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The Age Of Miracles by Karen Thompson Walker
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The Age Of Miracles

by Karen Thompson Walker

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2,3172742,727 (3.67)142
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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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» See also 142 mentions

English (280)  Dutch (2)  German (2)  English (1)  Hungarian (1)  English (286)
Showing 1-5 of 280 (next | show all)
Dreamily written slow-motion account of an apocalypse from a child's point of view. Some gorgeous writing, little plot, and a rather unsatisfying ending/nonending, but a unique way of looking at the end of the world. ( )
  jjaylynny | Nov 12, 2016 |
The gripping tale of the world in the grip of disaster. It's called 'the slowing' the earth's rotation has slowed, not much at first but later a day could last two weeks and the night another two. Humans are able to adapt for the most part but birds are dying, whales are coming ashore to die on the beaches. It is the people who follow the clock against those who follow 'real time.' Villages spring up in the desert for those determined to live in real time. The author takes us on a breathless journey of a normal world turned into a would that no one could imagine. ( )
  wearylibrarian | Aug 27, 2016 |
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 |
Showing 1-5 of 280 (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 editionscalculated
Card, Emily Janicemain authorall editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
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
Dedication
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.
Quotations
Sometimes the saddest stories take the fewest words...
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Book description
(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.

(summary from another edition)

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