The Deluge

English language

Published Jan. 5, 2023 by Simon & Schuster.


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5 stars (2 reviews)

In the first decades of the 21st century, the world is convulsing, its governments mired in gridlock while a patient but unrelenting ecological crisis looms. America is in upheaval, battered by violent weather and extreme politics. In California in 2013, Tony Pietrus, a scientist studying deposits of undersea methane, receives a death threat. His fate will become bound to a stunning cast of characters—a broken drug addict, a star advertising strategist, a neurodivergent mathematician, a cunning eco-terrorist, an actor turned religious zealot, and a brazen young activist named Kate Morris, who, in the mountains of Wyoming, begins a project that will alter the course of the decades to come.

From the Gulf Coast to Los Angeles, the Midwest to Washington, DC, their intertwined odysseys unfold against a stark backdrop of accelerating chaos as they summon courage, galvanize a nation, fall to their own fear, and find wild hope in the …

3 editions

Stark, accurate and compelling

4 stars

Stephen Markley has crafted a well-written, thousand-page sprawling multi-person narrative about the havoc we'll face over next two decades due to climate change.

We follow a range of characters including a larger-than-life climate activist, a small group devoted to resisting extractivism through violence, a curmudgeonly climate scientist, a poor Midwesterner with a history of addiction, a modeller with autism, a PR shill for carbon polluters, and perhaps a dozen more characters. As the book unfolds we witness increasing climate chaos and political mayhem, fascism, collective action, gradual inadequate political change.

I liked this book - and I think it's important - but it's difficult, weighty reading. The vision of what the next two decades will hold seems accurate, chilling, and is frankly emotionally battering. Markley clearly understands climate science and has devoted considerable effort to imagining the unravelling of politics as climate disasters occur more frequently and vested interests dig …