Cover Image: The Deluge

The Deluge

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Member Reviews

The Deluge begins in 2015 and takes us through present day to the mid 21st century. Along the way we meet dozens of characters who are reacting in different ways to the worsening climate crisis. The device of anchoring the book in familiar events lends credibility and urgency to the narrative. I was excited to read the book because of the many positive reviews, but unfortunately, the book just did not work for me. First of all, it clocks in at over 900 pages, and there were long periods where I just didn't feel like I was making any progress at all. 

Fully 250 pages of the book is exposition; the entire first section is a series of chapters introducing the dozens of characters we will continue to follow throughout the rest of the book. Reading this online, it was very frustrating. not to be able to go back and remind myself who these people were; there were just so many of them and they when they started to interact with each other the relationships and their backstories got very muddy. It doesn't help that the chapters are titled with events and dates, but each has a different narrator speaking in first person. Many times it took me 3 or 4 pages to fully understand who was speaking, which slowed me down even more.

One important issue the book raises is the need for urgency when we are dealing with political systems that move very slowly. 4 or 5 presidents are in office during the time period of the book, and none of them are able (or willing) to pass the kind of legislation that would really help. As climate conditions worsen, and the nation experiences unprecedented flooding, drought and storms, politicians posture, acquiesce to the fossil fuel lobbyists, and have summits which produce nothing. This is a very important message but it is almost lost. Markley might have been better served to tighten up the narrative and eliminate half of the characters and at least a third of the pages. Ironically, a book about the need for urgency ends up being a time-wasting slog.

Thanks to Simon & Schuster and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for my honest review.
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Thanks to Simon and Schuster and NetGalley for the advanced reader copy in exchange for an honest review. I was really excited to read this one as it’s had a lot of advanced praise. Unfortunately it was just too technical and scientific to be an enjoyable read. It ended up a DNF for me but I hope to tackle it again in the future.
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It has been a long while since a first chapter grabbed me like this. I had  feeling at that point that I was in for a special read. And I was right. I did discover a unique ebook problem: you read a lot, look at the %, and realize you have barely made a dent. Then you come to Goodreads and see that the book you chose to read is 900 freaking pages. But, that also allowed for a unique ebook benefit: you start a book that you probably never would have started b/c it's 900 freaking pages and it turns out to be enthralling and possibly brilliant. Good with the bad, I guess. This volume is tremendous...both in quality and mass. 

ARC provided
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Wow! This book flew from feeling like it was snatched from todays headlines to a view of the future that felt all too real. I usually worry more about characterization, but honestly - the story, what could literally be our current story/our future- is what I loved about this. Markley pulled together all of the pieces from social justice warriors to climate change warriors/deniers, to the politicians, the christofascists, and more. He pulled in the anger and the fear from all sides.

Although this book is wicked long... it was well worth the time. One thing to note- read it on a device with a dictionary! I literally looked up 26 words as I read this. Do you know what clathrates are? or hagiogaphic? or hermeneutics? and so many more.

Many thanks to Netgalley and to Simon & Schuster for the galley copy.
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An intense and in-depth thought experiment on how our future could play out. The Deluge is a near-future novel about the likely upcoming climate catastrophe and the many different types of players who could be a part of it. Similar to works like The Stand by Stephen King or Wanderers by Chuck Wendig in scope, it plunges deeper into policy and political machinations than those two works did. Ultimately those parts, especially near the end, are where the title lost a bit of my attention. The interesting bits are learning about the different types of players, from the aging and irascible expert who knows what is going to happen and lets his irritation at not being listened to throw him into exile, to the young idealists full of passion and personality who love the world too much to watch it burn, to the ecoterrorists who grow more and more desperate as time goes by, to the numbers guy who has always looked at things a bit too rationally for most people to like him very well. This is not a difficult read but it is a long novel with lots of different viewpoints and ideas - it also jumps back and forth in time. If you are looking for something light for your beach vacation this isn't it. But if you are looking for a complex and dramatic story about politics and political personalities, activists, and the complex and at times contradicting motivations of different types of terrorists; if you are looking for a title that gives a detailed and realistically hopeful outcome for the future climate reality; if you are looking for an absorbing read on an epic scale - give Markley's Deluge a try.
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First, I will confess right up front that I DNF this book.  I tried, I tried really hard.  I made it to 20% (there are no numbered chapters, just 'essays' that stop and start anew) before deciding I would read the last entry (which came in at "1 hour 29 minutes left" to read).  Many times, if I do this, it brings back enough interest in the story to make me go back and finish.  It didn't work this time.

There are books that go down like eating whipped cream: light and fluffy and sweet.
There are books that go down like eating French Fries: hot and salty and you can't stop until you've finished it all.
There are books that go down like eating a bad steak; it looks and smells amazing, but you take the first bite to find its horribly dry and tasteless.  You take a second bite and it's so tough and chewy that you literally cannot swallow it.  You finally push the plate away from you and leave the table.

This novel is bad steak.  In the first 10% (again, can't give you chapter numbers) we meet 16 main characters and uncounted secondary, peripheral characters.  Thats too many.  And scientific facts and figures are thrown at you ad nauseam.  I half expected to start seeing pop quizzes at the end of each vignette.  

I don't mind political discourse in a novel or learning the terror of climate change.  But at least make it palatable and interesting, instead of dull as watching grass grow.
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I was extremely interested in reading this book prior to release. Unlike Stephen King's endorsement, the book is boring, disjointed, and poorly written. The general theme is a projection of the next 20 years of climate extremes. 

Initially, a number of disturbing observations of bacteria in the ocean pointed towards a speed up of storms and ice melts being analyzed by biologists and mathematical quants. If it stayed on theme, it could have been a great book.

Instead, he divided it into sub-plots that he never stitched together. It took me 4 weeks to get through this and was painful. I highly recommend not wasting 15 to 20 hours reading this.
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It is the future … America and all its extremes have gotten worse - the weather and politics!   Starts with a scientist and methane - there is a wide cast of characters in this one - an epic story of chaos and fear and hope (I hope) as this is the last chance for survival. Wildly creative and smart and brilliantly written
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This book is a prediction of what our world might come to unless we close every coal mine, totally switch over to electric vehicles, severely limit oil usage and get all the plastic out of our oceans. The Deluge is a pretty stark view of what the world’s population may be suffering in the next thirty years if we don’t do something to stop carbon emissions and other pollutants now. I’m definitely a believer of climate change, so for me, reading this book was like preaching to the choir. One doesn’t even have to pay close attention to the news these days to realize that storms are getting more severe, fires are becoming more frequent and deadly, and the glaciers are melting, raising water levels at coastlines. My hopes for this book, which I think was well-written, informative and important, is that every world leader, every member of Congress and the Senate, are each given a copy and make vows to no longer accept any money whatsoever from the big oil companies and other polluters. I believe until that happens, sadly not much is going to change. Humans are the ones destroying this planet and we are the only ones who can save it, so I hope this book becomes a bestseller and is in every town, high school and college library. There is only one thing I really didn’t like about this book, and it wasn’t the length. It is longer than it has to be, but I like big books, so I was okay with that. Anyone who reads my reviews know characters are very important to me. The only thing I disliked about this story was every single character except for one, Matt Stanton. And there are a lot of characters. I don’t know if the author intentionally made them all unlikable or if it’s just me. So, if any of you read this book and you actually do like the characters, please leave me a comment, because I’ve never liked a book as much as I did this one while not liking 99% of the characters in it. I would like to thank Simon & Schuster, Stephen Markley and NetGalley for allowing me to read this ARC free for an honest review.
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Stuggled to get through this book.  It took me forever as there are way to many characters and way to much going on.   I could not follow it at all.    Every time I put it down and came back I had to start over.

I finally had to make myself a chart just to keep track of the characters.

Just to much for one book!   I really really did not enjoy the book. Thought I would love it based on the synopsis.

Just can not recommend.
Thank you to NetGalley and Simon & Schuster for providing me with a copy in return for my honest opinion.
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Thanks to Simon & Schuster and NetGalley for the opportunity to read and comment on Stephen Markley's 'The Deluge.'

This is a colossal book in size and scope. It's a challenge to engage with for the first few hundred pages because we're being presented with the cast of characters, seemingly unconnected, with each new character or set of characters having a chunk of the book dedicated to them so by the time the author circles back to that character you may already have forgotten the earlier segment(s) in which they feature. It's a book structure I usually enjoy - Stephen King employs it in some of his novels - and in this case it just took a bit more work to 'get it.' That said, when the elements and characters begin to merge and coalesce it's an intricate thing of beauty and kudos to the author on achieving it.

It's a book about monumental climate, political, and cultural upheaval over the course of about two decades seen through the eyes and actions of a set of characters who become increasingly intertwined as time passes.

At the beginning of the book I was tending towards the view that there's no way this could happen this quickly and then I began to realize that, in every aspect, of course it can. The change in society and politics since 2015 has been profound and terrifying so to think that it couldn't accelerate in the next decade and beyond is probably foolish. When I got to an account of an brutal assault on some key characters in the book it was the same day as the assault on Nancy Pelosi's husband in the real world and the reaction from the 'opposition' was very much in line with the 'extreme' attitudes in the book. The lip service continually paid to climate change reversal/slowdown in the book is reflected in the real world. Carbon level reduction targets set in talks in the real world are laughable in the face of an actual increase. The dominance of the fossil fuel industry and their bought and paid for allies in governments is real. With all that, how can you not imagine that the climate scenarios played out in the book could also be real?

In the end I enjoyed the book but it's not an easy or quick read and I'll admit to skimming parts of it as I got through it but it's a helluva piece of writing.
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I am sure this book is a wonderful read for the right audience, unfortunately I couldn’t get into it at all, when I have to keep looking up words because I don’t know what they mean, I lose interest fast. This maybe says more about me than the book of course!
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I wish that NetGalley would include total pages in the information section. I had no idea this book would be almost 1000 pages. I’m not afraid of chunky books but I’ve been working on this one for over a week and not making much headway. The information is dense, the vast array of characters are hard to keep track of, etc. I know there is an important message in this book and all the pieces of this story will come together, but I can’t finish. If some of the less plot-driven aspects had been omitted, or had this been done as a series of books, I think the impact of the message would be more easily digested. I have a PhD in history and I struggled so I’m sure the average reader will do the same.
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The Deluge by Stephen Markley. I have tried to start this book a couple of times. The prologue sounded interesting. When switched to the main story I just couldn’t comprehend it. There were too many acronyms. This book is not for me. Thank you for allowing me to try to review this book.
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I'm writing this review before I complete the book as it's taking me some time (it's quite the epic) to finish. this is a truly remarkable work. Epic in style, beautifully written, poignant, depressing, and powerful. It's a work needed for our time, and a must read.
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The ideas behind this book are interesting, but buried in clunky, jargon-filled prose, which makes the length of the book even more daunting. Needs a copy editor with a sharp red pencil. At least in the advance copy, the use of text boxes to demark temporary shifts in chronology or point of view was very confusing, chopping up the narrative in ways that even with careful reading left me lost. The title is a good description of the experience of reading — propelled along by a certain creative energy, but too often caught in turbulent eddies.
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It’s full of captivating ideas and but there are too many characters in a too long book. You’d think with the length here I would care more about these people and what happens, but I just didn’t. That was a bummer. 

Thank you for the opportunity. I will edit with links once they are all live.
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I decided to give this big investment of time  (at hundreds of pages more than any book I typically read, and most fiction published) a try because of reviews saying it’s epic, unforgettable. Perhaps a hard copy might help but I found all the scientific jargon off-putting and difficult to understand in the early opening setup. So I stopped reading it. I am interested in global warming and care about climate change so disappointed. If it weren’t so extra long, I might try to give it another chance but I doubt I will. Since I didn’t finish it, I don’t think it’s fair to rate, but believe it’s needed to send feedback. The rating then is based on the above early impression, not the totality of the book.
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This book will definitely have split opinions. People will either love it or hate it. It surely requires patience to go through the 900+ pages.

Parts of the story were hard to get into and parts were brilliant. Overall, I have mixed opinions about it.
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Wow. Wow. Wow. The phrase that kept going through my head as I read this hefty offering was "magnum opus."  A book highly recommended by the master Stephen King was going to catch my  attention, and this truly did.

I admit my scientific and political knowledge is limited, so I didn't dwell too much on the intricacies of the massive plot, but the fact was that I was truly entertained. The story made me feel, think and dream.  That doesn't happen often. 

To read this book is to make a big time commitment -- it's loooooong. But in the end, I'm glad I stayed with it, and I'm glad I read it.

I received a complimentary copy of the book from the publisher and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
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