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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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1,9762453,426 (3.68)131
Member:SigmundFraud
Title:The Age of Miracles
Authors:Karen Thompson Walker
Info:Wheeler Publishing (2012), Edition: Lrg, Paperback, 397 pages
Collections:Read but unowned
Rating:****
Tags:None

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The Age of Miracles by Karen Thompson Walker

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English (247)  Dutch (2)  German (2)  Portuguese (Portugal) (1)  Hungarian (1)  All languages (253)
Showing 1-5 of 247 (next | show all)
I started it and couldn't put it down. ( )
  DavidCady | May 18, 2015 |
Hmmm... This book isn't terribly written. The author's voice is strong and the writing is lyrical. The plot and characterization is where it falls flat. The characters were all one-note stereotypes. Julia, the main character is so bland and unaffected it boggles the mind. Her only defining feature is her obsession with a neighbor boy that is never explained. Yet, when this boyfriend disappears from her life, she has about the same reaction as when the earth starts to die: namely, none whatsoever. Also, I felt the persecution of the "real-timers" was nonsensical and contrived. Besides which, nothing came of it. Nothing came of much of anything in this book. Characters and plot lines peter out all the time. This novel is nothing but loose ends. Overall, disappointing. ( )
  Juva | Apr 5, 2015 |
Utterly fascinating topic, though I truly hope the concept of the Earth's rotation lengthening remains science fiction rather than reality; I don't want to imagine living through the earth slowing it rotation and the reciprocal effects on animals, farming and human baseness. Very mildly disappointing outcome as the story doesn't have closure. I think this is fitting -- a joyful, roses and sunshine ending wouldn't be plausible. This is true young adult and other than the seriousness of Earth's future in science fiction terms, this is "safe" for preteens and teens. The three stars rating is only because I think that the author could have done more to develop the characters and set the scenes with more details. I wanted more. She made me hungry for more information. This may be selfish as she wrote primarily for a YA audience, keeping the scientific and psychological details to their teen mindset and not geer this toward my adult POV. ( )
  olongbourn | Mar 1, 2015 |
I read this book twice. The first time was several years ago when it first came out and I flew through it and thoroughly enjoyed it. Recently I read it again and I was somewhat disappointed by it. There were too many things that brought me up short. The least of it was the lack of panic among the middle schoolers, and the almost non-existent role that the internet played when people were trying to figure out what was going on. I assume that Walker was trying to show how people adapt and carry on even in things fall apart, but the things that people in her story had trouble with seemed to be the least of their worries. Whole segments of society currently live with their days and nights mixed up, and there are places in which days and nights go on for months. However, it was a terrific book club selection and it provoked a lively discussion. ( )
  eapalmer | Feb 14, 2015 |
The earth begins to slow. While the story has gaps in its believability ably described by other reviewers, it shines through the voice of the key character, a pre-teen girl. While the setting is the backdrop and the vehicle of the story, her coming-of-age made the story for me. ( )
  wareagle78 | Jan 5, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 247 (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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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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