by Stephen Markley
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Pub Date 10 Jan 2023 | Archive Date 10 Jan 2023
In the first decades of the 21st century, the world is convulsing, its governments mired in gridlock while a patient but unrelenting ecological crisis looms. America is in upheaval, battered by violent weather and extreme politics. In California in 2013, Tony Pietrus, a scientist studying deposits of undersea methane, receives a death threat. His fate will become bound to a stunning cast of characters—a broken drug addict, a star advertising strategist, a neurodivergent mathematician, a cunning eco-terrorist, an actor turned religious zealot, and a brazen young activist named Kate Morris, who, in the mountains of Wyoming, begins a project that will alter the course of the decades to come.
From the Gulf Coast to Los Angeles, the Midwest to Washington, DC, their intertwined odysseys unfold against a stark backdrop of accelerating chaos as they summon courage, galvanize a nation, fall to their own fear, and find wild hope in the face of staggering odds. As their stories hurtle toward a spectacular climax, each faces a reckoning: what will they sacrifice to salvage humanity’s last chance at a future? A singular achievement, The Deluge is a once-in-a-generation novel that meets the moment as few works of art ever have.
“An epic work of great ambition, Stephen Markley’s The Deluge is unyielding; it marvels and it mortifies. It’s ferocious and it’s frightening, imperfect yet aspiring, broken but brave. Few books in a lifetime will make you feel as this one must and while full of every kind of blooming horror, Markley’s magnum opus is as engulfing as it is earnest.”—Jeremy Garber, Powells, Portland Oregon
“A seminal novel and a singular achievement. The Deluge is sure to take a place alongside such great environmental books as The Overstory, The Shell Collector, Barkskins, Flight Behavior and so many others. A flowing novel, The Deluge reminded me some of Tolstoy’s and Hugo’s great social novels of the 19th century. Markley’s work is equally powerful, disturbing, even frightening in its depiction of the ultimate planetary crisis. Most impressive is the author’s ability to convey that the responsibility is universal for the danger of climate change.”—Bill Cusumano, Square Books, Oxford, Mississippi
“A terrifyingly imagined future, made all the more believable by the real characters in the not so distant past and present. An important book.”—Bobbi Irving, Penguin Bookshop in Sewickley, Pennsylvania
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Average rating from 12 members
I am a great admirer of Ohio, so I started The Deluge with some trepidation, since I am often disappointed in the second book when the first was outstanding. It is a pleasure to state that The Deluge is outstanding.
There are few books that can hold a readers rapt attention for almost a thousand pages. Not only is the story propelled forward at a page turning rate, the characters live on the page and the science and politics are both realistic and persuasive.
This may not be exactly the future of the world, but I will not be surprised if it comes very close.
This is the book about the changing climate that everyone should reac.
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