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The Rapture [Hardcover]

Liz Jensen
3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (104 customer reviews)
RRP: 16.99
Price: 15.72 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

1 Jun 2009
In a merciless summer of biblical heat and destructive winds, Gabrielle Fox's main concern is a personal one: to rebuild her career as a psychologist after a shattering car accident. But when she is assigned Bethany Krall, one of the most dangerous teenagers in the country, she begins to fear she has made a terrible mistake. Raised on a diet of evangelistic hellfire, Bethany is violent, delusional, cruelly intuitive and insistent that she can foresee natural disasters - a claim which Gabrielle interprets as a symptom of doomsday delusion. But when catastrophes begin to occur on the very dates Bethany has predicted, and a brilliant, gentle physicist enters the equation, the apocalyptic puzzle intensifies and the stakes multiply. Is the self-proclaimed Nostradamus of the psych ward the ultimate manipulator, or could she be the harbinger of imminent global cataclysm on a scale never seen before? And what can love mean in 'interesting times'? A haunting story of human passion and burning faith set against an adventure of tectonic proportions, The Rapture is an electrifying psychological thriller that explores the dark extremes of mankind's self-destruction in a world on the brink.

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC (1 Jun 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0747597294
  • ISBN-13: 978-0747597292
  • Product Dimensions: 16.5 x 24.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (104 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 637,475 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Liz Jensen was born in Oxfordshire in 1959. Her critically-acclaimed work spans black comedy, science fiction, satire, family drama, historical fantasy and psychological suspense. Three of her novels have been nominated for the Orange Prize and in 1998 she was shortlisted for the Guardian Fiction Award. She is Writer in Residence at Kingston University and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature. Her work has been developed for film and translated into more than 20 languages.

Product Description


A compelling journey of the absorbing embodiment and exploration of our fears about climate change. -- The Sunday Times

A fast-paced plot buoyed by a wealth of paranormal intrigue... Jensen skirts the moral boundaries without shrillness, exposing humanity as less wicked than willfully myopic.
-- TLS

Compelling... Jensen writes with energy and chutzpah about the scarily possible... electric and elegiac. -- The Independent

Mind-bendingly original... a convincing and compelling brew... much more intelligent, not to mention disturbing, than the vast majority of disaster stories. -- Metro

Wildly original...Gripping and crammed with ideas, with big, topical themes and well-drawn characters. -- The London Paper

`A cracking good read *****' -- Daily Telegraph

`A masterclass on how to write an engaging thriller ... You'll be gripped'
-- Irvine Welsh, Guardian


'An end-of-days blockbuster to haunt your nightmares...unputdownable.'

A rollicking eco-thriller that successfully marries high-octane action with a prescient overview of the dangers of climate change...Deliciously apocalyptic and jammed full of ideas, this is storytelling at its rapturous best.

Wildly original...Gripping and crammed with ideas, with big, topical themes and well-drawn characters.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
58 of 63 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Apocalyptic thriller 19 July 2009
By kehs TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Gabrielle Fox, the main character, is unlike any other heroine I have read about. She is very vulnerable after having survived a traumatic car accident. Her career as a psychotherapist leads her to a job in a psychiatric hospital for troubled teenagers. There she meets Bethany, a 16 year old who has murdered her own mother and who also seems able to predict natural disasters. Gabrielle has the task of discovering if Bethany really can tell the future or whether she is a very talented manipulator. Even given Bethany's crime and appalling attitude, I found myself warming to her character. The fact that she comes from an Evangelical background, her father being a preacher man, is crucial to the plot. As an open-minded atheist I found the religious thread that runs through this story absolutely fascinating. I feel that whatever your thoughts on the Bible stories, this book will give you some intelligent food for thought. There is a lot of technical talk, but don't be put off by this as most of it can easily be understood by the context.

The author has included a note at the end of The Rapture in which she explains the intent behind her story. Jensen's writing is so eloquent that I was compelled to discover how the story ends, what would become of Bethany and uncover exactly how she knew of the forthcoming disasters. Along the way I felt the pain and emotional traumas that both Gabrielle and Bethany suffer. Both are fragile in their own ways and in need of love and care. This is a hard hitting topical storyline that made me sit up and listen to the message that Jensen is trying to get across. The ending blew me away and left me feeling that we really must pull together as a race and look after our planet.
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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Rapt - in parts 16 Jan 2010
There are some great things about 'The Rapture'; the themes and ideas are intriguing and Liz Jensen has a powerful command of metaphor. Sadly though, I don't feel 'The Rapture' managed to be the sum of its parts.

Set in the near future, the author has created a credible world, poised on the brink of disaster. Jensen's extrapolations are pessimistic, bleak and sadly plausible. The religious tensions created by the human race reaching its 'End of Days' are well handled, and the analysis of our collective psyche makes for provocative reading.

The two central characters are doctor and patient. Bethany is a young manipulative psychiatric patient, who brutally murdered her mother. Gabrielle, her psychologist, would be a fairly run-of-the-mill character, were it not for the fact she is paraplegic. This gives Gabrielle an unusual fragility, and deep insecurity that is pivotal to the plot's machinations. During therapy sessions, Bethany starts to accurately predict a series of cataclysmic events that she says will lead up to an apocalypse.

Bethany's character is something of a cliché; a wounded and angry young woman, but the novel's premise allows Jensen to ask some interesting questions. What would happen if a psychotic killer could accurately predict the end of the world? Who would listen? Would anybody take the predictions seriously? Conveniently, Gabrielle has recently started dating a climate expert, who can't help but take an interest.

It's from here that things start to go wrong with the novel. With the world hurtling towards Armageddon, it seems only a band of guerilla physicists can keep it at bay. Implausibly well equipped guerilla physicists. It just doesn't ring true. Neither do the actions of some of the peripheral characters.
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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
By purpleheart TOP 100 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
'That summer, the summer all the rules began to change, June seemed to last for a thousand years'.

The novel opens with a masterly evocation of a desperately hot summer when 'the sky pressed down like a furnace lid'. It's the near future and weather disasters are becoming far more frequent as the weather becomes increasingly unpredictable. Except it seems that someone may be able to predict the weather disasters... Gabrielle Fox's adolescent psychiatric patient Bethany Krall seems to be tuned into weather after her ECT treatment. Gabrielle has had a break from work after the car accident which killed her lover and left her in a wheelchair. She is vulnerable to Bethany's taunts of 'Wheels' but is starting to rebuild her life with the new job and new man Dr Frazer Melville.

Jensen interweaves her eco/psychological thriller with a love story and juxtaposes the scientific reaction to the apocalyptic conditions with the religious response of 'The Rapture'.

For me, she managed all of these strands very well. I read the novel in one sitting and was surprised that I hadn't hear of so skilful an author before. Since then the book has been chosen for Radio 4's Book at Bedtime and seems set for commercial success.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Wanted to like this..... 16 Jan 2010
I expected great things from this book having read some of Liz Jensen's previous novels which I thoroughly enjoyed and there were really good reviews on Amazon and in the weekend newspaper reviews. This just didn't do it for me - it seemed to me to be written as a vehicle for a blockbuster American movie and I had to keep reminding myself the story was set in the UK. The character of Bethany was quite chilling but the others were under-developed and I found it difficult to care much about them - especially main character Gabrielle Fox who was just annoying. I managed to finish the book (this morning) which shows that it did grip me enough to want to find out what happened at the end but I really rushed the last 100 pages because I can't wait to get on to something else. I realise from reading the reviews on Amazon that a lot of people really enjoyed this book so perhaps it's me - but I don't recommend it.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Not a bad book
I did enjoy this book just took me awhile to read it in between working but got there in the end.
Published 3 months ago by Glenys
5.0 out of 5 stars Hooked from the opening paragraph...
I'm a fussy sort with my books, if the opening paragraph, or at least first page doesn't 'grab' me, then sadly, the book goes back on the shelf very quickly. Read more
Published 3 months ago by K. Roberts
1.0 out of 5 stars Oh dear, how did this get published?
the religious thread throughout the book made me think the author knew nothing of what the rapture is about and worked hard to make Christians look either happy clappy or cruel. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Pavaroti Who
3.0 out of 5 stars An addictive book but I resented its portrayal of disability
The Rapture by Liz Jensen is the second of her novels I have read after the Ninth Life Of Louis Drax which I read two years ago and greatly enjoyed. Read more
Published 5 months ago by R. A. Davison
5.0 out of 5 stars Captivating and convincing read
A gripping story that deals with the potential impacts of anthropogenic environmental disaster and climate change in the near future.
Published 12 months ago by Irina
5.0 out of 5 stars It's the same one!
It took me a while to realise I'd read this book last year. Again, for the second time, the story is no less shocking. Read more
Published 14 months ago by Radiojock
2.0 out of 5 stars DISAPPOINTING
I found this book gripping from the beginning and loved Bethany' s character. However I found the ending an anti climax which wasted the book for me.
Published 18 months ago by Carrie-Anne Jones
2.0 out of 5 stars A disappoinment overall
This book was chosen by our book club and I was looking forward to reading it. However, I found the plot slow and the story line totally implausible. Read more
Published 18 months ago by S. Liveing
4.0 out of 5 stars The Rapture
Often I find that books which tread a thin line between one thing and another generally fail. The Rapture (which treads many thin lines) does not. Read more
Published 20 months ago by Kate Phillips
1.0 out of 5 stars Rupture
This is not an apocalyptic thriller. It is not fast paced. It is not a thriller. It is not about the religious belief called The Rapture. It is turgid and impenetrable. Read more
Published 20 months ago by Adrian Maxwell
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