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How High We Go in the Dark: A Novel by…
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How High We Go in the Dark: A Novel (edition 2022)

by Sequoia Nagamatsu (Author)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
5563037,934 (3.84)46
"For fans of Cloud Atlas and Station Eleven, a spellbinding and profoundly prescient debut that follows a cast of intricately linked characters over hundreds of years as humanity struggles to rebuild itself in the aftermath of a climate plague-a daring and deeply heartfelt work of mind-bending imagination from a singular new voice. Beginning in 2030, a grieving archeologist arrives in the Arctic Circle to continue the work of his recently deceased daughter at the Batagaika crater, where researchers are studying long-buried secrets now revealed in melting permafrost, including the perfectly preserved remains of a girl who appears to have died of an ancient virus. Once unleashed, the Arctic Plague will reshape life on earth for generations to come, quickly traversing the globe, forcing humanity to devise a myriad of moving and inventive ways to embrace possibility in the face of tragedy. In a theme park designed for terminally ill children, a cynical employee falls in love with a mother desperate to hold on to her infected son. A heartbroken scientist searching for a cure finds a second chance at fatherhood when one of his test subjects-a pig-develops the capacity for human speech. A widowed painter and her teenaged granddaughter embark on a cosmic quest to locate a new home planet. From funerary skyscrapers to hotels for the dead to interstellar starships, Sequoia Nagamatsu takes readers on a wildly original and compassionate journey, spanning continents, centuries, and even celestial bodies to tell a story about the resiliency of the human spirit, our infinite capacity to dream, and the connective threads that tie us all together in the universe"--… (more)
Member:kruml
Title:How High We Go in the Dark: A Novel
Authors:Sequoia Nagamatsu (Author)
Info:William Morrow (2022), 304 pages
Collections:Wishlist
Rating:*****
Tags:None

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How High We Go in the Dark by Sequoia Nagamatsu

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» See also 46 mentions

English (29)  Dutch (1)  All languages (30)
Showing 1-5 of 29 (next | show all)
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  eshaundo | Jan 7, 2023 |
Excellent, I love the way the different story linked. Some very heavy topics, especially chapter 2... This book made me stop and think. What does the world look like when things fall apart and what happens after? I also love that rather than focus on the what, we get to focus on the who and how they react to the situation. ( )
  davisfamily | Dec 11, 2022 |
I don't think I was in the right mood for this novel, and by that I mean awake. The chapters were more like vignettes vaguely tied together by a reincarnated alien, or whatever was going on there, which means I couldn't connect with any of the characters. For the first chapter, with the detached dad of a martyred scientist, that didn't matter so much because I quickly grew tired of hearing about how Clara wanted to save the world by neglecting her daughter. But the same dysfunctional relationships continued throughout, to the point where all I knew about any of the characters was that I wouldn't like them.

I did like the Stephen King-esque reaction to the 'Arctic plague', a sort of Covid-style pandemic (hey, guess when the author started writing this book?) that takes out 50 million people in 2031. Funerals are suddenly big business, sick children are sent to euthanasia fun parks - a dark but very American attitude to death - pigs are genetically engineered to replace human organs, and AI robot pets take on deep emotional significance. Then the plot fragmented like the characters, and suddenly we get a Star Trek mission into space to find a 'new Earth' (don't bother, we'll just destroy that one too), followed by the reader being blasted even further into a post-plague future that was far too much like William Gibson's writing to hold my interest.

I get where the author was going and what he was saying - and he's not wrong - but I just didn't have the patience to endure 500 years of dysfunctional strangers having to go through a factory reset before learning a lesson (or maybe not). ( )
1 vote AdonisGuilfoyle | Dec 10, 2022 |
I know it's only April, but I'll be surprised if many books will surpass this for me this year. Just, wow.

I don't even know where to begin, because nothing I say will do the book justice, but I'll try.

The book consists of stories that are all part of a loosely woven fabric. Each story follows a different character, jumping months or years at a time, and takes very different perspectives. In a way this is almost a short story collection, but by the end it's one complete story.

We start from the early 2030s, when a strange virus is found from the rapidly melting permafrost. Not long after, children and the elderly around the world start showing symptoms where their organs start replacing their cells with the cells of different organs. Soon death is commonplace, and society adapts as is the only way, and death is one more cog in the wheels of capitalism.

This isn't a traditional apocalyptic story, though, as the final third of the book focuses on what comes after the cure, and how the plague years have affected people and their ability to form bonds with others.

I cried so much while reading this, which is very uncommon for me with books where I only get to spend a little time with each character. The prose is great, and the author has a real gift in writing very real characters. Some of the stories really hit where it hurts.

Now, some stories are pretty contemporary, but others are varying degrees of science fiction. I would still urge people to read this regardless, even if you aren't usually a huge sci-fi fan.

What an excellent book. ( )
  tuusannuuska | Dec 1, 2022 |
3.5 stars. Written as interconnected short stories. The book spans several decades where the inhabitants of Earth are dealing with climate change and a devastating plague. The first half of the book was much stronger than the second half. ( )
  LittleSpeck | Nov 21, 2022 |
Showing 1-5 of 29 (next | show all)
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"For fans of Cloud Atlas and Station Eleven, a spellbinding and profoundly prescient debut that follows a cast of intricately linked characters over hundreds of years as humanity struggles to rebuild itself in the aftermath of a climate plague-a daring and deeply heartfelt work of mind-bending imagination from a singular new voice. Beginning in 2030, a grieving archeologist arrives in the Arctic Circle to continue the work of his recently deceased daughter at the Batagaika crater, where researchers are studying long-buried secrets now revealed in melting permafrost, including the perfectly preserved remains of a girl who appears to have died of an ancient virus. Once unleashed, the Arctic Plague will reshape life on earth for generations to come, quickly traversing the globe, forcing humanity to devise a myriad of moving and inventive ways to embrace possibility in the face of tragedy. In a theme park designed for terminally ill children, a cynical employee falls in love with a mother desperate to hold on to her infected son. A heartbroken scientist searching for a cure finds a second chance at fatherhood when one of his test subjects-a pig-develops the capacity for human speech. A widowed painter and her teenaged granddaughter embark on a cosmic quest to locate a new home planet. From funerary skyscrapers to hotels for the dead to interstellar starships, Sequoia Nagamatsu takes readers on a wildly original and compassionate journey, spanning continents, centuries, and even celestial bodies to tell a story about the resiliency of the human spirit, our infinite capacity to dream, and the connective threads that tie us all together in the universe"--

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