- Series: Wild Shore Triptych (Book 1)
- Paperback: 384 pages
- Publisher: Orb Books; 1 edition (March 15, 1995)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0312890362
- ISBN-13: 978-0312890360
- Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.8 x 8.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars See all reviews (50 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #114,336 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Other Sellers on Amazon
+ $3.99 shipping
+ Free Shipping
+ $3.99 shipping
The Wild Shore: Three Californias (Wild Shore Triptych) Paperback – March 15, 1995
|New from||Used from|
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
From Publishers Weekly
Robinson's science fiction triology set in Orange County, California, offers three different futures: the aftermath of nuclear war; a city of uncontrollable urban development; and life in a total, environmentally-conscious society.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.
“There's a fresh wind blowing in The Wild Shore.” ―Ursula K. Le Guin
“Part Huck Finn and part Our Town....A well-written, engaging rite of passage.” ―Publishers Weekly
“Beautifully written...with a vivid depth rarely encountered in science fiction.” ―The Washington Post
Browse award-winning titles. See more
If you are a seller for this product, would you like to suggest updates through seller support?
Top Customer Reviews
This is a "post-apocalypse" book. I've lately been indulging myself in a few of these. (See my recent reviews of "The Road" by Cormac McCarthy, "One Second After" by William R. Forstchen, or, a bit further back, "Station Eleven" by Emily St. John Mandel. Following this commentary will be reviews of "The Taking" by Dean Koontz, and "The Girl With All the Gifts" by M.R. Carey. "Doomsday" fans ought to read them all, even if you don't read my reviews. Anyway, back to "The Wild Shore.")
"The Wild Shore" is set on the southern California coast, between San Clemente and San Diego, on what would today be the Camp Pendleton Marine Corps Base. It is centered in a place called San Onofre, or the San Onofre Valley. There is no current town called San Onofre in the area. There is a San Onofre State Beach in the general vicinity, and perhaps geography to match the setting. The place is real, but there is no village there. Yet.
Sometimes, authors give their places or characters a symbolic name. "San Onofre" appears to refer to the Roman Catholic Saint Onuphrius, a Fourth of Fifth Century cleric. The name Onuphrius is, in turn, derived from an Egyptian word (Wnn-nfr), meaning "he who is continuingly good," and, in this sense may describe the protagonist in this story, young Henry Fletcher. He is a good sort of lad, and the book is his story, told in the first person.
Set in the year 2047, "The Wild Shore" is about some of those who survived, or were born after, a surprise nuclear attack which "murdered" the United States of America in the late 20th Century. The old Continental United States is now "quarantined" under the authority of the United Nations. Japanese naval ships patrol the West Coast, and Hawaii is a Japanese possession. The island of Santa Catalina, off the Orange County coast, is a Japanese naval base. "San Onofre" is a small agricultural and fishing community living on a subsistence economy. There are (maybe) between 50 and 100 people who live there. There are other communities in the region, as well as roving scavengers. These more widely-dispersed communities meet once or twice a year at "swap meets" where goods are bartered. Robinson makes these conclaves sound like a medieval fair. Little is told about the fate of the rest of the former United States.
The plot revolves around the revival of nationalism in San Diego, and attempts by some of the remaining outposts of American civilization to organize a "resistance" to "make America great again." (Apologies to current political hopefuls.) The themes center on the wisdom, costs, and collateral effects of these efforts, as the movement eventually comes to San Onofre.
For devotees of "Apocalypse" stories, "The Wild Shore" very much picks up where "Earth Abides," the 1949 post-apocalyptic novel by George R. Stewart (a classic in its own right) leaves off. Although the causes of the respective calamities differ (in "Earth Abides," it was a fast-acting and highly lethal disease), both focus on life AFTER the collapse of civilization. "The Wild Shore" has elements of political intrigue, conflict and competition among different characters, tragedy, and Human perseverance. But it also devotes a great many pages to describing the pastoral lifestyle of San Onofre, and how its residents have to work hard and cooperate to ensure they have enough to eat, stay warm in winter (which has grown more severe post-nuke), and care for one another. In these respects, themes Robinson is known for -- ecological sustainability, social justice, and the interplay between nature and culture -- figure prominently.
So, about those stars. I don't think this is a "five-star" book. "The Road," by Cormac McCarthy is my idea of a "five-star" read. Perhaps Robinson's "Mars Trilogy," (one Nebula, two Hugos) is a five-star read. (I'll let you all know.) But "The Wild Shore" is a little sedate to qualify as suspenseful, and there are no really new concepts suggested by Robinson in his post-nuke world. In that respect, the book is sort of "ho-hum." But it is, on the other hand, realistic, and his main characters mostly heartwarming. So, three stars, wishing I could give it 3.5 stars.
I enjoyed the book enough to read the next in this series, "The Gold Coast," (anybody got a spare copy?) This is despite my frequent lament that serial fiction rarely improves with successive installments. Maybe Robinson will be an exception.
Thanks for stopping by. Hope you enjoy "The Wild Shore." And don't forget to shut off the lights on your way out.
The three books of "Three Californias" are related primarily via their location: all cover possible futures for Orange County, and area with which Robinson is obviously, intimately, familiar. Although the books were issued in the order, "The Wild Shore", The Gold Coast" and finally, "Pacific Edge" they can really be read in any order. Each is an independent view with its own set of characters.
Setting aside the credibility it's a cute coming of age story, but SO SLOW. Feel like i've been personally introduced to every member of this small fishing village on the California shore, yet they're such one-dimensional characters that I feel no attachment to them. The intrigue is yawn-inducing.
Forget about this one, read his Mars series.
The writing is engaging and I found myself wondering about the old mentor and his motivation in teaching the two young men to read and write. Also, when they discussed building a radio, but were unclear on what they needed or how to make it work, it reminded me of my old set of The Book of Knowledge in which there are instructions for building a simple crystal radio, and a general discussion of HAM Radios. I found myself hoping that in their searches through the ruins of homes and community Libraries they might discover a set of the encyclopedia that I treasured as a child.
Then there is the big question. Why does old Tom lie to the younger generation about what happened to the United States?