Monday, 24 September 2012

Review: The Age of Miracles - Karen Thompson Walker


“It still amazes me how little we really knew. . . . Maybe everything that happened to me and my family had nothing at all to do with the slowing. It’s possible, I guess. But I doubt it. I doubt it very much.”

On a seemingly ordinary Saturday in a California suburb, Julia and her family awake to discover, along with the rest of the world, that the rotation of the earth has suddenly begun to slow. The days and nights grow longer and longer, gravity is affected, the environment is thrown into disarray. Yet as she struggles to navigate an ever-shifting landscape, Julia is also coping with the normal disasters of everyday life—the fissures in her parents’ marriage, the loss of old friends, the hopeful anguish of first love, the bizarre behavior of her grandfather who, convinced of a government conspiracy, spends his days obsessively cataloging his possessions. As Julia adjusts to the new normal, the slowing inexorably continues.

My thoughts:
I liked the prose in this novel. It fit the book perfectly. There was a slow rhythm to the book, a gradual slowing to life just like to the earth. Nothing crazy happened, it was not the usual kind of apocalyptic fiction which is more like standing on top if the roof shouting. Here we just watched those on the roof and contemplated our fate.

Julia is 11 when the earth starts moving slower. There is much to deal with. White nights, long cold dark days when the sun never rises. The world is crumbling around them. Life needs darkness and light to survive, but here they get to much of both. Gravity is turned on its head, the magnetic fields suffer. But people try to go on, they try to cope, they have hope. And that is the beauty in this book, life goes on. Sure there is looting, sure people goes into hiding, but we watch a normal family adjusting to the slowing. All while the main character Julia is dealing with her own crisis. There is s boy she likes, her friends grown apart. It's a coming of age story in an age of silent despair. 

The slow building melancholia hit me in the end. Marvelous. It felt real, it felt scary. No one knew why it happened, but it happened. An earth that does not turn, well turn fast anyway.

This was an end of the world that I liked. It was scary in another sort of way. It kind of does not hit you at first. It creeps up upon you and festers like a bad sore. The end of the world does not need to be all violence and crazy turn of events. It can be silent too.

Conclusion:
A great book that I recommend. Just get into the rhythm.

Cover
Not a favorite, but, well, it kind of fits in the end

Genre: Fiction, apocalyptic
Pages: 288
Published: June 2012 by Random House
Source: For review

42 comments:

  1. Sounds really interesting! Thanks for a lovely review, B!

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    1. Who knows, maybe even you would like this one ;)

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  2. Thanks for the review, I have seen this around SO much, but I never really knew what it was about.

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    1. I saw it around too, but yes, for some reason never really knew

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  3. This book seems to be getting mixed reviews but I like the premise so I'll probably give it a try.

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    1. I guess it all depends in the end, but for me it was great

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  4. Likeable end of the world and sitting on rooftops and contemplating! Interesting!

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    1. Well none did that, but it felt like it ;)

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  5. Interesting... longer days/nights. You'd be younger in age, but also age faster... LOL

    I think I'd have to wait on this one. Still need some lighter fare.

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    1. Well for me the white nights would be no problem, I live where I live after all. The same with the never ending nights

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  6. Awesome review and I totally have to have this!

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  7. Lovely review, Blodeuedd! I'll try to get my hands onto this book too! :)

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  8. I would either never sleep or never wake up!

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  9. What a great review, I have to read this one. I'm a fan of these types of reads.

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  10. You certainly liked it much better than I did. I didn't like how uneventful everything was....just didn't ring true to me.

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    1. While I liked that it stayed like that :)

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  11. This book sounds too scary for me. Ghosts are fine; end of the world - no!

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    1. Still it was not a scary end of the world

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  12. This sounds intriguing. Great review!

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  13. Not my genre but thanks for the review.

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  14. I just read this last week. The writing was good but I didn't love the way the book didn't come to any conclusion, plus it really depressed me.

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    1. It should have depressed me, but for some reason it did not. And I saw a conclusion...I will not tell you but well you know.

      And have an easy fast (ok so I cheated on how to say it)

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    2. Thanks :) The good thing about fasting is that afterward you feel justified in eating all the junk food that you want.

      I just wish that some of these apocolyptic books ended more hopefully. I know as soon as I start one pretty much how it will end, and it would be nice to be surprised with a happier ending.

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    3. Hihi, oh I would love that.

      I do agree with that, here I liked it cos it was hopeless. I am just that weird. And in many other books, well there is that bright light while here, nope

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  15. It sounds like a great story, I confess I didn't know this one. Thanks!

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    1. It was different and I enjoyed that

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  16. I have to say the cover does not endear the book to my fantasy-geek self though....

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    1. No, it's pretty boring. But for some reason after reading it fit. Still before reading..eh

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  17. I don't think this is my cup of tea, but I'll let my husband know about it. He's into those apocalyptic stories.

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  18. I've never heard of this one before. I'm not sure if it is for me. It might be a little too reflective.

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    1. But that is the point, it was not reflective at all in a way, things just happen.

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  19. I've seen really mixed reviews of this one, not sure it's for me but glad you enjoyed it!

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