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The Swarm: A Novel of the Deep Paperback – 22 May 2006

4.0 out of 5 stars 70 customer reviews

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Paperback, 22 May 2006
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Product details

  • Paperback: 896 pages
  • Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton (22 May 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0340895233
  • ISBN-13: 978-0340895238
  • Product Dimensions: 15.1 x 23.2 x 5.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (70 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,591,909 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


This thriller is a space-ship bound for another world. (Die Zeit)

A rip-roaring monster movie of a plot with unexpectedly credible human characters (Peter Millar, The Times)

'Good fun, written in fluent thrillerese, and there are some vivid action-thriller moments' (Metro)

'A massively good read. A gripping marine biodiversity thriller the like of which I have not seen since "Jaws". I particularly liked the portrayal of biologists as interesting, sexy human beings, rather than just evil or hopelessly mistaken gene-manipulators.' (Dr James Mallet, Professor of Biological Diversity, University College London)

An international blockbuster . . . But think twice about making it your beach book. However hot the vacation sun, this novel may give you the shivers . . . enjoy (Evening Standard)

'A mind-bending, Crichton-esque fate-of-the-planet thriller that whiplashes the reader from micro- to macro-terrors faster than you can say 'ecosystem'... never ever predictable... enormously entertaining science fiction / horror epic... I recommend you dive right in' (Fangoria)

'A gripping novel with fast-paced action, interesting and believable characters, and a fascinating look into the uncharted depths of the ocean . . . Enthralling, I was on tenterhooks throughout . . . Comparable in quality to Stephen King, Martin Cruz Smith, and Elmore Leonard' (Peter Constantine, award-winning translator of Thomas Mann's SIX EARLY STORIES)

An effervescent cocktail of adventure (Der Spiegel)

A gripping thriller starring nature unleashed (Stern)

The world could collapse around you [while reading DER SCHWARM], and you wouldn't notice. (Die Welt)

A monster of science-fiction, rich in facts (Stern)

After these 1000 breathtaking pages you see the sea with different eyes. (Focus)

This book wants to be read from beginning to end, morning, noon, and night. The outside world could disintegrate and the reader would not notice because of the spellbinding power of the collapsing world in Frank Schätzing's apocalyptic thriller. (Die Tageszeitung)

A gigantic thriller (Die Welt)

With THE SWARM, Frank Schätzing lifts the German suspense novel up to the international level. (Süddeutsche Zeitung)

THE SWARM must be read quickly because before the reader can finally get to sleep, he must wander far and wide before crossing the finish line happy but exhausted. . . .Whoever has read Frank Schätzing's novel will be thankful for every inch of dry land and will certainly avoid waterbeds. (Die Zeit)

With THE SWARM, Frank Schätzing competes with the likes of Michael Crichton. (Brigitte)

One thousand pages of extraordinarily stimulating mental images. At once intellectual and intoxicating, this novel is alarming, unnerving, and overwhelming in every respect. Its composition has a precise grasp on rhythm, language, and lustrous action scenes. (Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger)

Book Description

More gripping than Crichton, classier than Cussler, Frank Schätzing's record-breaking ecological thriller is here. After dominating the German bestseller lists for over 12 months THE SWARM is about to make waves across the world.

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
This book was a surprise bestseller in Germany and the paperback verison I got for Christmas was already the 10th reprint edition within a year. So I took it on a one week holiday in January and despite the 700 densely packed pages it ran out well before the return flight. This is not only a riveting read ala Michael Chrichton it is also an introduction into a huge number of current scientific theories that are brought across with both ease and depth alike. Not only will you be turning the pages to find out how the story unfolds you will also learn a great deal about marine biology, geology, genetecis, intelligence theory and numerous other scientific advances without actually realising it on the go. This is a book I would wholeheartedly recommend to anyone and when the next holiday comes along I might just read it again...
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I have read this book in German. Even though the theme of deep sea science does not match my usual fields of interest I simply could not put the book down and I read it as fast as no book in the recent past. The plot is intelligent, extremely well researched (as I found out after watching a documentary on this book and author on German television) and reasonably plausible. The story is gripping, the characters compelling. I was also astonished to find out that most of the leading scientists mentioned in this book are real people and experts on the field of deep sea exploration and that Frank Schätzing extensively conferred with them during his researches.
I can highly recommend this book to anyone, even outside the Sci-Fi community.
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Format: Paperback
I have seldom been so torn in the review of a book. In retrospect i have so many fond memories of this, and yet at the same time i remember the long periods of time when i simply couldn't be bothered picking it up to read because the narrative was flailing and little seemed to be happening. The opening part of the book is simply stunning, i don't deny. Some of the (for want of a better description) set-pieces involving whales and zebra mussels are simply excellent and some of the ideas brought into the novel throughout reflect this early enthusiastic and imaginative approach to the "monster movie" plot. Some of the characters are nice and believable, and each has their own personal demons to contend with, which makes the mix that little bit more exciting.
Scientifically the plot seems sound; i don't claim to know much about the genetics of amoebae, but i do know a fair whack about whales, dolphins and other denizens of the sea (I'm a Marine Biologist). I wasn't expecting a scientific account with no holes, i was expecting a Jurassic Park-esque almost-believable story, and thats near enough what i got.
The novel fails, however, on three counts. One; the middle section. Not much happens for a great deal and unless you're on a flight or have a particularly nice sunny day for some outdoor reading, or have a great deal of time (none of which befalls a marine biologist masters student in Scotland) then its difficult to battle through the lull in the pace. Two: the ending. Too complicated for its own good, it would have been easier to flunk for something less scientific and less confusing. However, it's original, i'll give it that. Three; the wish / desire to be the monster movie its alluded to be. I love reading novels and picturing my favourite actors in various roles, etc.
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Format: Paperback
If you like Frank Schätzing you will surely enjoy this book. It has the same writing style as `death and the devil'. The story is completely different but I think that in this book the author surpasses himself. It is so incredibly surprising that you will not believe your eyes.
The author is able to create great suspense until the middle of the book and only after that you start to discover something. The plot is really intricate, the story is written with a very cleaver touch. Every character has their own story. Only in the end the characters meet together and the plot thickens.
This book is more than a simple sci-fi book; the author critiques modern society that is ruining nature and our world. It lets you think about yourself, history and the role of the religion in this world.
If you like to read short books or you read rarely this is not the kind of book for you!
Warning: it's addictive!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Having enjoyed Death and the Devil so much, I was eagerly looking forward to The Swarm, so much so that I had pre-ordered the English translation.

Perhaps The Epic would have been a better title - this was a really long book, and whilst that would always be my preference as I enjoy something deep to get my teeth into, sadly in this case it was so long because the author had been allowed to throw in all the research he had done in preparation for the novel. There are many places in the book where it is clear that Frank has done extensive research about a particular topic that is relevant to the story, but he then goes and spoils it all by basically regurgitating ALL his research over the next n pages and you get bogged down in incidental detail that doesn't help the story move along.

First though, I should say that I really enjoyed the premise of the book. I do like well written and intelligent sci-fi and whilst you wouldn't describe The Swarm as a sci-fi book, it touches on some topics regarding intelligence beyond ourselves that were really thought provoking.

At 500 pages I suspect this could have been brilliant - albeit with a stronger ending. At nearly double that I'm afraid it was a huge let down. The one saving grace is that if you are a quick reader like me, you'll soon get adept at skipping over whole swaths of prose when it's about characters you don't care about or research that you've read enough of now thanks.
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