overlong. It features too many characters and too many storylines spread too far apart. It needs a wholesale edit. 

First and foremost, I’m impressed with the level of research undertaken and the knowledge displayed about global warming and the dangers we face, as well as the possible remedies. I’m by no means an expert in this subject and I don’t know if things are as dire as the author would have us believe. However, I think I’m learning something about the science involved and the interplay between politics—both national and global—and the environmental/scientific community.

For the most part, the prose and dialogue are first-rate—well-constructed, descriptive, artful at times, but never overdone or obnoxiously "writerly."

But no matter how good the writing is sentence-to-sentence, paragraph-to-paragraph, page-to-page, “Deluge” needs a good paring down. There are so many characters involved in so many disparate storylines that I sometimes had trouble remembering them and/or keeping them straight. Certain scenes—especially one involving a days-long meeting between eco-terrorists—were so eye-glazing that I found I was skimming.

It didn’t help that many of the characters are not all that well-drawn. Some of them—especially the politicians—are stereotypical. Others are only vaguely sketched. Unfortunately, none of them are very memorable.

What is memorable are some of the "worlds" author Stephen Markley creates.  His portrayal of the political culture of Washington, D.C., with all its “politics make strange bedfellows” inconsistencies and "politicians fiddle while the world burns" recalcitrance, seems realistic and timely.  He does equally well prognosticating what life may be like in 5-10 years: droughts, fires, floods, rising oceans, holograms, package-delivering drones, virtual reality entertainment, etc. The disasters he portrays are frightening. 

Hopefully, some of the problems mentioned above can be fixed prior to publication, especially the novel's length.  The message "Deluge" seeks to bring to readers is an important one.  But in its current form, it  risks overwhelming or exhausting readers before they can glean that message.

My thanks to NetGalley, the author, and the publisher for providing me with an electronic ARC. The foregoing is my independent opinion.
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I tried, y'all, I really tried...

The premise of this book is right up my alley...dystopian near future seriously affected by climate change and how humans are dealing (or not) with it.  I can hang with a massively long book as long as it holds my interest, but the truth is I just didn't like the vast majority of the characters (and boy, are there a lot of them), and too many sections of the book seemed to go on forever.  I can see flashes of brilliance in the writing which kept me going for a while; however, I set the book down weeks ago intending to come back after a short break but I have completely lost all compulsion to do so. DNF at 50%. 

Thank you to Netgalley and Simon & Schuster for and eARC in exchange for my honest and unbiased review.
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I have been reading "The Deluge" for three days and am only 30% completed.  Before I finish (who know s when, at this point), I must say:  This is one of the best written and also one of the most disturbing books I have ever read.

I sense that the many and varied characters will coalesce into one ecoterrorist body.  They include a marine scientist, a mixed-race activist, an Oxy/heroin addict, a young man called Tarheel (because he hails from North Carolina), a Viet Nam Vet, and numerous others.  The Deluge takes place in the near future where Global Warming has already begun to affect the climate and cause horrific conditions like wide-ranging snowstorms, wide wildfires and flooding.  Trigger warning:  Some of these chapters are difficult to read, and not only because of the unusual page layouts.  There is real pain depicted here.

Another trigger warning: If you are a Trump supporter you will hate this book!  I'm writing this early review because I don't know how long it will take me to finish reading, but i want others to experience this incredible novel.

Well, the answer to my question was three weeks.  I kept at until the end and I must say that living through summer of 2022 I can see the parallels to the horrendous global warming events described in this novel.  My rating remains at 5 stars because the author so skillfully blended the science and the politics to reflect a possibility that may well be a probability.  Isn't it possible that Liz Chaney will become the Republican candidate for President?  If you've watched the January 6th hearings, you'll see what I mean.

Stick with it.  The characters and events will be clarified as you go along.  Realistic, chilling and scientifically and politically possible The Deluge is an absolutely must-read for our time.

Thanks to NetGalley , Stephen Markley and the publisher for the ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.
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This book is long and complex, so I am writing a preliminary review to be updated after completing it. The Deluge is an ambitious book in scope and detail. It follows multiple characters and brings in documentation (like news reports) that make it feel real as your read, which is appropriate for a book warning about the realities of climate change that we are ignoring. It achieves the goal of warning and documenting through a complex web of a narrative about the dangers we are facing with climate change. But who is this warning for? It requires a level investment from the reader that I think would only get through to the already convinced, but will it reach or persuade those who don't believe climate change is an issue or even those on the fence? And isn't that the end goal in order to influence change?
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This book was a difficult read. It is around 900 pages and very dense. Often, it feels like reading a textbook or an assignment that I didn’t want to finish. There are a plethora of characters and stories and I wish that there was a summary or something after each chapter because it was very hard to keep up with. I’m disappointed I didn’t enjoy this book more as I am an advocate for trying to stop climate change. Overall, this book was not for me, but I do appreciate the work the author put into it.
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The Deluge by Stephen Markley looks at the future from several perspectives – all of them grim.  He tells a number of stores in this tome, some better than others.  We get an overview of a possible future that awaits us and our children all seen through the eyes of climate change and global warming. 

This is a book in dire need of an editor with a sharp red pencil.  All of the data presented is informative but if fails to be entertaining.  If often reads like a textbook with characters tossed in.  The book turned into a mashup of politics, science, and ecoterrorism with an enormous cast of characters.  The actual writing and storytelling is top notch.  The author uses many faux magazine articles, scientific papers and government documents to move the story along.  These are done in such a clever way the reader is left to wonder if they’re real or not.

I found most of the book interesting, but I think that what you’re supposed to say to an artist when you don’t like or understand his work.  It’s the polite way of saying, “I wish it was better”.  The author gave a wink and a nod to Stephen King’s The Stand. This being another apocalyptic novel of enormous size.  I only with this offering was as entertaining as Mr. King’s. 

Thank you #NetGalley, #StephenMarkley, #SimonAndSchuster
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Well…. A lot to unpack here. First, be prepared, this is a LONG book, but do not let that dissuade you. There are multiple storylines, multiple characters, all dealing with climate change. This is pre-apocalyptic stuff, mixed in with politics and, of course, money, and the evil mixed in with all of that. Most of all, this book is a warning. The author uses current events to get the attention of the reader, and he hammers home what we are doing to ourselves and this planet. Do we have any chance of stopping it when our wealthy politicians are driven by their own greediness? Maybe. But it’s a NOW thing, because later is too late. A well-written and depressing book about the end of times and what it may look like,

Many thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for providing me with the opportunity to read and review this book
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A grim look at the future with the prospect of catastrophic climate change. The 
novel moves through many years and multiple characters to expose a catastrophe in the making.  As an artistic work, the novel ranks well as each plot is written from different perspectives and with very different writing styles. I found some stories compelling. However, I found many of them very ponderous. 
Much of the book is devoted to political maneuvering. If you are interested in those themes, you will probably find the book interesting. I found myself skipping to the next chapter to avoid pages of political plots that did not interest me. 
Thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for providing an advance reader copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
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I really wanted to like this book but it was really hard for me to follow.  There are way too many characters to keep track of (a list of characters of the beginning of the book would have been helpful). It is a dense book too - over 900 pages long and I think it just tried to do too many different things in one story.
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When I sat down to pen this review, I found myself somewhat stymied.  Did I enjoy the book?  Honestly, not so much.  I am a post-apocalyptic fan and have stepped into some fairly treacherous trenches as far as the genre is concerned.  At first blush, I assumed that this would be another in an extensive line of end-of-the-world fluff.  Consider me schooled.  This was a terrifying long haul journey through years of ignored climate change and devastating consequences, as author Stephen Markley pushes his foot on the gas and belts through intersecting narratives that, at their heart, document the earth’s demise.  Did I mention it was terrifying? Dust bowl conditions, widespread global flooding and never before seen high temperatures take their toll on life as we know it and infect the very fabric of what it is to be human.

As for the quality of Markley’s writing, well that depends upon the criteria to which you hold the piece accountable.  At just under 1,000 pages, it takes determination and patience to wade through the dense text in search of that pullable thread.  It’s definitely there, but to find it requires wading though page after page of extraneous “stuff”.  The snapshot narratives, interspersed with news stories, press releases and shared memos, are all arranged in a chronological(ish) format that deviates at will and the bemusement of the speaker-of-the-moment.  It feels at times that the reader is stuck tumbling in the wheel that must never stop spinning in Markley’s head, as both the left and right are eviscerated and  exposed for their over-sold dog and pony shows that amount to absolutely nothing in terms of meaningful change. The research behind these pages must be measurable only in mountains.

The author introduces an almost unwieldy cast of characters to deliver his warning—characters who cross paths then veer in distinctly different directions, though to eliminate even one would tear at the integrity of the story being told.  Perhaps, as mentioned previously, making more judicious use of the minutiae would have made the text more approachable to the masses who need to read it.  Often I’ve complained of other books that an author chooses either breadth or depth, one often at the peril of the other.  Here, Markley makes no such concessions, insisting on tiny details, caught beneath a widely cast net, to the final page.

With all of that said, clearly exposing my prejudice for easy beach reads, this is a book that is of great import and a must read eye-opener for everyone—regardless of the tenacity one may have to muster to do so.  Above all, Markley consistently drives home the urgency of our attention and, most importantly, our ACTION, before it’s too late to address and reverse the incomprehensible damage we are inflicting upon our world.

I believe in the not so distant future, we will look back at this cautionary tale and hail Markley a prophet, though of our successes or failures lies at the crux of the action he is able to mobilize.

Thanks to Simon and Shuster and NetGalley for providing me with an ARC for review.  Publication is set for January 10, 2023.  The sooner the better.
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I didn't enjoy Stephen Markley's The Deluge, which OI read courtesy of NetGalley and Simon & Schuster in exchange for an objective review. . The first afternoon I tried to read it, I didn't get further than 50 pages before deciding it was a mistake. I couldn't relate to anything or anyone in the book.  I read my way through the book in bits and pieces until i stumbled to the end.

Spanning almost 30 years, The Deluge is really two books. The first is a treatise on how climate change leads to natural disasters, shortages of food and critical resources, political upheaval and major changes in the earth's geography. It also shows the ugly side of American politics. This part of the book is fascinating, and unfortunately, all too real.

The second part of the book looks at the human side of the issues - those who do not want to change current policy for whatever reason (usually financial, ideological support, financial or personal ambition) versus those working to create change (and all the factions in between). Bombings, riots, violent demonstrations, political (and sexual) betrayals.  All that was missing was the storming of the Bastille. 

I would have appreciated a scorecard to keep track of all the characters, their ideologies, their betrayals, etc. There were almost as many characters in this book as in a Dostoevsky novel. It was confusing. With the recent political upheavals, congressional hearings, and the nation's financial woes, the timing of this book may have been off for me.
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