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The Rapture Hardcover – August 11, 2009

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. Apocalyptic global climate change fuels Jensen's terrifying near-future tale about the human will to survive or, in the case of Bethany Krall, a psychic psychotic teen who stabbed her mother to death, the will to embrace death. Bethany, a patient at Oxsmith Adolescent Secure Psychiatric Hospital in Hadport, England, forms a strong bond with her wheelchair-bound psychologist, Gabrielle Fox. As Gabrielle treats her patient, the world outside the hospital suffers natural disasters foreseen by Bethany after ECT shock therapy. Meanwhile, Bethany has been traumatized by the Faith Wave views of her father, Rev. Leonard Krall, who believes the Rapture is approaching. Since Bethany is convinced she bears the mark of the beast, she fears she won't go to heaven. Gabrielle seeks help from Frazer Melville, a physicist who takes Bethany's catastrophe calendar seriously. In gorgeous prose, Jensen (Egg Dancing) paints a depressing but oddly hopeful portrait of a modern doomsday scenario. (Aug.)
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"Combining the tensions of modern psychology with scientific speculation and social analysis in a speedy plot, Jensen put me rather in mind of Margaret Atwood …a cracking good read." --Sunday Telegraph

"Excellent...beautifully engaging thriller about a relevant contemporary issue while still respecting the reader’s brain cells… you’ll be gripped." -- Irvine Welsh, The Guardian

"[A] rollicking eco thriller that successfully high-octane action with a prescient overview of the dangers of climate change....this smart, salient author creates a scenario in which environmental calamity is the backdrop to a gripping tale of love, death and religion, set in the not-too-distant future.....deliciously apocalyptic and jammed full of ideas, this is storytelling at its rapturous best."--Daily Mail

Advance Praise for THE RAPTURE

“A first-class apocalyptic thriller of futuristic science, geophysics, and religion.  It's clever, intelligent, and—most terrifying of all—plausible”
—Kate Mosse, author of Labryinth and Sepulchre

“Liz Jensen writes with crackling insight into the workings of the mind caught up in cataclysms within and without. In The Rapture she has created worlds torn apart and takes us close—too close—to faith caught in the storm. A devastating tale.”
—Keith Donahue, author of Angels of Destruction and The Stolen Child

“In this modern world of religious warfare and global warming, The Rapture is as topical as it is thrilling. Beautifully written, haunting, and thoroughly entertaining. The gripping tension of Lost mixed with the poetic poignancy of The Bell Jar. I simply could not stop turning pages.”
—Matthew Quick, author of the Silver Linings Playbook

"Liz Jensen's exciting thriller often feels as frightening and prophetic as the sixteen-year-old girl at its center. The Rapture is a terrific novel, expertly written, thought-provoking, and deeply unsettling."
—Kevin Guilfoile, author of Cast of Shadows

“Superb writing, riveting characters--Jensen takes you on a fast ride toward a dark future, with frightening twists and breathless turns.  The Rapture is addictive reading, brilliant and fascinating.  I couldn't put it down!”
—Joan Johnston, author of Outcast

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Doubleday (August 11, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385528213
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385528214
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1.2 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (68 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,288,411 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is the third book I've read by Liz Jensen and I can definitely say that I thoroughly admire and enjoy Liz Jensen's intelligence and literary talent. She's my type of author, and I doubt there would be anything that she wrote that I wouldn't find enjoyable on some level or other just because she is so technically brilliant. But I was hesitant to review this novel when I finished it three months ago. I'd given the first two novels very high ratings ("The Uninvited" and "My Dirty Little Book of Stolen Time: A Novel"). But I was far less pleased with "The Rapture." It enjoyed it, but at the time I finished it, I just couldn't put my finger on why I did not like it as much as the other two books. Now, that time has past, I think I understand.

I'll let you gather more detailed plot summaries from other reviews, because that information has dimmed since I finished this book many months ago. What is clearer now is how I feel about the book in general and in retrospect.

I remember that it was an exceptionally dark, brooding, and strange book that suddenly became a horror story. I'd been prepared for a supernatural thriller, but not for a psychological horror story. That surprised me and disturbed me. I remember being very dissatisfied with the ending. It did not seem to fit together well with the rest of the book. The plotting seemed unbalanced. I thought I was reading a dark, realistic, strange suspense novel; then it morphed at the end into an unrealistic supernatural horror story. There should have been a smoother transition. In a nutshell, that is what bothered me.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By K. Harris HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWER on August 4, 2009
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I picked up Liz Jensen's "The Rapture" as a lark. Who doesn't like to contemplate the end of the world as a bit of entertainment? But Jensen's ambitious and original new novel grabbed me within the first few chapters and never let me go. An ingenious combination of eco-thriller, psychological chiller, and apocalyptic/biblical horror story--"The Rapture" is a smart read that is both timely and plausible in its set-up, but mysterious and otherworldly in its execution. It is a rare and beguiling mix of genres that serves the story well through to its powerful and exciting climax.

At the heart of "The Rapture" is an intriguing, damaged heroine. Gabrielle Fox is a therapist rebuilding her life after an accident has killed her family and left her paralyzed. Vulnerable and raw, she is charged with a new patient--a sixteen year old girl who viciously murdered her mother. Manipulative and disturbed, Bethany Krall also seems to have a talent for predicting natural disasters. Gabrielle struggles to uncover a logical explanation--is it a hoax, dementia, or something more unexplainable? But can Gabrielle handle the truth? As more of Bethany's visions come true, the debate of science versus faith becomes a pivotal element as a dangerous end is foretold.

I found "The Rapture" to be enthralling. The characters are well drawn. Gabrielle, especially, displays much depth as she explores these uncharted mysteries. And Bethany is a terrific construct. Is she a prophet or a demon or a deranged girl out to cause trouble? There is a lot of scientific discussion in "The Rapture" due to the ecological implications of what is happening--which might have slowed a lesser novel down. Ditto for religious conjecture. But Jensen expertly weaves her plot points together so that the momentum never wanes.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By David M. Gordon on February 19, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
You know how sometimes you are in the mood for something, but cannot place a name to it? Such was my craving for Liz Jensen's, THE RAPTURE. Over the past few weeks, I had started and stopped many excellent novels that simply did not compel me to continue reading, despite their qualities. I sought something... but what precisely?

And then, fortuitously, I happened upon a review of THE RAPTURE that struck an inchoate but resonant chord in me. Whereas I typically deliberate over my book purchases, this time I purchased and read the book immediately. And am very glad I did.

"That summer, the summer all the rules began to change, June seemed to last for a thousand years."


"The latest projections predict the loss of the Arctic ice cap and a global temperature rise of up to six degrees within Bethany's lifetime, unless drastic measures are taken now. I should be grateful to be childless. Just as the Cold War figures heavily in the fantasies of elderly mental patients, climate-apocalypse paranoia is common among the young. Zeitgeist stuff: the banality of abnormality."

I knew from the first sentence (first quote above) that I would enjoy the novel, so I tried valiantly but failed miserably to pace my reading to enjoy its many pleasures: its words, its sentences, its characters, its ideas, and its beauty and horror from sentence to sentence, page to page. The first 10 or 15 pages are showy-exciting for Jensen's auctorial style; the entire novel is exciting for her story and characters. WOW! Three sittings and 300 pages later, and I have discovered another author whose books I can order almost willy-nilly. And already have; a previously published novel by Liz arrived yesterday.
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