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The Deluge cover art

The Deluge

Written by: Stephen Markley
Narrated by: Corey Brill,Danny Campbell,Gibson Frazier,Stephen Graybill,Soneela Nankani,Joy Osmanski,Melissa Redmond,Aida Reluzco,André Santana,Neil Shah,Aven Shore,Shakira Shute,Pete Simonelli,Shaun Taylor-Corbett
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Publisher's Summary

A New York Times Notable Book
“This book is, simply put, a modern classic. If you read it, you'll never forget it. Prophetic, terrifying, uplifting.” —Stephen King

From the bestselling author of Ohio, a masterful American epic charting a near future approaching collapse and a nascent but strengthening solidarity.

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.

©2022 Stephen Markley. All rights reserved. (P)2022 Simon & Schuster, Inc. All rights reserved

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The best work of fiction I have ever read

On occasion one comes across a book that transcends mere fiction to become something deeper and more powerful—something transcendent. Such books transport the reader to something they could scarcely imagine before reading, and they make it real. The Deluge is such a book.

It is a timely warning of the kinds of catastrophes we will likely see before the end of the next decade. It is horrifying. And every single catastrophe and atrocity that befalls its myriad characters, social groups, and, indeed, humanity at large, is eerily plausible—according to what I have read about the science.

After finishing this work, I felt that I had seen the future. I can taste it, see it, hear it, and almost touch it. And it is horrifying on a scale that can scarcely be comprehended— there is not a living man, woman, child, or animal on the face of this planet that will be unaffected by the climate catastrophe by mid century.

If you read or listen to one work of fiction this year it should be this book. It’s that important; it’s that good.

To address certain comments made by other reviewers: the book is not inaccessible (it’s not Infinite Jest) and performances are top notch. Moreover, I did not find the difference (highly skillful) narrators to be distracting in the slightest. It took the author over 10 years to write this thing, and it shows.

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Timely and terrifying.

Long, takes a bit to get into but worth it. Great cliff notes for the upcoming climate turmoil we're all facing. Scary and frustrating both at the same time, with private interests and government short-sighted lack of response resulting in a predictable bad outcomes. Hopefully we do better but it really seems life is imitating fiction rather well lately.

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Fantastic book.

Terrifying and uplifting in equal measure. A very believable story about where we are headed and what we’re likely to do about it.

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Loved this book

I really enjoyed this book. It presented the key ecological, economic, social, and political issues regarding the climate crisis (similar to "Ministry for the Future") through the unique perspectives of a diverse cast of characters. A much more emotionally engaging read than "Ministry..." (which I also very much enjoyed). I'll be recommending "The Deluge" far and wide.

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Can't handle the multiple narrators

I am sure this is probably a good book and I wish I could get through it, but I just can't handle the multiple narrators. I am sure lots of people love it, but this isn't a play and it shouldn't be read like it is. Especially all the half-baked accents! A book should leave this to my imagination. Books have written cues indicating who is talking and descriptors about who the characters are and what they sound like. Every time there is a new voice it takes me out of the story and rips away whatever imagination I had. I wish there was an option for just a single narrator on these books.

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Brace for impact.

Took a while for all the various threads and perspectives to come together at first, but I think it totally pays off. The looming climate crisis is such a massive issue...its worth taking the time to think of it from all walks of life and the author clearly knows how to do exactly that.
It had me down to shivers as well as laughing out loud so many times already. I totally recommend.

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1 person found this helpful