Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone
  • Android

To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.

Temporarily out of stock.
Order now and we'll deliver when available.
Order now and we'll deliver when available. We'll e-mail you with an estimated delivery date as soon as we have more information. Your account will only be charged when we ship the item.
Details
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.
Odds Against Tomorrow: A ... has been added to your Cart
FREE Shipping on orders over $25.
Condition: Used: Good
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See all 3 images

Odds Against Tomorrow: A Novel Hardcover – April 2, 2013

3.6 out of 5 stars 75 customer reviews

See all 15 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Price
New from Used from
Kindle
"Please retry"
Hardcover
"Please retry"
$26.00
$4.98 $0.01

The Numberlys Best Books of the Year So Far
$26.00 FREE Shipping. Temporarily out of stock. Order now and we'll deliver when available. We'll e-mail you with an estimated delivery date as soon as we have more information. Your account will only be charged when we ship the item. Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.
click to open popover

Frequently Bought Together

  • Odds Against Tomorrow: A Novel
  • +
  • Flight Behavior: A Novel
Total price: $43.25
Buy the selected items together


Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Superstorm Sandy changed many landmarks on the East Coast and became a new benchmark for destruction. It also added to readers’ ability to suspend disbelief while reading this book. Set in a future rife with ecological disaster (like the destruction of Seattle by an earthquake), it stars mathematical prodigy Mitchell Zukor, son of a Kansas City slumlord. He turns his obsessive fear of disasters into the epitome of financial success in Manhattan until a category three hurricane makes a direct hit on New York City, at which point he is treated as a prophet. Mitchell progresses from the stereotype of the obsessed nerd—think handmade T-shirts of famous mathematicians like Fibonacci—to a more thoughtful human being, a transformation that echoes the narrative arc and underlying themes of the novel. This literary thriller is blessed with a propulsive plot, macabre humor, several richly developed characters, and serious ethical and philosophical issues, all lightly clothed in skillful writing. Highly recommended for readers of literary fiction with a political edge. --Ellen Loughran

Review

"This brilliantly conceived and extremely well-executed novel [is] the opposite of a disaster, a knockout of a book by a young writer to keep your eye on from now on."
--Alan Cheuse, All Things Considered

"Let's just, right away, recognize how prescient this charming, terrifying, comic novel of apocalyptic manners is...Rich is a gifted caricaturist and a gifted apocalyptist. His descriptions of the vagaries of both nature and human nature are stark, fresh, and convincing, full of surprise and recognition as both good comedy and good terror must be."
--Cathleen Schine, The New York Review of Books


"In an already uneasy age, Rich zeroes in on our collective anxiety with a story of wild-eyed ingenuity that is both meditative and propulsive, often simultaneously. With its fits of paranoia and eerily prescient scenario, this book is not comfortable reading, but it's also nearly impossible to put down."
--Kirkus Reviews


"Scarily prescient and wholly original."
--Elissa Schappell, Vanity Fair


"This literary thriller is blessed with a propulsive plot, macabre humor, several richly developed characters, and serious ethical and philosophical issues, all lightly clothed in skillful writing. Highly recommended."
--Booklist


“A brilliantly told novel, by turns terrifying, touching, and wildly funny.” ―Stephen King on The Mayor’s Tongue

“An author who could well become one of the defining writers of his generation.” ―The Sunday Telegraph on The Mayor’s Tongue

“A spare masterpiece.” ―The Boston Globe on The Mayor’s Tongue

NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

The latest book club pick from Oprah
"The Underground Railroad" by Colson Whitehead is a magnificent novel chronicling a young slave's adventures as she makes a desperate bid for freedom in the antebellum South. See more

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux; 1St Edition edition (April 2, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0374224242
  • ISBN-13: 978-0374224240
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.1 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (75 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,032,751 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Amelia Gremelspacher TOP 1000 REVIEWER on April 3, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Mitchell lives in New York City which he considers to be like the collapse of civilization. He is a quant, which means he is one of those scary people who can analyze great quatitiies of data quickly and use esoteric formulas to extract information. I am not clear on all he does, but it is not at all necessary to the flow of the novel to be fluently conversant in all things quant. All you need to know is that their powers are quite spookily intense.

Mitchell has a clear and constant feeling of dread concerning the different scenarios that can occur to the globe and the human race. And he has quite specific statistics concerning their liklihood. To make this problem more personal to him, he has a quasi-relationship with a woman who has a heart condition that likewise can lose her life at any minute. The whole situation imparts feelings of cockroaches climbing his stomach. He is miserable and working as a nobody in insurance trying to determine indemnity for his bosses.

Comes the day, he goes to work for FutureWorld, selling calamity scenarios, and is a rising star. This book is darkly humorous, sly, and compelling. It probably is not for the naturally fearful reader, but it is definitely for everyone else. The sheer litany of eminent disasters becomes numbing in its utter terror. The characters shuttling to make financial gain in betting on probability of such events and attempting to avoid financial obligation or better yet gain, are familiar to our television screen as they pontificate on their own innocence.

This book is hopefully, partially science fiction. An event does occur that brings the process to a focus. I will not discuss it to avoid spoiler issues.
Read more ›
4 Comments 39 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
We've all seen this "Twilight Zone" episode: a doomsayer keeps warning of apocalypse; no one believes him; when at the end disaster finally strikes, it comes as vindication and relief.

This book is not like that. It's not a punchline: it's a real novel. It's not predictable. It's not apocalyptic. It feels more and more convincing, real, and grounded with each page. The writing is light, crisp and exact, like a stone skipping over water, but look close, and you will see a depth of erudition and true feeling.

The three-part structure of Nathaniel Rich's novel, as well as its ambition and technique, remind me of Don DeLillo's "White Noise." In that book, when disaster came, things got surreal, and the narrative twisted through a maze of mental mirrors. The book was virtuosic, but rang hollow: false comfort that the disaster will be mainly in our heads.

A quarter century later, we can no longer afford to believe that. While flirting with narrative voice and a touch of formalist symmetry, "Odds Against Tomorrow" commits to and remains faithful to realism. The characters deepen, and the landscape broadens, as the plot accelerates, and the suspense mounts. Finally comes a single page of surprising, sweet, piercing emotional impact. A moral is stated succinctly. The book ends.

It worked in the nineteenth century, and it works again in the twenty first, now that we've buried both Ronald Reagan and David Foster Wallace, and prefer to peer out from inside our heads at the world.
Comment 20 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Nathaniel Rich keenly observes trends current society is falling into/has been unconsciously enslaved by. Fear of litigation rather than wise reflection drives decisions. Inertia impels inaction. The short term is all that matters, of course, because the shareholders this quarter will disapprove anything that does not maximize profits. Profits Are Paramount — longterm thinking be damned.

Rich examines the question: so what comes after the impending semi-apocalypse? Is the tree-hugger mentality preferable to the corporate mentality? Post capitalism, how might one thrive? Part of his answer comes from a quote by David Goodis. "There is no such thing as courage. There's only fear. A fear of getting hurt and a fear of dying. That's why the human race has lasted so long." And part of his answer comes in the passage that begins, "...disorder always won in the end. The idea that man could order the world to his own design was the most pitiful fairy tale ever told."

Along the way I enjoyed powerful images Rich turned up, a smooth writing style that flowed from beginning to end and a page-turning story I did not want to end. As dystopian tales go, this one held at least a bit more hope than some. I thoroughly enjoyed the book and recommend it to anyone thoughtful enough to entertain the notion that something's rotten in Denmark.
Comment 8 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A heavy heart submits this review. Nathaniel Rich's ODDS AGAINST TOMORROW is like glimpsing a dazzling resume, but, after meeting the actual person behind the CV, you find that they disappoint you in profound, lasting ways. The concept is irresistible; the execution...is simply amateurish. I know it's a harsh way to start a review, but, dear reader, please keep reading, because I wanted very much to like this novel. This is not an attempt to troll, condemn, or deride. It's one reviewer's reluctant assessment.

Occurring in a realistic near future, ODDS AGAINST TOMORROW takes place against a backdrop of escalating catastrophe - earthquakes, droughts, and coastal flooding. Mr. Rich deserves much praise for his commitment to large scale realism. We see our climate changing, and a heavy foreboding bleeds into all of us who see truth in the prophecies. So when a Category 3 hurricane bears down on Manhattan, everything rings true. But this is a novel, and novels are generally stories about characters. And this is where Nathaniel Rich's levee breaks.

Our hero, Mitchell, is an apocalyptist - an obsessive quant devoted to figuring out all the ways the sky will fall and selling those predictions to the deep-pocketed interests. It's a unique idea, semi-plausible and intriguing, but the man behind the predictions is a shadow, not a person. What motivates Mitchell and what defines his inner life seem half-sketched and pat. He is the center of the story, yet he remains out of reach. The other main character, Jane, is even more forgettable. One tragic use of dialogue occurs when Jane utters the phrase "This is preposterous." Really take a moment to think about when you heard someone in the 21st Century emit those words into reality.
Read more ›
Comment 5 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse

Most Recent Customer Reviews


Pages with Related Products. See and discover other items: suspense thrillers