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The deluge
2022
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Brief Descriptions

In 2013 California, environmental scientist Tony Pietrus, after receiving a death threat, is linked to a colorful cast of characters, including a brazen young activist who, in the mountains of Wyoming, begins a project that will alter the course of the decades to come. - (Baker & Taylor)

“This book is, simply put, a modern classic. If you read it, you'll never forget it. Prophetic, terrifying, uplifting.” —Stephen King

From the bestselling author of Ohio, a masterful American epic charting a near future approaching collapse and a nascent but strengthening solidarity.

In the first decades of the 21st century, the world is convulsing, its governments mired in gridlock while a patient but unrelenting ecological crisis looms. America is in upheaval, battered by violent weather and extreme politics. In California in 2013, Tony Pietrus, a scientist studying deposits of undersea methane, receives a death threat. His fate will become bound to a stunning cast of characters—a broken drug addict, a star advertising strategist, a neurodivergent mathematician, a cunning eco-terrorist, an actor turned religious zealot, and a brazen young activist named Kate Morris, who, in the mountains of Wyoming, begins a project that will alter the course of the decades to come.

From the Gulf Coast to Los Angeles, the Midwest to Washington, DC, their intertwined odysseys unfold against a stark backdrop of accelerating chaos as they summon courage, galvanize a nation, fall to their own fear, and find wild hope in the face of staggering odds. As their stories hurtle toward a spectacular climax, each faces a reckoning: what will they sacrifice to salvage humanity’s last chance at a future? A singular achievement, The Deluge is a once-in-a-generation novel that meets the moment as few works of art ever have. - (Simon and Schuster)

Author Biography

Stephen Markley is the acclaimed author of Ohio, which NPR called a “masterpiece.” A graduate of the Iowa Writer’s Workshop, Markley’s other books include the memoir Publish This Book and the travelogue Tales of Iceland. - (Simon and Schuster)

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Reviews Via Publishers Weekly

Publishers Weekly Reviews

In this brilliant dystopian epic from Markley (Ohio), spanning from 2013 to 2040, a range of characters attempt to avert catastrophic climate change, sometimes at great personal risk, and with varying degrees of success. There's geologist Tony Pietrus; climate justice activist Kate Morris; Shane Acosta, a sophisticated ecoterrorist; and Ashir al-Hasan, chief of staff for the Senate Select Committee on the Climate Crisis. The plot begins in familiar terrain, with scientists sounding the alarm that time is running out. Speculative elements emerge with the meteoric ascent of Morris, whose organization, A Fierce Blue Fire, has made global warming the sole litmus test for its political support. The charismatic Morris also dreams up investment opportunities to benefit neglected and poverty-stricken regions. Interstitial segments, including a newspaper article written by AI about Shane's truck bombing of an Ohio power station in 2030, add to the sense of frightening plausibility. Meanwhile, the bureaucratic al-Hasan comments in a memo on the "inanity and profiteering that surround the legislative process," while Pietrus, whose work on methane clathrates is quietly incorporated into government models, remains divisive and marginalized. Markley makes this anything but didactic; his nuanced characterizations of individuals with different approaches to the existential threat make the perils they encounter feel real as they navigate cover-ups and lies. It's a disturbing tour de force. (Jan.)

Copyright 2022 Publishers Weekly.

Publishers Weekly Reviews

In this brilliant dystopian epic from Markley (Ohio), spanning from 2013 to 2040, a range of characters attempt to avert catastrophic climate change, sometimes at great personal risk, and with varying degrees of success. There's geologist Tony Pietrus; climate justice activist Kate Morris; Shane Acosta, a sophisticated ecoterrorist; and Ashir al-Hasan, chief of staff for the Senate Select Committee on the Climate Crisis. The plot begins in familiar terrain, with scientists sounding the alarm that time is running out. Speculative elements emerge with the meteoric ascent of Morris, whose organization, A Fierce Blue Fire, has made global warming the sole litmus test for its political support. The charismatic Morris also dreams up investment opportunities to benefit neglected and poverty-stricken regions. Interstitial segments, including a newspaper article written by AI about Shane's truck bombing of an Ohio power station in 2030, add to the sense of frightening plausibility. Meanwhile, the bureaucratic al-Hasan comments in a memo on the "inanity and profiteering that surround the legislative process," while Pietrus, whose work on methane clathrates is quietly incorporated into government models, remains divisive and marginalized. Markley makes this anything but didactic; his nuanced characterizations of individuals with different approaches to the existential threat make the perils they encounter feel real as they navigate cover-ups and lies. It's a disturbing tour de force. (Jan.)

Copyright 2022 Publishers Weekly.

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