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Getting Back Hardcover – 15 Jun 2000

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Import; First Edition edition (15 Jun. 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0446524573
  • ISBN-13: 978-0446524575
  • Product Dimensions: 15.9 x 3.2 x 23.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,025,030 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

I'm an American novelist and non-fiction author, with a bestselling HarperCollins series on American adventurer Ethan Gage in the Napoleonic era that has sold into 31 languages. My newest novel, another Ethan, is "The Three Emperors," available May 6, 2014. It is the seventh book in the Ethan Gage series, and follows "The Barbed Crown," published in May of 2013. The paperback version of "The Barbed Crown" will be available in May of 2014.

My nonfiction works centers on the Pacific Northwest. An upcoming nonfiction book is "The North Cascades: Finding Beauty and Renewal In the Wild Nearby," a coffee table book from Mountaineers Press. It will appear September 15, 2014.

I began my writing career as a newspaper reporter in 1973,sharing a Pulitzer at the Seattle Times for coverage of the Exxon Valdez oil spill. I also taught for five years at Western Washington University's Huxley College of the Environment.

I published my first non-fiction book, "The Final Forest," in 1992. It was updated in 2010 to "The Final Forest: Big Trees, Forks, and the Pacific Northwest." It won the Pacific Northwest Booksellers Award and the Governor Writers Award.

I followed that with "Northwest Passage: The Great Columbia River," still in print.

My first novel, "Ice Reich," came in 1998 and is a World War II thriller based on a real-life Nazi expedition to Antarctica. This bestseller is still available as an ebook.

My other novels:

"Getting Back." An eco-thriller set in the Australian Outback in the near future.

"Dark Winter." A killer is on the loose among the personnel at America's South Pole base. Creepy!

"Hadrian's Wall." Love, war, and conspiracy during the late Roman Empire.

"The Scourge of God." A young couple must survive the invasion of the empire by Attila the Hun.

"Blood of the Reich." A contemporary Seattle woman sees her car blown up and learns of her horrific connection to a 70-year-old Nazi conspiracy that will take her to Tibet and Germany.

And the Ethan Gage novels:

"Napoleon's Pyramids." Our American hero accompanies Napoleon's 1798 invasion of Egypt and grapples with pyramid mysteries.

"The Rosetta Key." Ethan and his companion Astiza are caught up in Bonaparte's 1799 invasion of the Holy Land and his ascension to power in France.

"The Dakota Cipher." Norse mysteries play a role in a struggle for power on the Great Lakes frontier.

"The Barbary Pirates." Ethan and his scientist friends find an ancient super-weapon coveted by pirates who are at war with America.

"The Emerald Storm." A stolen emerald leads Ethan and his new family into peril in Haiti and the lush, perilous isles of the Caribbean.

"The Barbed Crown." Ethan finds himself a spy as Napoleon prepares to crown himself emperor and France challenges England at the naval showdown of Trafalgar.

"The Three Emperors." Seeking to reunited with Astiza and his son Harry in 1805, Ethan must survive the battle of Austerlitz and hunt down a medieval machine that can foretell the future.

Additional nonfiction includes:

"On Puget Sound." With Art Wolfe photos.

"Natural Grace." Essays on plants and animals in my native Pacific Northwest.

"Green Fire: A History of Huxley College." The nation's first dedicated environmental college.

As you can see, I'm curious about many things. I also enjoy research.

Travel for my novels has taken me to the Arctic, Antarctic, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Australia, Sicily, Greece, Paris, Britain, Hungary, Tibet...hey, someone's got to do it. I've traveled on a sailboat in the South Pacific, landed on an aircraft carrier, flown in a B-52, visited the South Pole, and been terrified flying with the Blue Angels.

As a journalist, I was a Nieman Fellow at Harvard University, won National Science Foundation fellowships to Antarctica, and speak frequently on environmental issues. I've covered Congress, the eruption of Mount St. Helens, the environment, science, social issues - even the military. I've traveled frequently for my writing, but live in the Pacific Northwest where I was born. I'm married, with two grown children.

I live in a house looking out at the San Juan Islands, between Vancouver and Seattle, surrounded by fir, cedar, and hemlock, and sometimes get to watch bald eagles while I'm writing. Connecting with readers is one of life's biggest thrills.

My website is www.williamdietrich.com.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By C. Green TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 29 Dec. 2011
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I consider myself a fan of William Dietrich's novels, having enjoyed Napoleon's Pyramids (Ethan Gage 1), The Rosetta Key (Ethan Gage 2) and Ice Reich. I'm therefore disappointed to report that 'Getting Back' is something of a misfire from the author.

A strange mix of post-apocalyptic survival tale and dystopian satire on corporate excess it doesn't really work on any front. The survival-against-the-elements part feels wholly derivative; from the Australian outback setting to the challenges characters are confronted by it all feels like a weak rehash of a Mad Max movie or any other near-future survivalist tale. Equally the satirical elements don't go anywhere new or fresh. The 'giant corporations take over the world and turn people into drones' idea has been done numerous times before, better and far more plausibly.

It doesn't help that the book's characters are either insipid (Daniel) under-developed (Tucker), unsympathetic (Raven) or straight out of central casting (The Warden). Only some reasonably punchy action rescues the book and holds the attention.

Wrapped up with a final 'twist' that you can see coming a mile-off I will chalk 'Getting Back' up to the fact that even the most consistent author produces the odd stinker now and again. Its certainly not enough to put me off tackling the rest of Dietrich's back catalogue.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
William Dietrich's novel Getting Back is one of those rare novels that is both interesting and well-paced; I sped through it over the span of three evenings. It meshes several large ideas together with a well thought out vision of the future and some characters that most readers will identify and sympathize with. Its minor drawback is a rather predictable and sappy ending.

In the future, the society is one of uniformity, controlled by a company that has merged with the government (or vice versa). Billions of people work for this company, and while some are content, others long for adventure and a way to be individualistic. One of these is Daniel Dyson, the main character of the story, an intelligent young programmer, history major, who is so bored at work he makes catapults to launch love notes to fellow workers and tried to hack into the expense reporting system.

He is "led" by underground internet contacts and a subversive young lady whom he is smitten with named Raven to Outback Adventures, a hidden, shady group that offers to drop people in Australia (which is now completely abandoned and quarantined because of a plague) with the goal of crossing the continent to get to an Exodus point on the far east coast.

To review the rest of the story would be to spoil it. Suffice to say that the trek and adventure lead Daniel, Raven and the others they encounter through a lot of self and cultural examination (has our society evolved the right way? could there have been another way? am I really a non-conformist or just an individualist?)

Some books who take on so many large ideas (world dominated by corporation, plague, conformity vs. individuality, etc.
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By Amazon Customer on 10 Sept. 2011
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I found it a little slow at first and struggled to get into it. I'm glad I continued reading brilliant book. I recommend it.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 29 reviews
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
very imaginative 9 Mar. 2000
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Just finished this today after recently having completed Ice Reich. It was obviously very well researched; full of all kinds of fascinating details about wilderness living. It is not surprising that this author is a natural history journalist. His concern for the environment and the dehumanizing effects of technology is evident throughout. Like all good anti-utopian (sort of) novels, it is really frighteningly plausible. This is what could happen if our population just keeps on increasing and increasing. Anyway, thought provoking, gripping without being too grisly, and an altogether wonderful read!
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Top of the line fiction! 27 Mar. 2000
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
One of the most gripping novels I have read in the last 5 years! Superb character development coupled with compelling love and survival storylines shine and drive you to keep reading. Climaxes in the book are delivered with subtle twists surprise, and the imagagery makes me want to go see the australian outback and see how I change.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
A Fascinating Book 31 Jan. 2001
By Reader from Bellevue, WA - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Getting Back is one of the best books I have read. It is simple and complex at the same time and leaves the reader hanging onto each page. One of my favorite things about the book is the intensity of it. The scary part is that something like this novel could really happen! The author is obviously a talented writer and weaves a suspenseful tale that is worthy of being read by all readers. I am not a reader that is usually attracted to this type of book but a friend recommended it to me and I am so glad that she did - I would recommend this book without reservation to any reader. It is a hit!
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Large ideas, a fast paced read, an interesting vision of the future 21 Dec. 2006
By Larry Ketchersid - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
William Dietrich's novel Getting Back is one of those rare novels that is both interesting and well-paced; I sped through it over the span of three evenings. It meshes several large ideas together with a well thought out vision of the future and some characters that most readers will identify and sympathize with. Its minor drawback is a rather predictable and sappy ending.

In the future, the society is one of uniformity, controlled by a company that has merged with the government (or vice versa). Billions of people work for this company, and while some are content, others long for adventure and a way to be individualistic. One of these is Daniel Dyson, the main character of the story, an intelligent young programmer, history major, who is so bored at work he makes catapults to launch love notes to fellow workers and tried to hack into the expense reporting system.

He is "led" by underground internet contacts and a subversive young lady whom he is smitten with named Raven to Outback Adventures, a hidden, shady group that offers to drop people in Australia (which is now completely abandoned and quarantined because of a plague) with the goal of crossing the continent to get to an Exodus point on the far east coast.

To review the rest of the story would be to spoil it. Suffice to say that the trek and adventure lead Daniel, Raven and the others they encounter through a lot of self and cultural examination (has our society evolved the right way? could there have been another way? am I really a non-conformist or just an individualist?)

Some books who take on so many large ideas (world dominated by corporation, plague, conformity vs. individuality, etc.) get lost in the discussion of them, and, while I did find myself scanning through on a couple of pages of arguments about whether the current society was good or bad, for the most part Mr. Dietrich weaves these into an action packed adventure story. It is science fiction in the sense of the events that have happened and that it is placed in the future, but the trek across Australia makes it more of an adventure novel.

Highly reccommended. I go now in search of Mr. Dietrich's other novels.
8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Getting Back to the Future 3 April 2001
By booknblueslady - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback
As William Dietrich sees the future in Getting Back cities have expanded beyond all boundaries and everyone is given a pleasant career nook under the rule of United Corporations. The problem is not everyone feels happy or copperative in their given career role. Daniel Dyson, the main character feels alienated and unhappy. He spends his free time in the cyber world trying to uncover secrets of the UC or running "outside" an extremely dangerous way to pass time. Dyson buys onto a trip by Outback Adventures and finds himself in the outback of Australia under extremely trying conditions.
In purchasing this book, labeled a mystery thriller, I assumed it was more of a man against nature with a human adversary thrown in for good measure. Instead it is a futuristic novel whose vision may not be far off the mark - there are genetic engineering fowl-ups, mega conglomerates who rule the world and massive epidemics which wipe out large segments of the population. While the book promotes a back to nature perspective it does not adequately describe the scenery and the struggles with nature.
After a prologue that catches the readers interest and is exciting and intriguing. The author spends over one hundred long pages setting the scene of the future before the action really gets rolling. There is a side romance to satisfy everyone, however Raven(the woman) never fills out to be any more than a shadow woman.
Having said all that I would recommend this book to those who enjoy futuristic novels and a look at the five star reviews proves that there are those who found the book to be more to their taste.
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