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The Water Knife: A novel by Paolo Bacigalupi
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The Water Knife: A novel (edition 2015)

by Paolo Bacigalupi

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1,1836710,864 (3.84)76
The American Southwest has been decimated by drought. Nevada and Arizona skirmish over dwindling shares of the Colorado River, while California watches, deciding if it should just take the whole river all for itself. Into the fray steps Las Vegas water knife Angel Velasquez. Detective, assassin, and spy, Angel "cuts" water for the Southern Nevada Water Authority, ensuring that lush, luxurious arcology developments can bloom in the desert and that anyone who challenges her is left in the gutted-suburban dust. When water is more valuable than gold, alliances shift like sand, and the only truth in the desert is that someone will have to bleed if anyone hopes to drink.… (more)
Member:TheAlternativeOne
Title:The Water Knife: A novel
Authors:Paolo Bacigalupi
Info:Knopf (2015), Hardcover, 384 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:*****
Tags:Science Fiction

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The Water Knife by Paolo Bacigalupi

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» See also 76 mentions

English (65)  French (1)  Hungarian (1)  All languages (67)
Showing 1-5 of 65 (next | show all)
It took me a little while to get attached to the characters, but, once I did, I really enjoyed this book. Lots of action, every worst-case scenario you can think of, and so many ethical gray areas with which the characters struggle. ( )
  jekka | Jan 24, 2020 |


Decent suspenseful story especially when you live in Phoenix. It's an interesting look at a potential dismal future for the Southwest once decimated by drought. I liked the book but it was a bit more graphic regarding violence and sex than I prefer so I'm not sure if I'll look into other writings by the same author. ( )
  pmtracy | Dec 17, 2019 |
Interesting topic, felt more like a novella than a novel though. ( )
  AnnaHernandez | Oct 17, 2019 |
Really good fiction on how the water wars may play out in the Southwest. Definitely recommend a read! ( )
  skyintist | Jul 31, 2019 |
three major characters in a near-future story set in Phoenix, Arizona in which the politics of water rights and the desperation of its attendant refugees is endangering the future for all but the very rich. the style is hardboiled and brutal, and it moves very fast while breaking things, but it upends some of the conventions of noir to expand its canvas, it's a pretty indelible and stylish example of environmental sf, and i liked it a lot. ( )
  macha | May 2, 2019 |
Showing 1-5 of 65 (next | show all)
To some critics and commentators, climate change is also having a deep effect on literature, as more authors focus more closely on the actual and possible consequences of the subject in their fiction. The genre, if it can be called that yet, represents a loose affiliation that stretches back at least to J.G. Ballard's The Drowned World and includes such authors as Ian McEwan, Ursula LeGuin, Kim Stanley Robinson and Margaret Atwood. The Water Knife is perhaps the best, most-recent example of "climate fiction," and it expertly taps a wellspring of fascination and fear that runs beneath a culture ever digging a deeper hole for itself and the environment.
 
In The Windup Girl, Paolo Bacigalupi's best-selling, Hugo- and Nebula-winning debut, the author imagines a 23rd century in which the forces of commerce have run amok over the basic, biological building blocks of life. In his equally powerful sophomore novel, The Water Knife, he takes a similar approach to an inorganic substance without which human life wouldn't exist: H2O. But where The Windup Girl takes place hundreds of years from now in Southeast Asia, The Water Knife hits closer to home for U.S. readers. Its setting is the American Southwest, at a time in the near future when Britney Spears is toothless and old, the country is plagued by climactic calamities and the Southwest's dwindling water supply is controlled by robber barons.
....
Bacigalupi plays on a grand scale, but he does so with a keen eye for detail... His big triumph, though, is never forgetting that The Water Knife is a thriller at its pounding heart. Even amid reams of deeply researched information about the economy, geology, history and politics of water rights and usage in the U.S., he keeps the plot taut and the dialogue slashing.
added by grizzly.anderson | editNPR, Jason Heller (May 28, 2015)
 
"But this is no pastiche; Bacigalupi weaves an engrossing tale all his own, crackling with edgy style."
 
"With elements of Philip K. Dick and Charles Bowden, this epic, visionary novel should appeal to a wide audience."
added by bookfitz | editPublishers Weekly (Mar 16, 2015)
 
"An absorbing, if sometimes ideologically overbearing, thriller full of violent action and depressing visions of a bleakly imagined future."
added by bookfitz | editKirkus Reviews (Mar 1, 2015)
 

» Add other authors (11 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Paolo Bacigalupiprimary authorall editionscalculated
Guerra, AlmarieNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Paolo Bacigalupi, New York Times best-selling author of The Windup Girl and National Book Award finalist, delivers a near-future thriller that casts new light on how we live today—and what may be in store for us tomorrow.

The American Southwest has been decimated by drought. Nevada and Arizona skirmish over dwindling shares of the Colorado River, while California watches, deciding if it should just take the whole river all for itself. Into the fray steps Las Vegas water knife Angel Velasquez. Detective, assassin, and spy, Angel “cuts” water for the Southern Nevada Water Authority and its boss, Catherine Case, ensuring that her lush, luxurious arcology developments can bloom in the desert and that anyone who challenges her is left in the gutted-suburban dust.

When rumors of a game-changing water source surface in Phoenix, Angel is sent to investigate. With a wallet full of identities and a tricked-out Tesla, Angel arrows south, hunting for answers that seem to evaporate as the heat index soars and the landscape becomes more and more oppressive. There, Angel encounters Lucy Monroe, a hardened journalist, who knows far more about Phoenix’s water secrets than she admits, and Maria Villarosa, a young Texas migrant, who dreams of escaping north to those places where water still falls from the sky.

As bodies begin to pile up and bullets start flying, the three find themselves pawns in a game far bigger, more corrupt, and dirtier than any of them could have imagined. With Phoenix teetering on the verge of collapse and time running out for Angel, Lucy, and Maria, their only hope for survival rests in one another’s hands. But when water is more valuable than gold, alliances shift like sand, and the only truth in the desert is that someone will have to bleed if anyone hopes to drink.
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