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parsed(2023-03-14) - pubdate: 2023-03-14
pub date: 1678770000
today: 1721710800, pubdate > today = false

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The Book of Rain

March 14, 2023 | Hardcover
ISBN: 9781039002432
Reader Reward Price: $32.36 info
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A groundbreaking, deeply affecting work of environmental literary suspense for fans of Cloud Atlas, The Overstory, and Station Eleven.

The northern mining town of River Meadows is one of three hotspots in the world producing ghost ore, a new source of energy worth twenty-eight times its weight in gold. It's also linked with slippages of time and space that gradually render the area uninhabitable. After the town is evacuated, the whole region is cordoned off, the new no-go zone wryly nicknamed "the Park."

Three intertwined stories flow from the disaster of River Meadows. Alex Hewitt and his sister, Amery, were among the first to be shipped out of the contaminated town. Now an accomplished game designer, Alex has moved on, but his sister has not, making increasingly dangerous break-ins to save animals trapped in the toxic wasteland. When at last she fails to return from a trip inside the fence, Alex flies to River Meadows to search for her, enlisting her friend, Michio Amano, a mathematician who needs to transcend the known laws of physics if he and Alex are to succeed.

Claire Foley ran away from River Meadows as a teenager and now traffics in endangered wildlife. As Alex and Michio search for Amery, Claire arrives in an island nation under threat of environmental catastrophe to retrieve her greatest prize yet, only to find herself facing a life-altering choice.

And, finally, in a future as distant as myth, a flock of birds sets out on a dangerous journey to prevent the extinction of their ancient enemy, humanity. The account they hand down is an Epic of Gilgamesh for our times, illuminating the wisdom of nature and our flawed stewardship of the planet. 

As sweeping in scope as a world of its own, The Book of Rain is a novel of epic reach, beautifully multi-layered, haunting and profound.

About this Author

THOMAS WHARTON has been published in Canada, the US, the UK, France, Italy, Japan, and other countries. His first novel, Icefields, won the 1996 Commonwealth Writers' Prize for Best First Book in Canada and the Caribbean and was also a 2008 CBC Canada Reads pick. His next book, Salamander, was shortlisted for the 2001 Governor General's Award for Fiction and was also a finalist for the Roger's Writers' Trust Fiction Prize the same year. In 2006, Wharton's collection of stories, The Logogryph, was shortlisted for the International Dublin Literary Award. Thomas currently lives near Edmonton, Alberta.

ISBN: 9781039002432
Format: Hardcover
Pages: 424
Publisher: Random House of Canada
Published: 2023-03-14



"Thomas Wharton's The Book of Rain is a whole living world in itself. It is a mystery in three linked narratives, it is climate fiction, and it is a kind of mythology, creating a strange, gorgeous, utterly haunting work. Wharton's writing is clear and elegant, yet the story continually startles readers with the turns it takes as its characters seek what has been lost. He accomplishes this with precision and grace. The Book of Rain shimmers with imagination, depth and optimism." -- 2023 Atwood Gibson Writers' Trust Fiction Prize jury citation

"Thomas Wharton's novel has a prismatic effect: a reader can see rainbow refractions of Strugatsky, Joan Lindsay, Jeff Vandermeer, even Lovecraft--but The Book of Rain is unique enough to exist beyond comparison. A book of rich characterizations and bold ideas, the kind of highwire act many writers shy away from. The fact that Wharton pulls it off is a kind of miracle, one I'm glad I had an opportunity to experience." --Craig Davidson, author of The Saturday Night Ghost Club and Rust and Bone

"It's difficult to describe just how audaciously imaginative The Book of Rain is. Thomas Wharton has crafted a world parallel to this one yet not, an epic of consuming scope. This is more than climate fiction for climate fiction's sake: with beautiful literary control, Wharton ventures into the wilds, and in doing so presents a stunning excavation of how fragile, fleeting and many-faced it is to be human. I wish more books surprised me as much as this one did." --Omar El Akkad, author of the Scotiabank Giller Prize-winning What Strange Paradise

"The Book of Rain ripples through reality, giving us a new vocabulary for the strange and dangerous world we find ourselves in.  A subtle and haunting journey through the intertwined lives of three characters at the end of the world, Wharton's unflinching eye and soaring imagination turn a perilous journey wondrous." --Eden Robinson, author of The Trickster Trilogy

"The Book of Rain isn't so much a book as it is an ecosystem--intricate and delicate, with storylines that cross and converge and seem as rooted in place--and every bit as alive--as the animals and plants that course through these pages. And just like an ecosystem, the reader comes away from it astonished and fulfilled. Look on these pages and revel in wonder." --Amanda Leduc, author of The Centaur's Wife

"Complex, sprawling. . . . The novel plays with form and structure; it shifts into histories and asides that point toward deeper truths. . . . A story grounded in a very real and tangible idea: Human beings are not listening to the world--they are perhaps not even suited to it--and, as they try to bend it to their will, they will inevitably bring it all to ruin. . . . The best parts of The Book of Rain revolve around the gravity of our most elemental stories, those narratives set down 'like tracks in snow' to show where we've gone, where we should never have been, and how light or heavy the marks are that we've trod into the world on the way to this tenuous and perilous moment." --Quill and Quire

"Wharton's great strength as a writer lies in collecting all of these disparate pieces without making his story incoherent or even too-coherent. . . . He doesn't fall into the trap so many writers with similar themes do, and always keeps the emotional lives of his characters . . . as the focus." --Winnipeg Free Press

"Marvellous. . . . The Book of Rain is an essential text for thinking about extinction and environmental catastrophe." --Literary Review of Canada

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