Brand : Matthew Mather


The diesel-electric elephant company |

Already set in my idea of hell this splendid book just becomes more hellish

Everyone loves a good disaster, and this is a great tale of a good disaster. between you, me and the vicar, the notion of living in a pre-apocalyptic new york has always sounded like hell heaped on purgatory heaped on a disaster anyway, but the addition of a total breakdown in this flimsy flibbetygibbet that we humans think is a civilisation just added the little marzipan demon to the top of the cake. the writing is taut and the plot lines trundle along well. the only part that never works for me in such tales is the introduction of freezing, wintry conditions as part of the torture - i'm built for winter, always have been, and i loathe summers and any temperatures over about 63°f. you'd be better off threatening me with blue sky and sunshine. most splendid - recommended.

A. gold |

A consistently plausible take of a cyber disaster

This booked scared me. i live in the nyc area and have experienced the effects of and the reaction to the blizzards and hurricanes of recent years. i have also seen the way nyc absorbed the trials of 911. it never ceases to amaze me how resilient that city is - it just absorbs the pain and then heals. that does not matter to the many individuals who's lives were disrupted or derailed or destroyed. but the organism that is the city recovers. this story scares me because we really vulnerable. and as one character in the book observed, by being so risk averse and willing to cede control over our own well being, we have actually exposed ourselves to great risk if that control falters. all very thought provoking.

K. e. chapman |

Excellent quick read with some good thought experiments

My wife read this book and then i did, and i really liked it. it has a lot of the pacing of some of the big mainstream thrillers, but even though it was in lots of ways heavier subject material, it managed to be less sensational and hyperbolic. there were some flaws i thought, but they were very minor when the story was taken as a whole. the most enjoyable parts to me were the discussions among the characters that ended up becoming psychological, sociological or economical thought experiments, and how the characters dealt with the balance of compassion, charity and empathy and self-preservation. lot of decisions that weren't easy but had to be made. and the last 15% left me almost unable to put the book down.