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Flood Mass Market Paperback – May 4, 2010

124 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In an engrossing, daring and occasionally overambitious novel, Baxter (Weaver) narrates the final 42 years of dry land on earth. Four political hostages are freed in Barcelona in 2016, and their stories through the years show the attempts to save the planet even as rapidly rising ocean levels wipe out major cities. USAF Capt. Lily Brooke works with billionaire Nathan Lammockson to build a haven, while oceanographer Thandie Jones attempts to determine the causes of the flooding. Baxter skips ahead years at a time, often eliding major conflict resolutions, character development and deaths; this choice disrupts the storytelling but smartly underscores the isolation in which the characters often operate. Readers who push through will be rewarded with a fascinating apocalyptic vision—but little resolution—a nice setup for a sequel. (May)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Bookmarks Magazine

Most of the comments about Flood could have made about nearly any hard science fiction novel: cool science, mediocre characters. But anyone who has read a novel by Baxter (or Arthur C. Clarke, to whom he is often compared) will already be expecting these characteristics from the genre. Reviewers indicated that Flood was an engaging novel despite these expected limitations and that at times, it even overcame them. But when critics were left in awe, it was never from a character’s actions but from the setting, a world gradually coming to understand that it is doomed to drown. Baxter will continue this story in Ark, due out in 2009.
Copyright 2008 Bookmarks Publishing LLC --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 496 pages
  • Publisher: Roc (May 4, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0451463285
  • ISBN-13: 978-0451463289
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1.3 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (124 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #330,561 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

44 of 51 people found the following review helpful By E. Baxter VINE VOICE on October 14, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Before I began reading this book I was concerned it may be another "the sky is warming, the sky is warming!", greenhouse gas caused disaster novel. One cannot judge a book by its cover however, and I decided to push through. I was pleasantly surprised at the different concept Baxter uses to flood the earth. The book opens in Barcelona where we meet several of the main characters who will we follow through their adventures to survive. I never really understood exactly why these people are hostages. Their backgrounds are rather random from a hostage-takers point of view. Shortly after the introduction of the hostages a rich, visionary mogul appears on the scene with an inexplicable interest in them. Ostensibly its a publicity stunt, but he continues to take an interest in them despite outliving their usefulness to him which seems completely out of character. As others have said, the characters here are rather 2-dimensional and incongruously placed. For instance, one of the main characters is a USAF chopper pilot, suddenly she's piloting submarines, and part of the inner circle to the rich mogul. She is allowed a dizzying array of privileges with no real explanation. The backdrop of the global flood is interesting but the descriptions contained here read rather like a topography lesson than a human tragedy. London and the surrounding areas of Britain are listed off, a litany of locations largely unfamiliar to anyone who hasn't spent much time in the area. The same goes for scenes in New York. Much of the story describes the lead up to climactic events then cuts away from the scene to resume a couple of years later. The result keeps the reader on edge but never really satisfies. Overall I thought the first 60% of the book was very disjoint and frustrating whereas the second half of the book picked up speed and kept me interested. I think I will probably read the sequel to try to get some closure. Flood is ok, but not great.
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24 of 27 people found the following review helpful By B. Davies on August 19, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is one of the better end-of-civilization novels, up there with "Day of the Triffids" and "The Stand," but grimmer than either because it depicts a destruction more total and a hope even slimmer. I won't give away the end scenario except to suggest Gericault's famous painting would be an apt illustration for it.

The main characters are not particularly heroic, and their antagonists are not particularly villainous, at least in intention. That makes the story all the more believable.

I've read a number of Baxter's novels, but I found this one the most engrossing, and it hasn't yet left my thoughts in the two weeks snce I finished it.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By James Tepper VINE VOICE on August 9, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
There were many things I liked about the peri-apocalyptic "Flood" by Stephen Baxter, and also a few things that I didn't. The main plot line revolves around a sudden planet-wide increase in the sea level. First by a meter or two and then during the next 40 years, at an exponential rate that results in a situation that the most dire current global warming alarmists would shrug off as impossible. Great idea. Excellent execution. But as others have commented, the character development was weak. I disagree (with a previous reviewer who claimed) that people read hard SF for the science fiction aspects and are willing to accept poorly developed characters and a lack of real emotional interaction and human interest. The best writers in all genres combine plotting, excitement, new ideas and problem solving with character development, and Baxter has done so in the past. Not here however.

I was (despite the fact that I am a firm believer in the reality of global warming albeit not completely convinced that it is all man-made) delighted to see a sea level rise disaster scenario that DID NOT put all the blame on atmospheric CO2 and global warming. Baxter's mechanism for the sea level rise was novel, and I found the maps of how our current world map would change following different increases in sea level fascinating.

Since there was nothing that anyone could do about the problem itself, the plot was about how governments, corporations, families and individuals coped with the ever-encroaching sea. These parts of the story were well thought out and sped by.

There were also plot holes - some big enough to drive the Queen Mary through.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Avid Reader on December 8, 2010
Format: Hardcover
This must be a first draft Baxter grabbed while fleeing the global flood. Nothing else can account for such a mediocre work. Characters are about as authentic as a Barbie doll, the ever-moving action makes no sense whatsoever, the science is suspect and the reaction of folks is unreal. Where is the emotion???? After blithely being informed that 2 billion people have been killed, we go on to discuss mundane daily activity. Survivors calmly speak of France or Russia disappearing with little concern. Is it tea time yet?

The hostage story was a bust since it was only a trick to gather four disparate people. The reaction to their rescue was eerily "off". Even shocked people should have been at least happy. It would have been a much better technique to follow two or three groups around the globe than trying to keep up with all the various meanderings. I never figured out what they were doing - dashing from Nepal to England to the U.S. And they were all so darn boring - cardboard cutouts of characters.

The idea that no one notices rising sea waters is ludicrous. Even predictions of rising waters makes headlines and that's without an extra millimeter. No one seems to do anything except governments and rich capitalists. One irritating habit is Baxter's continual bitching about plutocrats, corporate barons and the filthy rich while using their wealth as a basis for deliverance. Anyhoo, a corporate zillionaire builds an Arc on dry ground a la Noah. Not a bad idea until you consider the time and effort spent in replicating a plush Queen Mary cruise ship!

Why, with the end apparent, a floating huge city could not be build in 25 years is a mystery. And if they can build a faster-than-light engine in a generation, why not nano transformers that would change water to hard materials? My grade - C-
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