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The Snow (2004)
by Adam Roberts
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This is, for me, Roberts first great book. I've enjoyed everything I've read by him – all his previous novels have been clever, well written stories that at the same time have deep themes and morals woven into their fabric – but The Snow was a real WOW! book.
The basic premise (although absolutely nothing is basic in an Adam Roberts book) is that heavy snow begins to fall and does not stop. The world is soon covered in a blanket many metres – and eventually kilometres – deep, and civilisation quickly collapses. We follow one woman in London, Tira, who survives by scavenging resources inside buildings buried entombed inside newly formed glaciers, until she is rescued by a mining team from the surface, where the few survivors of this strange apocalypse continue to try to impose old structures on this utterly changed world. But this is just the beginning.
The story is told in a series of official documents – mostly statements recorded by Tira, sometimes others, and sometimes annotated letters. Part of this device produces the one problem with the book; in most of Tira's testimony, the names of people she refers to a blanked out for security – partly to demonstrate how governments like to control ad suppress information – but this can make it difficult to follow who she is talking about, although a lovely touch when she has lost a companion in the snow and is calling after them “NAME DELETED! Where are you NAME DELETED!”. For me, this detracts a little more than it adds, but this is a very minor gripe.
Sometimes reviewers (and writers) try to distance great work from genre fiction, but this is one of those books that shows a novel can be genre and literature. This is diamond hard Science Fiction, this is an apocalyptic novel, but it is not just these things. The Snow is multi-layered story filled with so many themes and ideas it would be dizzying if it weren't so well written. You might expect a novel about global calamity to concern itself with the human spirit and resilience, hardship and survival, but this is a book that goes so far beyond that. It is about imperialism and control, about how our perceptions and expectations of the world shape it, about tribalism, religion, race and gender relations, the fallibility of perception and memory. There are echoes of [a:Ray Bradbury|1630|Ray Bradbury|http://photo.goodreads.com/authors/1190744775p2/1630.jpg]'s [b:The Martian Chronicles|76778|The Martian Chronicles|Ray Bradbury|http://photo.goodreads.com/books/1170899683s/76778.jpg|4636013] and [a:Margaret Atwood|3472|Margaret Atwood|http://photo.goodreads.com/authors/1282859073p2/3472.jpg]]'s [b:The Handmaid's Tale|38447|The Handmaid's Tale|Margaret Atwood|http://photo.goodreads.com/books/1255648830s/38447.jpg|1119185], and this book can sit proudly on a shelf with both of these.
What happens when it starts snowing? How about when it doesn't stop? What would happen to our civilization if that happened for years?
Another approachable and yet captivating sci-fi yarn from Adam Roberts. An easy read reminiscent of Children of Men or a Handmaiden's tale with racial and class examinations mixed in. A great and yet different kind of apocalypse novel.
I registered a book at BookCrossing.com!
Another great book from Adam Roberts. The book mainly follows Tira and what happened after the snow, and its not pretty!
I quite enjoyed reading this novel
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Wikipedia in English (2)
And this is how the world will end . . . ¿The snow started falling on the sixth of September, soft noiseless flakes filling the sky like a swarm of white moths, or like static interference on your TV screen - whichever metaphor, nature or technology, you find the more evocative. Snow everywhere, all through the air, with that distinctive sense of hurrying that a vigorous snowfall brings with it. Everything in a rush, busy-busy snowflakes. And, simultaneously, paradoxically, everything is hushed, calm, as quiet as cancer, as white as death. And at the beginning people were happy.¿ But the snow doesn¿t stop. It falls and falls and falls. Until it lies three miles thick across the whole of the earth. Six billion people have died. Perhaps 150,000 survive. But those 150,000 need help, they need support, they need organising, governing. And so the lies begin. Lies about how the snow started. Lies about who is to blame. Lies about who is left. Lies about what really lies beneath.
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