HomeGroupsTalkZeitgeist
Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

The Age of Miracles by Karen Thompson Walker
Loading...

The Age of Miracles (edition 2012)

by Karen Thompson Walker

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
2,2302682,889 (3.68)137
Member:TerriBooks
Title:The Age of Miracles
Authors:Karen Thompson Walker
Info:Wheeler Publishing (2012), Edition: Lrg, Paperback, 397 pages
Collections:Your library, Audiobooks, Fiction
Rating:***1/2
Tags:None

Work details

The Age of Miracles by Karen Thompson Walker

  1. 61
    Life As We Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer (chazzard)
  2. 00
    Salvation City by Sigrid Nunez (bluenotebookonline)
  3. 00
    The Sunlight Pilgrims: A Novel by Jenni Fagan (KatyBee)
  4. 00
    Phoenix Rising by Karen Hesse (SylviaC)
  5. 22
    The Dog Stars by Peter Heller (KatyBee)
  6. 00
    In Zanesville by Jo Ann Beard (hairball)
  7. 00
    The Rest is Silence by Scott Fotheringham (ShelfMonkey)
  8. 12
    The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold (BookshelfMonstrosity)
    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)
Loading...

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 137 mentions

English (273)  Dutch (2)  German (2)  Portuguese (Portugal) (1)  Hungarian (1)  All languages (279)
Showing 1-5 of 273 (next | show all)
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 |
In The Age of Miracles, Karen Thompson Walker's debut novel, Julia is an eleven year old living in a Southern California suburb and a sixth grader in middle school when it happened: the earth's rotation started to slow. "It was, at the beginning, a quite invisible catastrophe (pg. 12)" Julia recounts the surreal events occurring around her while she is navigating the tumultuous time of middle school/ junior high and puberty. In The Age of Miracles Julia is dealing with things that are endemic to her age, which are juxtaposed to the world wide catastrophe unfolding around her. As the "slowing" increases, the lengthening of both the day and night, it baffles scientists, and there are more and more global repercussions.

I really enjoyed Julia as the narrator in The Age of Miracles. She's an observant, honest narrator. Her voice rang true. She is a quiet, observant girl, an only child who takes careful note of everything that is occurring around her. Yes, there are catastrophic changes happening, but, to someone her age, losing friends, getting a bra, or liking a boy can all feel just as earth shattering. She is dealing with the day to day realities while living with and observing the inexplicable world changing events of the slowing. She mentions events happening from the slowing, birds falling out of the sky and a division between the "real timers" versus the "clock timers," placed in the context of her daily life.

Rather than a traditional science fiction tale, The Age of Miracles is a coming-of-age story with a science fiction element to the plot. Julia is looking back, as an adult, telling the story of what happened to her when the slowing first started. As Julia says: "This was middle school, the age of miracles, the time when kids shot up three inches over the summer, when breasts bloomed from nothing, when voices dipped and dove (pg. 43)." She's going to mention many of the disastrous details, but they are believably mixed with details from her life. It is reminiscent of people recalling where they were or what they were doing during any disaster. No matter the scale of the disaster, you look back at the before and after of the event through your eyes and your experiences. Changes or disasters, large and small, are all placed in the context of your life when you retell them. You try to make connections to make some sense of what you know is to come.

Julia observes: "And it sees to me now that the slowing triggered certain other changes too, less visible at first but deeper. It disrupted certain subtler trajectories: the track of friendships, for example, the paths toward and away from love. But who am I to say that the course of my childhood was not already set long before the slowing? Perhaps my adolescence was only an average adolescence, the stinging a quite unremarkable stinging. There is such a thing as coincidence: the alignment of two or more seemingly related events with no causal connection. Maybe everything that happened to me and my family had nothing at all to do with the slowing. It’s possible, I guess. But I doubt it. I doubt it very much (pg. 33-34).

Since The Age of Miracles is the story of one year in the life of someone who is an eleven-going-on-twelve-year-old girl, the age of the narrator would generally place this as a young adult novel, but a case could be made that it is more of an adult novel because it is an adult looking back. On the other hand, I could generally see a younger audience liking this novel too. Certainly Julia's concerns come across as realistic from someone that age. And, although there are disasters happening, they are not graphic or violent. The writing is simple, eloquent, and compelling.

The Age of Miracles is an exquisite debut novel. Very Highly Recommended
http://shetreadssoftly.blogspot.com/


( )
  SheTreadsSoftly | Mar 21, 2016 |
I liked the prose in this novel. It fit the book perfectly. There was a slow rhythm to the book, a gradual slowing to life just like to the earth. Nothing crazy happened, it was not the usual kind of dystopia which is more like standing on top if the roof shouting. Here we just watched those on the roof.

Julia is 11 when the earth starts moving slower. There is much to deal with. White nights, long cold dark days when the sun never rises. The world is crumbling around them. Life needs darkness and light to survive, but here they get to much of both. Gravity is turned on its head, the magnetic fields suffer. But people try to go on, they try to cope, they have hope. And that is the beauty in this book, life goes on. Sure there is looting, sure people goes into hiding, but we watch a normal family adjusting to the slowing. All while the main character Julia is dealing with her own crisis. There is s boy she likes, her friends grown apart. It's a coming of age story in an age of silent despair.

The slow building melancholia hit me in the end. Marvelous. It felt real, it felt scary. No one knew why it happened, but it happened. An earth that does not turn, well turn fast anyway.

This was dystopia that I liked. It was scary in another sort of way. It kind of does not hit you at first. It creeps up upon you and festers like a bad sore. Dystopia does not need to be all violence and crazy turn of events. It can be silent too.

A great book that I recommend. Just get into the rhythm. ( )
  blodeuedd | Mar 2, 2016 |
I liked the speculative aspect of this novel - what would happen if the world's rotation began to slow down? I liked Julia's voice in the novel - seeing her world change while still going through the typical experiences of a 11/12 year old girl. In the end, though, I felt like the story just ended, without any satisfying conclusions or explanations. ( )
  tjsjohanna | Feb 26, 2016 |
Really fascinating concept, and Walker does a good job of imagining how this change in the intrinsic nature of our everyday lives will impact one particular adolescent girl's life. ( )
  magerber | Feb 22, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 273 (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)
 

» Add other authors

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Karen Thompson Walkerprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Card, Emily Janicemain authorall editionsconfirmed
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
People/Characters
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
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.)
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Blurbers
Publisher series
Original language

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English

None

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.
Haiku summary

No descriptions found.

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)

» see all 5 descriptions

Quick Links

Swap Ebooks Audio
3 avail.
823 wanted
8 pay7 pay

Popular covers

Rating

Average: (3.68)
0.5
1 13
1.5 3
2 59
2.5 25
3 219
3.5 86
4 328
4.5 46
5 142

Audible.com

3 editions of this book were published by Audible.com.

See editions

LibraryThing Early Reviewers Alumn

The Age of Miracles by Karen Thompson Walker was made available through LibraryThing Early Reviewers. Sign up to possibly get pre-publication copies of books.

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.

 

Help/FAQs | About | Privacy/Terms | Blog | Store | Contact | LibraryThing.com | APIs | WikiThing | Common Knowledge | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | 105,881,294 books! | Top bar: Always visible