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The Age of Miracles by Karen Thompson Walker
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The Age of Miracles (edition 2012)

by Karen Thompson Walker

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2,4182812,567 (3.67)150
Member:Mooose
Title:The Age of Miracles
Authors:Karen Thompson Walker
Info:Simon & Schuster UK (2012), Hardcover, 384 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:**
Tags:fiction, read, 2012/August

Work details

The Age of Miracles by Karen Thompson Walker

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English (288)  Dutch (2)  German (2)  All (1)  Hungarian (1)  All (294)
Showing 1-5 of 288 (next | show all)
I found this a quick, easy book to read and I really enjoyed it – but in a way I’m not really sure why!

The premise is really interesting – the turning of the world has slowed, causing the days to get longer and longer. Some people choose to carry on living on “clock time”, so they get up and go to school and work, even if it’s pitch black, and they go to bed at the normal time, even if it’s daylight. Others choose to go with the flow, sleeping only when it’s dark and staying up when it’s light – even if this means they’re awake for many more hours than is normal. The two factions turn against each other with the real-timers becoming like tribes.

But despite this interesting and unique idea, somehow very little actually happens in the book, and the characters are – in all honesty – quite dull. Our narrator, Julia, is very quiet and is more of a bystander than an active participant in anything that happens around her, and after finishing the book it is hard to say much about her personality. The others around her are more interesting, and I liked reading about her rebellious neighbour and her love interest Seth – although again perhaps more could have been done to develop these characters.

There isn’t much science around what is happening, and what there is comes with a light touch. Some readers could find this frustrating as they might feel not enough explanation is given or that they can pick holes in what is there, but personally this wasn’t an issue for me as I just accepted what was happening and enjoyed the story. I would have liked a bit more around some of the characters and I did feel it needed to go a bit more in depth about certain relationships and people within the book. But overall I did like this – it felt a bit different and was a good, easy read.

My rating: 7 out of 10 ( )
  AHouseOfBooks | May 29, 2017 |
Loved this book! Thought-provoking and poignant. A fast read as well. ( )
  amylou9195 | Apr 22, 2017 |
A totally believable account of our world's possible future. Whales dying on a beach in California, the days growing longer, the radiation from the sun making us sick. The decision to stay with real time or go off the clock and suffer the scorn of our neighbors. It's all here in this story and much more. I enjoyed this book and would recommend it to anyone who cares about our world and who wonders what the future might bring. ( )
  Vellura | Apr 19, 2017 |
I found The Age of Miracles by Karen Thompson Walker a disturbing read. Although very well written and imaginative, her premise of the earth slowing on it’s axis was terrifying, original and believable. This felt entirely too real for my comfort.

It starts out slowly with a news announcement that at first captures the attention of the world, but as nothing happens right away, it is soon pushed aside as other daily cares are being attended to. But this catastrophe is just beginning and slowly things begin to change, plants die, birds fall from the sky and time changes with longer and longer days and nights. The story focuses on one family in Southern California, in particular pre-teen Julia, the narrator of the story. At the same time as we read of our dying planet, we are brought into Julia’s life and how she copes with her friends, her family and her school. These seemingly ordinary concerns contrast with the greater picture of world wide disaster.

The science as to why the earth was slowing down was never addressed, and that didn’t really bother me. I found the story both evocative and haunting as Julia is growing up but also is having to face a possible apocalypse. The Age of Miracles forced me to face my own fears about how many of today’s political caregivers are turning their backs on environmental cares and concerns. ( )
  DeltaQueen50 | Apr 3, 2017 |
I don't think it would be possible to enjoy this any more than I did. Marvelous.
  chronic | Mar 23, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 288 (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.

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