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Odds Against Tomorrow Hardcover – 14 Aug 2013

5.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (14 Aug. 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0374224242
  • ISBN-13: 978-0374224240
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 2.8 x 0.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,093,163 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

Review

Praise for The Mayor's Tongue. A brilliantly told novel, by turns terrifying, touching, and wildly funny. --Stephen King. An author who could well become one of the defining writers of his generation.--The Sunday Telegraph. A spare masterpiece.The Boston Globe --Various

About the Author

Nathaniel Rich is the author of The Mayor's Tongue. His essays and short fiction have appeared in Harper's Magazine, The New York Review of Books, McSweeney's, and The New York Times Magazine. Born in New York City, he now lives in New Orleans.

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Format: Kindle Edition
An excellent read, well-written, fast paced, the main character is a geeky, absent-minded and thoroughly likeable character. The ending is unexpected, though in line with the character's off-beat personality. This was my first "brush" with climate fiction, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Highly recommended.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Well written and not standard type plot or characters - much better than that.

Never obvious what will happen next; a real plus.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 3.6 out of 5 stars 82 reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Feh........ 26 Sept. 2016
By Michael E McNett - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Well, IMHO, the whole Elsa Bruner apparatus was burdensome and largely gratuitous. The author’s grasp of meteorology, climatology, and hydrology was at times tenuous, as was his apparent familiarity with geography beyond Newark—in Los Angeles, “inland” is east (San Bernadino county), not south (Orange county). His familiarity with the tri-state area is another matter, however, and non-New Yorkers working their way through this novel will be well-advised to acquire a street atlas covering the five boroughs.

As a cli-fi apocalypse scenario, I feel I was sold a ticket to a Kiefer Sutherland movie, but got Donald Sutherland instead. The two principal figures float through the ravaged landscape in more than a physical sense. They never run out of supplies or money before reaching a destination, they are without electricity for a scant couple of days, and, most significantly for me, every time they encounter a human-conflict situation, their solution is to run like rabbits.But they're not so much lone wolves as voyeurs with a huge bankroll.

And, BTW, what is the animosity toward Winnetka all about? Essentially every characterization of the town that comes through Jane Eppler’s mouth is wildly inaccurate and/or absurd. Is this supposed to be humorous? An attempt to best Bill Murray’s SNL description of next-door Wilmette as “a small coal-mining town north of Chicago”? Or is it Rich’s payback to some particularly obnoxious Winnetkan(s) who crossed his path at Yale?
4.0 out of 5 stars Great book on Environmentalism! 9 Jan. 2017
By Mika - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I had to read this book for an environmental literature class, and it was way more interesting than a textbook. Nathaniel Rich blends in tons of references with a poignant message about the environment and the dangers it holds, as well as the multiple ways of looking at environmentalism through the many characters he offers. The plot moves rather quickly and keeps up a good pace. Humor is dotted throughout, sometimes macabre, but always welcome. The characters personify the ways of looking at global warming and environmentalism, and one can find references to WWII, Hurricane Katrina, Chernobyl, and more. Nathaniel Rich offers a view on how different people deal with disaster, and this book truly makes you think. The ending seemed to peter out for me, but it leaves it open to interpretation and a call to action.

This would be a wonderful read for high-school and college-aged students looking for an environmental book that is packed with tension and action! The amount of papers that could be written on this book is endless, and I'm surprised at the lack of articles on it, although it is a 2014 book.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Remarkable Climate Fiction Novel 14 May 2014
By Claude Forthomme - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
An excellent read, well-written, fast paced, the main character is geeky, absent-minded and thoroughly likeable. The ending is unexpected, though in line with the character's off-beat personality. This was my first "brush" with climate fiction, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I would just like to add that I suspect Nathaniel Rich's original intention was to zero in on one disturbing aspect of our society, the way we use mathematics and turn it into a pseudo-science to fool people and get them to cough up money for insurance. But after Hurricane Sandy, his book took on another deeper, more threatening meaning and it was suddenly seen as an excellent example of climate fiction. Indeed, the book cover is meant to catch this aspect, depicting New York under water. Climate fiction has been getting a lot of attention recently becoming fast a hot new genre that some see as an offshoot of science fiction and others as a self-standing speculative genre that has something important to say to us about our future.

Regardless of that squabble, the fact is that Nathaniel Rich's book is highly entertaining and an excellent read - but it's also the kind of read that makes you think after you've closed the book, a definite plus!
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Unsatisfying 26 Aug. 2014
By Scratch GTR - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Climate change disaster novel, set in my favorite city; what's not to love? I lived through Hurricane Sandy in New York, so the book sounded promising. I really wanted to love it.

Somehow, though, nothing in the book was ever quite satisfying. The setting (a thin slice of New York) never came to life. The characters never seemed real or likeable. The dialogue ranged from formulaic to pretty bad. Even the disaster event itself was mostly unsatisfying, happening somewhat "off-stage", after which the plot takes an oddly quixotic road trip to "Lord of the Flies"-ville, then meanders back to New York until it washes up on some kind of conclusion. (And yeah, what was with the first-person character in the beginning? It was like a framing device they forgot to come back to!)

Despite the frustrations, the book managed to hold my attention just enough to finish it -- and was even funny / exciting in a couple spots -- so it gets three stars.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars I Don't Understand the Third Part 21 July 2014
By Karl-Friedrich Lenz - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This novel would be improved by just scrapping the third part. None of that makes sense to me. Especially the main character's motivations.

I have also some trouble understanding why Mitchell would stay in town when the storm hits, and why people trust him as some kind of authority on storms even though his field of expertise is statistics, not meteorology.

The basic idea of having a math genius making a lot of money from predicting risks for rich clients is interesting for a global warming novel. I liked that part.

I am sure that the insurance industry employs people like Mitchell to figure out how much premiums they need to charge. All things equal, more risk means more business for insurance companies.

But I don't think that he would be able to say anything about individual storms hitting any individual area. With global warming we know that extreme weather events will become more frequent and more damaging, but we don't know when and where exactly they will hit.
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