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The Age of Miracles by Karen Thompson Walker

The Age of Miracles (edition 2012)

by Karen Thompson Walker

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2,2772722,805 (3.67)140
Title:The Age of Miracles
Authors:Karen Thompson Walker
Info:Simon & Schuster UK (2012), Hardcover, 384 pages
Collections:Your library, Read but unowned
Tags:fiction, borrowed, dystopias, young girls, california, environmental change

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The Age of Miracles by Karen Thompson Walker

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    BookshelfMonstrosity: Despite differences in plot -- a teenager's post-murder afterlife in The Lovely Bones, and civilization's slow, steady collapse in the aftermath of disaster in The Age of Miracles -- the thoughtful young heroines of these melancholy, haunting stories are similar to one another.… (more)

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English (278)  Dutch (2)  German (2)  Portuguese (Portugal) (1)  Hungarian (1)  All languages (284)
Showing 1-5 of 278 (next | show all)
I was hoping for a coming of age book, but that aspect wasn't as well developed. The catastrophe of the slowing of the earth's revolution and increasing days and nights is thought provoking, but fizzled for me. This would be a good read aloud in grades 5-7, could be used to teach a variety of reading strategies due to the accessible prose. ( )
  jkrnomad | Jul 1, 2016 |
I think I loved this book. ( )
  imahorcrux | Jun 22, 2016 |
Great read. Beautiful style, interesting premise. But it's neither science fiction, nor literature, and therefore not a fully satisfying read from either perspective. I was hoping it would be both, and it almost was, but not quite.

Lots of nits to pick: An eleven year-old girl would not have such a sophisticated voice, or such precise observational skills. Even a 23 yo, reflecting, would not have been able to write this, as she would not have remembered all those details. The weird foreshadowing - Those were the last pineapples we would ever eat" - was annoying. The science was dubious. Most of the characters were iconographic, rather than individual.

But I'll probably never say "Sure as the sun will rise in the morning" again. I'll have to just use "Sure as death and taxes" instead.

I'm sure this is & will continue to be popular, and it deserves to be. But don't get your expectations as high as the hype." ( )
  Cheryl_in_CC_NV | Jun 6, 2016 |
I found this a peculiarly detached and unemotional handling of what could have been a fascinating scenario. If I were reading this as the last account of human life on Earth, I'd think that extinction occurred not as a result of the slowing of the planet but as a result of boredom! ( )
  mmacd3814 | May 30, 2016 |
I picked this book up for two reasons. First, it was recommended for people who enjoyed Black Moon. Second, I liked the premise, which is that the earth continues to slow down. I liked it well enough. The writing is well done, and the story, which follows an eleven-year old girl named Julia, is compelling. It is written in first-person so that you get her view of this quirky apocalypse where days and nights grow longer and the earth slowly goes out of whack.

Two things held me back on giving it a higher rating. One, this is very young YA romance, and that just isn't my bucket. Two, this book, like Black Moon, has one group of people hating another group of people, and I just have a hardy time buying into that conflict. In this case, society starts to split as the days and nights lengthen. There are clock-people, who still stick to the more-and-more archaic 24-hour clock, and there are the real-timers, who abandon the 24-hour clock and appreciate the length of days and nights in their own time. For some reason, clock people hate real-timers to the point of this becoming akin to a deep prejudice. Even writing that down, it sounds silly to me, like the different cultures of the Butter Battle Book. And maybe that is the point of that particular conflict, but every time it appeared in the book, it broke my suspension of belief.

I give it three stars, though, because it was still a good read, the writer is very adapt at her trade, and I would like to read more from her. This one just wasn't me. ( )
  DougGoodman | Apr 7, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 278 (next | show all)
"The Age of Miracles"? More like: "The Age of Disasters"! Before I get into why I say that, I'll elaborate on what the book is about. First off, it's actually a very well written book. it's told from the point of view of a middle school aged girl and the events in the story take place are told through her perspective. Everything was fine, until the days started to get longer. First it was only by a few minutes everyday, then it escalated to half an hour, then a full hour, then hours, until people who were stuck on the side of the hemisphere facing the Sun found that the suns hostile rays make the outside world totally inhospitable. people were forced to permanently take refuge inside their household as a slight reprieve to escape a heat-related death.

The reason I call it "The Age of Disasters" is because of how terribly things spiral out of control. Everyday lives are thrown out of whack as people scramble to reorient themselves into their new reality. I went into the book having almost no prior knowledge about its plot. I thought it would be a lot happier than what it was on account of it having the word "Miracles" in the title. And boy was I wrong.

The ending of this book doesn't even come close to the word "bittersweet." It's just plain bitter to me. It doesn't delve too deeply into the fate of humanity, but a 20 year time-skip does show you what becomes of the main character and her family, sans her love interest who she hasn't seen since the suns powerful rays gave him cancer and forced him to move to new mexico for treatment. They promised that they'd keep in touch, and meant it, but due to unknown reasons the letters the main character sent to him were never returned and they never saw one another again. My guess is that the treatment failed and he didn't survive, or maybe they never made it to new mexico at all.

This is a great, albeit depressing book.
added by morgan434 | editReading the actual book, who else? Me (Apr 17, 2015)
What sets the story apart from more run-of-the-mill high-concept novels is Ms. Walker’s decision to recount the unfolding catastrophe from the perspective of Julia, who is on the verge of turning 12. Her voice turns what might have been just a clever mash-up of disaster epic with sensitive young-adult, coming-of-age story into a genuinely moving tale that mixes the real and surreal, the ordinary and the extraordinary with impressive fluency and flair.

“The Age of Miracles” is not without its flaws. There are moments when the spell the author has so assiduously created wobbles, and moments when a made-for-Hollywood slickness seeps into the story. Some minor plot developments feel as if they had been created simply for pacing, and Ms. Walker sometimes seems so determined to use Julia’s circumscribed life as a microcosm of the larger world that the reader has to be reminded that “the slowing” is supposedly a planet-altering phenomenon.
added by ozzer | editNYTimes, MICHIKO KAKUTANI (Jun 18, 2012)

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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Karen Thompson Walkerprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Card, Emily Janicemain authorall editionsconfirmed
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Here in the last minutes, the very end of the world,
someone's tightening a screw thinner than an eyelash,
someone with slim wrists is straightening flowers...

Another End of the World, James Richardson
For my parents and for Casey
First words
We didn't notice right away.

We did not sense at first the extra time, bulging from the smooth edge of each day like a tumor blooming beneath skin.
Sometimes the saddest stories take the fewest words...
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(from the publisher)
On a seemingly ordinary Saturday in a California suburb, twelve-year-old Julia and her family awake to discover, along with the rest of the world, that the rotation of the earth has suddenly begun to slow.  Amidst this altered environment, Julia also faces a new kind of transformation – growing up.  Coping with the normal disasters of everyday life (the loss of friends, struggles in her parents’ marriage, and the anguish of first love) she grapples to find her way on a changing world.
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Imagines the coming-of-age story of young Julia, whose world is thrown into upheaval when it is discovered that the Earth's rotation has suddenly begun to slow, posing a catastrophic threat to all life.

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