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Supervolcano: Things Fall Apart Mass Market Paperback – 2 Dec 2014

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Product details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 464 pages
  • Publisher: Roc; Reprint edition (2 Dec. 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0451240553
  • ISBN-13: 978-0451240552
  • Product Dimensions: 10.6 x 3 x 17.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 1.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 705,997 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Harry Turtledove is the award-winning author of the alternate-history works The Man with the Iron Heart; The Guns of the South; How Few Remain (winner of the Sidewise Award for Best Novel); the Worldwar saga: In the Balance, Tilting the Balance, Upsetting the Balance, and Striking the Balance; the Colonization books: Second Contact, Down to Earth, and Aftershocks; the Great War epics: American Front, Walk in Hell, and Breakthroughs; the American Empire novels: Blood & Iron, The Center Cannot Hold, and Victorious Opposition; and the Settling Accounts series: Return Engagement, Drive to the East, The Grapple, and In at the Death. Turtledove is married to fellow novelist Laura Frankos. They have three daughters: Alison, Rachel, and Rebecca.

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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Allan on 27 Nov. 2013
Format: Hardcover
Learning to adapt to colder weather, power plants having problems etc. in what seem to be very similar, if colder and with less reliable power supplies, circumstances as before does not, for me, engage the imagination. Things Fall Apart gives the impression of being just filler between the other two books with none of the sense of being in an alternate world I had hoped for.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 70 reviews
34 of 37 people found the following review helpful
The Young, the Restless, and the Very Cold 10 Dec. 2013
By Stephen - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Almost ten years ago, a supervolcano under Yellowstone National Park erupted, vaporizing dozens and poisoning millions as it covered the west with ash and the atmosphere with dust. As years without a summer become a decade without a summer, the odds that the planet is slipping into another ice age rise, but all this is merely the backdrop to another episode about the Ferguson family, that venerable clan of dysfunctionals. Plot? Well, the father of the Fergusons is shot and retires; his ex-wife begins dating again; his oldest son has an affair with a married woman and is dumped by her after she realizes his selling one short story to Playboy doesn't make a career; his daughter tries to sell a story, but can't, even after she is also dumped by her Serbian freedom-fighting truck driving boyfriend; and his two younger sons have wives and are quite cold in Nebraska and Maine, respectively. Into these not-quite-so-gripping character dramas readers are treated to the glacial creep of change as people adopt to the new way of living: they use typewriters, because electricity is spastic, and they bicycle to work.

This is less science fiction and more soap opera: "The Young, the Restless, and the Very Cold". To be fair, Turtledove never writes a lot of plot; his method is to throw a dozen or so characters into Some Big Event and see their personal drama combine with it and interesting ways -- think of a German tank commander and a Soviet lady pilot becoming allies, for instance, in the Worldwar series -- or the love/hate relationship between Potter and Featherson in the Timeline-191 series. But in Supervolcano, there's no BIg Event happening: or rather, it HAPPENED in book one. The consequences are slow to be borne out, so all the reader is left with "As the World Turn....into an Ice Age". If you want science fiction, this isn't it; if you want a post-apocalyptic thriller, this isn't it; if you want love stories, this isn't it; but if you want characters eating oatmeal and taking showers and getting dumped while it's snowing outside, then you're in luck.
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Nothing happens, and it's told in a very boring way. 10 Feb. 2014
By Duchess of Gadsden - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
First off, I am normally a huge fan of Harry Turtledove. I have liked other novels he's written and it's hard to believe that a writer of his caliber could turn out something this mediocre.

First off, there's hardly a likeable character in the bunch. Colin Ferguson, the cop, is a knee-jerk conservative who hasn't a good thing to say or even think about almost anything or anyone. Vanessa, his incredibly selfish and self-centered daughter is sort of a knee-jerk liberal except that she shares her father's disdain for virtually everything. The ex-wife likewise is completely incapable of thinking that others are feeling human beings. The two sons are the only characters who actually grow and change over the course of the novel.

Another problem is that on almost every single page, every single character is complaining about how cold it is, the rain in LA or the nearly year-round snow elsewhere. Also, on nearly every single page the fact that electricity in many places is iffy, there are shortages of all sorts of things, and these days they have to walk, ride a bike, or take a bus (Oh, the horror!) to get anywhere. All of the busses are always late. Never is a bus on time. Gosh. I've been a bus rider and most of the time my experience was that the busses were on time. But not in this version of life. And every single character who has to ride the bus complains bitterly, apparently expecting that the service should be swift and wonderful.

In this book Turtledove doesn't trust his readers to recall any plot points for more than three pages, because over and over and over again he reminds us of something that happened a while back. Which is one reason nothing really happens. And very rarely is anything actually shown in the way a piece of fiction should be showing. It is almost all telling. Which is why it's rather boring.

Another problem is that it's honestly difficult to keep track of the time that is passing, since he almost never gives any kind of dates. Next thing you know another year has passed, or suddenly the little girl is walking, then talking, then it's mentioned that soon she'll start school. It's a bit disorienting.

By the end, I was sincerely hoping that everyone would freeze to death.
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
This from an old sailor 9 Dec. 2013
By Burns E. Cameron - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The old liberty term was "screwed, blewed and tattooed." Blues is for old ladies' hair. I love all your books, but this one is boring. Is it from the "studio of H. Turtledove?"
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Nothing happens 9 Dec. 2013
By David - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
if you liked the other books or Turtledoves writing this is a good read but nothing happens.Loved the first, second was ok you find out who's killing old ladies. Third is one big afterwords. If there a fourth will get it at the library.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
A Heroic Effort 1 July 2014
By Mick McAllister - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
I'm trying to imagine how Supervolcano could have been made more boring. Nothing comes to mind. This is Vol. 3, with at least one more in the works. As near as i can tell, the author set out to demonstrate that destroying half the country and inaugurating a new Ice Age could be less interesting that episodes of Ozzie and Harriet set in Turku. It's a tough challenge, but he did it.

Twelve hundred pages. Recall the old saw that warfare is long periods of boredom punctuated by instants of stark terror? Turtledove doesn't believe in punctuation.

In Book 1, the Yellowstone volcano blows. Ten pages of running like Hell, and then 200 pages of getting to know a dysfunctional family that you really wish you hadn't. Oh, there's a serial killer, but he/she has nothing to do with the plot and nothing really happens except that he/she (avoiding spoilers) kills a few people. Oh, and a middle-aged lady gets pregnant. Woohoo.

Book 2, nothing happens. I mean, really, nothing. People in LA endure the hardship of not having reliable Internet service or fresh bananas. There's a moment of potential when an extremely unlikeable character encounters a survivalist enclave in the middle of devastated and uninhabitable Kansas (Is that redundant?), but it's Ok, they only are on stage long enough to take a potshot at our heroine, who skedaddles. End of plot thread. Meanwhile, her brother continues to hunt moose in Maine. Then a caffeine jolt: Turtledove gets tired of the serial killer thread so he tells us who the killer is -- totally from left field.

Book 3, unlikeable heroine gets ripped off by Balkan terrorist boyfriend who turns out to have hacker skills. Who knew? Everybody gets older... like the story. Main character gets shot and applies for pension. Pension comes. Stay tuned.

Not me.
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