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Flood Hardcover – 17 Jul 2008

3.4 out of 5 stars 94 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 480 pages
  • Publisher: Gollancz (17 July 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0575080566
  • ISBN-13: 978-0575080560
  • Product Dimensions: 15.9 x 4.1 x 23.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (94 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 358,164 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

"A largely old-fashioned disaster tale presented with spectacle and efficient pacing."
-"Locus"
"A gripping near-future allegory of global warming."
-"BBC Focus"
"Bold, compassionate, exhilarating, wrenching stuff."
-Niall Harrison, "Internet Review of Science Fiction" --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Book Description

The ultimate disaster - the world is drowning and there is nowhere left on earth to go.

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book begins in 2016 with the story of five hostages held in Barcelona, where it's raining heavily and won't stop. They're rescued by a team sent by Nathan Lomockson - a technocrat and very rich man - but not before one of them is brutally killed. The remaining four pledge to look out for each other from then on. Lomockson himself takes a lifelong interest in each of them, and their fates thereafter are tied in with his. The ensuing events in the novel take place over a span of around sixty years.

The narrative moves forward by chronological increments as the world's water level increases, and continues to rise. The episodic structure suits the book perfectly - it's a neat narrative trick. Baxter provides us with a series of snapshots of important events and details the human reaction to each stage of the increase.

Nathan sets himself up as a would-be saviour of the world. He appears at pivotal points throughout the story as the sea levels rise higher and higher, and we see the impact of important events on his and/or one or more of the former hostages. Although a hard-boiled, nuts and bolts SF writer, Stephen Baxter realises that his book would be nothing if the reader weren't allowed to engage emotionally with the characters.

And even though the characterisation isn't as strong as your average mainstream writer's, it's still good enough to carry the story of the watery death of an entire planet.

If you remember back to your schooldays (a harder and harder job for some of us!) the hydrologic cycle taught us that there is not one extra drop of water now than there was at the time of creation. So where is the extra water coming from? Melting icecaps? That would only be responsible for a limited increase.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
It's a good read but...
There were moments when reading the book, that I felt something was missing. Just couple of paragraphs here and there, more defined picture, just a few more details. With the action spanning some fifty years it is not easy to choose what to write about and what to concentrate on but I felt that sometimes the action was tat too narrow.
The main problem of the book is the lack of definition of characters. We start off with five of them, all held hostage for years in Spain, only to have a number reduced to four just when the main action starts to unfold and they are liberated. There are two women: Lily and Helen, and two men: Gary and Piers. We know very little about them: Lily is a helicopter pilot, Helen a mother of a three-year-old daughter Grace, a product of a rape. Piers has some kind of a mental breakdown and Gary is a scientist. And that's as much as we will learn, safe for one or two more details. There just simply isn't enough, forgive me the pun, meet on these bodies to get attached to them, to be able to absorb the unfolding events through their eyes.
As to the action, it is either too fast or too slow, not enough details to absorb the enormity of the catastrophe that happens on the pages of the book. I think that problem is that it tried to tell the story on a global scale. Therefore we have information about almost simultaneous events in USA, South America, Europe, Asia and Australia. Each treated with similar attention. But instead of concentrating on one, maybe two places, showing changes over a longer time, author hops from continent to continent, from place to place like a mad grasshopper.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
What happens if subterranean oceans decide to bubble up and start flooding the planet, yeah right. Bonkers idea, but Baxter is a scientist, so he manages to come up with a convincing reason why this is happening. There's some kinda story involving people as well. Some scientists go "ohhh there's a problem, how do we deal with it", and a mad industrialist funds a lot of research and stuff. But each chapter is a 10 or 20 years slot during which the land gets smaller and smaller, and the plot gets.....no that's mean! OK, it's not that badly written and kept me entertained for the time I read it. There's a sequel, I've read that as well.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book has no literary merit whatsoever. It is clichéd and the characters are one-dimensional. It is also incredibly tedious. I began to read it because it was chosen by a book club member. After reading about a quarter of it I could not take any more.
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By Keen Reader TOP 50 REVIEWER on 17 Feb. 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This reminded me (fairly obviously why) of Flood by Richard Doyle - same scenario - but both authors have treated the subject in very different ways. I enjoyed Richard Doyle's book. I also enjoyed this book, but it was, at times, a bit hard going.

The manner in which we are introduced quite abruptly to the flooding patterns affecting the world is very ingenious - rescued victims who had been held by terrorist organisations for some years are abruptly reintroduced to the world at large - and the world has changed because they have been away from it, so to speak. That's a clever way to introduce what is new to them (and to us) but which has been happening slowly and inexorably to the rest of the population at large. The terrorist victims remain a closeknit group which is also a good way for the author to ensure that we see the spread of the impact of the weather events in a linked (but slightly separated) way.

The book itself covers quite a few years, so we are witness to the events impacting the earth and its climate, and what it means to the people, nations, governments, industries and social fabric of the world as we know it as doom slowly approaches. What could humankind possibly do against an ever-increasing water level? It does make you think.

I admit to being somewhat perplexed throughout, as to where exactly all the water was coming from, but as long as I suspended that slightly nagging question from the back of my mind, the story itself is entertaining - the premise is intriguing, the characters are sufficiently interesting to keep the reader's interest. The sequel, Ark, is in my pile of books to read, so I hope that continues the same intriguing story. I cannot imagine where it will end other than in complete annihilation - the End of all? Have to read and find out.
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