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Down to a Sunless Sea Paperback – 22 Jun 2007

4.6 out of 5 stars 50 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 348 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster (22 Jun. 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1416567666
  • ISBN-13: 978-1416567660
  • Product Dimensions: 14 x 2 x 21.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (50 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 46,042 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Synopsis

The six hundred passengers and crew members aboard a jumbo jetliner are left without a destination and a country when nuclear war breaks out and spreads devastation around the world. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
The start of the story focuses on a world where the US is in real financial trouble due to depleted oil reserves. There is a lack of jobs, food and basic provisions and everyone is struggling to survive or leave the country. The central hero of the book is a passenger jet pilot who is in the process of transporting refugees to the UK, which is more-or-less living under normal conditions due to more careful management of their oil supplies. The first third of the book details the bad conditions under which the US population lives, and while it is interesting, it becomes rather irrelevant quite quickly, except as a way to fill in some character and story background.

While over the middle of the Atlantic, flying from New York to Heathrow, it becomes clear that a global nuclear war has broken out. This is where the story gets really interesting as the crew struggle to find somewhere safe to land. The mix of passengers on the plane seems somewhat unlikely, and a handy plot device to include a number of twists or aspects to the story, but this doesn't detract from the tension.

The book features quite a lot of time where the aircraft is in the air, and hence includes several scenes where the crew go through flight procedures in some detail. This is partly for the purposes of the plot, but is largely not necessary, although it appears to be technically accurate (even if it was first published in 1979). I personally found the engineering bits quite informative, but it might not be to everyone's taste.

There are a couple of plot twists near the end, where the story speeds up considerably, that I thought spoiled things slightly but for the most part this is an excellent book.
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Format: Paperback
I can't add anything to the reviews I've seen here...but I would add a word of caution. I lost this book like another reviewer, and in the course of trying to get another, ended up with a US copy. It ends differently!

If you haven't read this amazing book yet, please don't buy the US one.

Fortunately, I managed to get the UK one in the end...
3 Comments 26 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Hardcover
I bought this book several years ago after quickly reading the back page synopsis and i am so glad i did.The shear thought of being aboard a passenger aircraft halfway across the atlantic and then a nucleur war starts is unfathomable. what do you do if your the captain with several hundred people on board of different nationalities with their lives in your hands? David Graham not only tells you with great nail biting suspense but also with accurate facts of what would REALLY happen to any planes in that situation.This book will NEVER leave your collection.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Despite being written in the early 70's and set in 1985, this novel felt like a contemporary work of 2012. This makes it horrifying because the plot is so plausible today. An energy crisis rendering the US a third world state is the opening gambit. Swiftly followed by a nuclear war which is an increasing possibility with rising middle eastern armament. That prospect is terrifying enough. But what makes this book so utterly engaging is the fact we are dealing with these massive events through the very credible eyes of a UK pilot midway through his Atlantic flight. This perspective sets the book apart from other apocolyptic fiction because the paasengers' survival is doomed yet they (and we) are aural witnesses to the on- ground effects via commentary from a few air controllers in European and US cities which fall within an hour or so. Where can they go? And just when all seems lost, faint contact with islands in the Azores brings hope. Yet that slim chance of survival is also closing as we know the radiation will soon follow. It is such an adrenaline read with an ending that slaps you in the face and yet you smile and think, it's honest, fair and not entirely undeserved. Most importantly it reminds us that nuclear war is possible so we should do all we can humanely do to prevent anything near these events from become reality.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
I have just re-read this book after loads of years, it was going round and round that I must read it again! Fabulous, just as good as before but of course it is written in the seventies and the terminology etc shows. Great read, would make a blockbuster film, can you image. Sticking to the book with today's technology and not changing the ending one bit!! excellent
1 Comment 9 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
I first read this book about 8 years ago and, having moved house a number of times since then, have unfortunately lost it. It really is one of the best books I have ever read, and I read a lot. I would urge every person who has read the book or who reads this review to e-mail the publisher asking for it to be re-printed!!!
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Format: Paperback
I first read this when it was first published (British edition) back in the 1970s and it really stuck with me; one for the lifetime list. I've had several copies since although I don't have one at present due to lends not being returned. I understand the US edition has a slightly different ending but that is one I haven't seen. To those who criticise the scenarios in the book please remember that this was written in the 70s when different values regarding politics, race & gender abounded and technology was still so very much in its infancy by comparison with today. We have been on the brink, politically, on a number occasions and this would be something that may well have taken place if those brave souls working hard in the background had failed in preventing the appropriate keys from being turned & the red buttons from being pushed. Bear in mind those keys and buttons still exist but in more states than in the 1970s. I'm going to put this in my basket and enjoy it for the well written story that it is but also give a little thought to what might have been had nuclear war taken place at various times since and what could still happen if it takes place in the future.
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