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Thirst Hardcover – April 12, 2016

3.7 out of 5 stars 38 ratings

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Warner's debut novel is the story of a young married couple, Eddie and Laura Chapman, and their fight for survival after a mysterious power outage and the sudden, inexplicable absence of drinkable water. Eddie is caught in traffic when the disaster strikes; he decides to abandon his car and run the rest of the distance home. He encounters an unexpectedly dry streambed along the way, the first sign that something has gone terribly wrong, and when he finally makes it home, the full extent of the dire situation becomes clear. He's reunited with Laura and a few other neighbors who decide to wait for help instead of heading into the city. They all slowly succumb to a desperate thirst that threatens to unravel them both mentally and physically. The fight for water becomes increasingly desperate, and neighbors battle over resources with disastrous consequences. With a tight focus and a steadily increasing tension, the novel explores the limits of what we would give up of our humanity in order to survive. Warner achieves a chillingly claustrophobic atmosphere in which everything in the outside world becomes a threat. But in a market overflowing with post-apocalyptic stories, the novel never achieves the originality that it promises at the beginning, and the specific cause of the disaster remains frustratingly oblique. (Apr.)\n

Review

"[An] utterly terrifying thriller . . . Warner’s descriptions are so visceral." - EW.com, "10 Books You Have to Read in April"

"The novel is beautifully written with a gripping, heartbreaking tone. He doesn’t just give you a peek into Eddie’s mind, he cracks open Eddie’s skull and shoves you right in the middle of it. The style is visceral and sharp, like a lucid nightmare." - Tor.com

"A timely, necessary, character-driven meditation on morality, society, and responsibility. Thirst presses us, accuses and implicates us in the failures of its characters, thereby rising above most of its brethren in the now-crowded genre of disaster fiction." - Chicago Review of Books

"Reminiscent of Cormac McCarthy’s The Road, Warner’s spare, chilling tale paints an unsettlingly realistic picture of society on the brink and the grim choices ordinary people might have to make when faced with the urgent need to survive." - Booklist

"[A] tense debut thriller . . . a beautiful portrayal . . . stellar . . . The way that the Chapmans respond to the primeval need to drink is horrific and realistic at the same time. Make sure a tall glass of something cold is nearby when enjoying Thirst." - Shelf Awareness

"Thirst is transportative and enveloping, so much so that you'll feel relieved when you can . . . reach for a glass of water." - Baltimore Magazine

"With a tight focus and a steadily increasing tension, the novel explores the limits of what we would give up of our humanity in order to survive. Warner achieves a chillingly claustrophobic atmosphere in which everything in the outside world becomes a threat." - Publishers Weekly

"The prose in Thirst offers the same feeling of sweltering oppression as a triple-digit July day. As the narrative develops, so too does that sense of suffocation--the reader is wrapped in the same overwhelming heat as Eddie and Laura. There are stretches when the tension is ratcheted up so high and written so evocatively that you’ll occasionally find your tongue sticking to the roof of your mouth and you’ll be seeking out a glass of something cold to drink . . . A tight, tense thriller." - The Maine Edge

"An emergency from its very first sentence, Thirst is a literary thriller that summons the survivalist terror ofThe Road and the beautiful, aching humanity of writers like Ursula K. Le Guin and José Saramago. It’s also a tense, prescient journey into a collective environmental nightmare--one that’s not very hard to imagine actually happening. This book tapped into fears I didn’t know I had. Warner has given us a worthy, shocking, and poetic debut." - Patrick Somerville, author of THIS BRIGHT RIVER AND THE CRADLE

"Thirst mirrors the deep anxiety so many feel about modern life: that its complexity makes it fragile and that we're all living on the edge of disaster." - Mary Doria Russell, author of THE SPARROW and EPITAPH

"Yes, Thirst, Benjamin Warner’s devastating and breathtaking debut, is a novel about water. But it’s also about what it means to be in love, what it means to share--or to think you are sharing--your life with another person. This is a story about community (that ever slippery union) and, further still, about humanity. In limiting his fine focus to the particular--an unimposing suburban neighborhood suddenly isolated and inexplicably without water--Warner taps into a universal: Even at our lowest, our loneliest, and in our most desperate hour, we are still human, still connected, still capable of that sweet appreciation for what it means to be alive. My advice: Read this book. It will make you a better person." - Hannah Pittard, author of REUNION

"A gripping parable of love and survival as well as a harrowing exploration of our darkest selves. Thrilling and thought-provoking, and dazzling in scope, Benjamin Warner's debut is a surprising, profound portrait of desperation and humanity--and who we are when we are stripped down to our most basic needs." - Catherine Chung, author of FORGOTTEN COUNTRY

"A disturbing, enigmatic book, all the more troubling for its humdrum setting . . . This is a visceral book and . . . it excels . . . in its gut-wrenching descriptions of how dehydration ravages the body and mind. Stock up on bottled water before you read it." - The Scotland Herald

"Claustrophobic, neatly written and gripping." - Vogue UK

"Compelling . . . Thirst offers a thoroughly unsettling vision of an all-too-believable near future." - The Mail on Sunday


Product details

  • Item Weight : 1 pounds
  • Hardcover : 304 pages
  • ISBN-10 : 9781632862150
  • ISBN-13 : 978-1632862150
  • Publisher : Bloomsbury USA (April 12, 2016)
  • Product Dimensions : 5.79 x 1.05 x 8.54 inches
  • ASIN : 1632862158
  • Language: : English
  • Customer Reviews:
    3.7 out of 5 stars 38 ratings