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Ultimatum Hardcover – Bargain Price, April 8, 2009


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Atlantic Monthly Press (April 8, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0802118887
  • ASIN: B0032FO31M
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 6.4 x 1.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (70 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #272,401 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Glass's debut, an anxiety-inducing thriller about global warming, effectively taps a hot topic and handles it with flair. In 2032, vast regions of America's coast—Florida, Texas, California—are underwater. Catastrophic hurricanes regularly sweep through the South. Much of the West has been without rainfall for years, as wildfires rage. More than 25 million people face relocation to higher ground, where new cities must be created. The newly elected U.S. president, Joe Benton, frustrated with the failed Kyoto Treaty process, proposes radical solutions worldwide, with devastating economic consequences. When the earth's greatest polluter, China, won't go along with the deal and escalates the argument to the nuclear level, the narrative shifts into overdrive. A contrived conclusion and passages belaboring the machinations of government and its various bureaucrats are the only weaknesses in what is otherwise a compelling tale of environmental doom. (Apr.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

In this near-future thriller, Joe Benton, the newly elected president of the U.S., is shocked to learn that his predecessor’s administration has been knowingly underreporting the catastrophic effects of global warming. In truth, the world is dangerously close to disaster, forcing Benton to find a way to broker an accord between the world’s worst polluter, China, and the U.S. But can the new president forge a path to peace with the U.S.’s old enemy? Fans of political thrillers will flock to this one, which combines realistic characters with shrewd political and environmental commentary. Some readers might quibble that the world of 2032 is a bit vaguely formed (with small changes, the novel could as easily have been set next year), but that’s a fairly minor quibble. The novel is propelled by character and dialogue, but it’s solidly plotted, too, and given the current public interest in global warming, it may spark some interesting debate on the subject. --David Pitt

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Customer Reviews

There are far too many characters and most of them are not very fleshed out.
Miran Ali
You cannot let go because you know a solution needs to be found indeed, in real life, and the book clearly shows it's not an easy one.
Daniel Campos
There was no vision in his imagining of the future; it simply seemed made to conform to the author's ideas of global climate change.
Richard Redmond

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

19 of 23 people found the following review helpful By ARH TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on April 25, 2009
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Matthew Glass has written a story in a genre that is new to me. Tom Clancy writes military/political techno-thrillers. Matthew Glass has put together a diplomatico-politico-thriller.

The basic premis of this story is that in 2032 a newly elected US president learns that all previous predictions of the levels of environmental backlash related to global warming and sea-level rise were grossly underestimated, and that huge numbers of people will have to be relocated from vulnerable areas to higher ground. He also realizes that the US cannot alone reduce emissions to the levels needed to offset the long-term effects and impacts of new projections of sea-level rise and coastal flooding.

The President knows that he has to bring China (the biggest greenhouse gas emitter for the previous 25 years) on board to be a full participant in the planning and implementation of emissions reductions that will be needed world wide. But, differences in agendas between the president and China's political leadership precipitate unforeseen dipolmatic, political, and even military consquences.

The book surprised me. I actually started reading it with low expectations, because my daughter, who normally consumes books was not able to finish it. She got about halfway through it, and when she quit reading I asked her why. She said, "It's just more of the same."

I can now see why she would say that. If you are thinking about reading this book you need to be prepared to work your way through a good 150pp or so of dialog related to negotiations and diplomatic meetings, and their nuances, between US and Chinese representatives. I actually found that part of the book to be quite fascinating. Glass did a good job of showing what those kinds of negotiations might be like.
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31 of 40 people found the following review helpful By Terry Sunday TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on March 12, 2009
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
It had to happen eventually. With overwhelming scientific evidence today proving that global warming caused by human activities (more precisely, "anthropogenic climate change") is for real, a mainstream novel about the subject was perhaps overdue. "Ultimatum," by Matthew Glass, incorporates what we now know for certain is happening to the world around us. British author J.G. Ballard's 1960's quartet of end-of-the-world novels ("The Wind from Nowhere," "The Drowned World," "The Burning World" and "The Crystal World") still stand today as the genre classics (and are well worth reading if you can find them). "Ultimatum" is a decent, if somewhat unexciting, addition to the field of "global disaster" novels.

Writing a novel about global warming today is risky. In 1962, when Ballard penned "The Drowned World," the topic was pure science fiction. His imaginative story of submerged cities, verdant tropical lagoons in formerly temperate climes, and nature gone wild in "the forgotten paradises of the reborn Sun" was, at the time, merely an entertaining yarn with no more basis in reality than, say, faster-than-light travel or bug-eyed monsters. But today, global climate change is apparent to anyone who cares to look at the evidence.

It is impossible for a modern author to tackle the subject without immediately running afoul of politics and religion--the two forces that continue to tear the world apart today. Whether or not global warming is "real" is hotly debated along ideological and religious lines. Consequently, your opinion of "Ultimatum" will probably depend on your political and religious persuasion, and therefore on whether or not you believe the evidence.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Neal C. Reynolds VINE VOICE on March 7, 2009
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I am absolutely NOT telling you that you will agree with the issues brought out in the book. But I honestly feel you should become better informed on the primary issue of global warming.This is of course fiction, set in the year 2032...not all of us will necessarily still be here to see that year. However, this is a very possible scenario of what is ahead of us as a planet.Global warming has become a political issue. Even this book portrays Democrats as concerned with the issue and Republicans as disbelievers that it is happening.The truth is that this is not a political issue, but a scientific one. I personally (as a Californian at the time) have lived through the era in which many believed that California was going to sink into the ocean. However, I believe there is sounder scientific evidence that we are in a period of climactic change.Therefore, I find a portrayal of a 2032 in which many Florida residents as well as those in the San Francisco era are facing relocation as very much in the realm of possibility.And so I find this book as one that will set you to thinking regardless of your political affiliation.This novel effectively portrays what it is to be in the office of President of the U.S. We become involved with all of the issues concerning the person in this high office, including the self-serving issues. So I'm not saying that you necessarily will find this a great novel. However, I do believe that it will have you thiking about gloval warming and what it might mean to you, your children, and your grandchildren. And this is the purpose of the book. It's not persuasion. It's to get you to honestly thinking about the issue.'Nuff said.
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