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The Deluge

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The Deluge
By Stephen Markley

This is a huge book in many ways – not just in number of pages, but also in numbers of characters and plot lines.  I must confess that I am still struggling to finish it.

While I like the writing style here, I find myself getting confused over what characters and what plot lines the author jumps around to.  There is so much information to get through, that I sometime have trouble keeping it all straight.  While I find myself getting bogged down at times, the author still manages to pull me in and encourage me to keep going.

I honestly can't say what kind of review I would give this book over all, but I must give the author credit for the prodigiousness of his imagination. I will keep going until I get to the end.
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I wanted to like this but the writing felt pretentious and I could not get through the story. I can see why people will love this one, but it was not for me.
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I read Stephen King's tweet when he said THE DELUGE is a "modern classic."  I completely agree.  This is a book you won't forget.
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In 2018 I read Markley’s ’Ohio’, also a story of the changing of America, but set in the years of the recession in small town America. The disenchantment that follows as life begins to morph from those idyllic memories of what once was into something they don’t recognize.

In comparison, ’Ohio’ was a walk in the park compared to Markley’s latest, ’The Deluge’, in both length as well as the scope of this story as he tackles the years that begin in 2013 up through the present and beyond - politics and politicians, and the ever growing threat of climate change and how those that deny or ignore the threat are in for an awakening, as well as those politically motivated to prevent anything that would threaten their wealth and status. Religious ‘leaders’ who insist that there is no need to worry about the ocean rising, taking over the land, destroying towns in their path.

This is an epic story, epic in length and in scope - covering 2013 to 2040, in nearly 900 pages. This story is shared so realistically that it feels as though it is more of a prophecy than fiction. And that prophecy is beyond alarming.

It should come as no surprise that the there are those people in this story who are activists trying to make others realize that the changing climate poses a real threat, as well as others who either don’t care or don’t believe, who won’t listen or have too much invested financially in certain companies that will never agree with the need for change.

This was a hard one to read at first, not because it wasn’t well written but there are so many characters, and so much going on at the start. This is an epic read so I tried to set aside a little bit more time to read this, at least all the days after except for one. Depending on what year you were born in, this is a topic that many of us have been following since before The New Seekers song ’ I’d Like to Teach the World to Sing’ attempted to bond the world in harmony in 1971 - which then ended up as a song used to sell Coca Cola…

This isn’t a book anyone will say ‘I couldn’t put this down!’, but it is one that I became invested in the more that I read it. There are often very disturbing moments, but there are also some beautiful moments that share the lengths we will go to in order to protect those we love, including putting ourselves in harm’s way. The generosity of strangers, as well as the evil in others. Politics and politicians - both those names we know (including Trump, albeit somewhat briefly) and those we don’t - play a major role, along with those who will spend their lives, some risking their lives, to make sure that the rising temperatures of the earth, and thus the seas, will be seen for what it is. This also includes an evangelical preacher who runs for office on the premise that he will save the planet through his prayers.

Many organizations and companies are formed claiming to have solutions to the global crisis, but not all are in it for the right reasons. Money is most often a factor. As this story progresses, as time passes, the threat becomes even more real. A threat to all the earth, to all humanity.

Throughout this story, Markley’s story keeps us aware of how serious this is, how little time we truly have before it’s too late to change the course, and also of how little a not insignificant percentage of people prefer to continue living as though the crisis is a figment of someone else’s imagination, as though the scientists and those people who understand and believe in science are the ones lying. There is also a focus on family, health, families and love, as well as much more.

While this story is fictional, the science is not. At times, a disturbingly realistic story, reflecting on the recent years of divisions in the world as well as the dangers of the rising temperatures and the rising seas, and the need for resolution before it is too late.

Pub Date: 10 Jan 2023

Many thanks for the ARC provided by Simon & Schuster
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First off I’ll start by saying at nearly 900 pages this book is a commitment. There are many characters which at times can be confusing. Overall I found The subject matter fascinating and immediately added more titles from this author to my TBR list. Thank you to NetGalley for the ARC of this e-book in exchange for an honest review.
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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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