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Publisher's Summary

A new vision of the future from Kim Stanley Robinson, the New York Times best-selling author of science-fiction masterworks such as the Mars trilogy, 2312, and Aurora.

The waters rose, submerging New York City.

But the residents adapted, and it remained the bustling, vibrant metropolis it had always been. Though changed forever.

Every street became a canal. Every skyscraper an island.

Through the eyes of the varied inhabitants of one building, Kim Stanley Robinson shows us how one of our great cities will change with the rising tides.

And how we, too, will change.

The complete list of narrators includes Suzanne Toren, Robin Miles, Peter Ganim, Jay Snyder, Caitlin Kelly, Michael Crouch, Ryan Vincent Anderson, Christopher Ryan Grant, and Robert Blumenfeld.

©2017 Kim Stanley Robinson (P)2017 Hachette Audio

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.1 out of 5.0
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Performance

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Story

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Complex, believable, nuanced, riveting

I totally disagree with the couple of negative reviews I'm seeing. If by "science fiction" you require aliens, supernatural powers, technologies made of unobtanium, or epic space battles, I guess you'd be disappointed. There's no "The One" character on a mission to save the Earth or the Universe here. But if you think of it as a mature genre, capable of creating a solid, 3-dimensional world set a century-plus hence, with characters whose lives revolve around real-world concerns and who speak and act the way real people do, then you'll really appreciate this book. The depiction of a semi-drowned New York is drilled into a bedrock of historical fact producing a solidly convincing sense of place that is the setting for a complex web of characters, motivations and completely plausible plot threads.

The performances are also among the best I've heard, and I'm not normally a huge fan of the multi-narrator approach but it works here. I was slightly amused to find, well into the book, that the character played by a reader who sounds African American, at least to my ear, turns out to be blond-haired, but to me the casting made him more interesting so I decided the author was wrong and continued to imagine him that way.

Just a first-rate read all around. Highest recommendation.

15 of 15 people found this review helpful

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Wonderfully Imaginative

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

The characters are endearing and interesting, and the narrators do a really great job of helping the story take shape. Even though KSR seems to lose his way about 2/3's of the way through the novel and he drops several characters with little explanation by the end, those he concludes with are strongly drawn and the setting is so well crafted that it didn't matter to me. It's a novel that begs to be made into a film which might refine the plot and help bring a more satisfying conclusion.

What was one of the most memorable moments of New York 2140?

Amelia's trip with the polar bears on her blimp, the Assisted Migration.

Which character – as performed by the narrators – was your favorite?

Hard to choose. I loved them all...but probably Amelia. There was also a 'commentator' at points in the work who delves into the financial and political exigencies of capitalism. He was narrated so pointedly. Great!

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

The huge storm that nearly destroys the city. Wow!

Any additional comments?

I'm now hooked on KSR despite his narrative weaknesses. He's brilliant at constructing possible futures and then creating the characters who live in them. His prose can be beautiful and compelling, at times even transcendent. Yes, he's pretty philosophical and political. But these draw me to his work and keep me coming back. It's work to appreciate without the need for resolution, necessarily.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Waiting and waiting for something to happen

20 hrs invested in this that I will never get back. The first half of the experience was painfully boring. I waited and waited and was sure something...anything...interesting would develop. It didn't. This is hardly science fiction. More like a really boring documentary and a macroeconomics class combined together. However, I think that makes it sound better than it was. Ugh. I'm actually mad I finished it.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Everything but the kitchen sink…

…is in here—climate change, extinction of animals, the economic divide between people, finance (pretty sure Robinson read The Big Short), fictional and non-fictional history of New York… Same goes with the wide variety of characters.

This was my first Robinson novel and will probably be my last. Half I listened to carefully, half with half an ear. There was just too much of everything in this novel—except character development. It took a looooong time for me to have any feeling for any of the characters—except Amelia. She was really the star of the show, and I probably liked her so much because her parts were funny and were a nice break from a lot of exposition, pontification, etc. etc. So while the topics of the book are right up my alley, the execution was somewhat lacking.

In the end, I’d say it was just ok. The audio narrators, for the most part, were great!

19 of 24 people found this review helpful

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Not for me

Sadly, I didn’t enjoy this book that much. I felt it was one of those cases where the idea of the story is better than the story itself.

It wasn’t all bad, some storyline (or parts of storylines) were ok, but it all felt cluttered and jumpy. In addition, I never really cared about anyone and therefore it was hard to get into their stories. As a result, I was not emotionally invested and didn’t care about the outcome.

I’m just glad I’m finally done, it was a long book.

14 of 18 people found this review helpful

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More a Finance story than SciFi

I've read all of Kim Stanley Robinson Mars novels so I knew what I was in for: long, drawn out tales about characters lives rather than setting or plot. There is a story line of course, but it's weak. I could sum it up in three sentences (but that would spoil the story). I kept waiting for something to happen.
If you are interested in day trading, finance, the stock market, and the various bank crashes in history (plus a few made up for this tale) then this book is for you. If you are interested in sea level rise, environmental disaster, and the human story of how we deal with it, then look elsewhere.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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Thinking Like a World

Where does New York 2140 rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

<br/>Everything is here: surgically sharp insights into our present situation, kindly unsentimental knowledge of what it will take to shovel our way out, excellent how-to tools for overcoming our species-folly, idea-grams of fact-based hope, wit and hilarity as life preservers: all fueled by the underlying urgency of reality itself.<br/><br/>This is a man writing for his life- and yours. And the life of the world. Literature as a life-or-death matter with a great sense of humor. Paragraph after paragraph punching through solid walls of hand-me-down thinking. This is the first seriously futuristic "coming true soon" novel in both form and content. As in: the next future is well underway so good grief let us think about it. Tinker with the ways around, through and over the Great Wall of But It Has Always Been This Way. Get a judo grip on the hands around humanity's neck. Because worse yet is coming to thee and me soon. As you well know, yes?<br/><br/>Youth: a word to the wise. Read this book. It is Of Course equally if not more so for you. Then kindly re-think, if you need to, the efficacy of buying into that raging generic boomer-blame mind-flu going around. You know that many of us have been fighting body-and-soul tooth-and-claw for Sane Earth since before you were born. Everyone needs to understand the recurring plague of obliviousness: each generation mechanically reducing everyone who got here before us to compost. Instead, strengthen our connections to the very long history of humanity's uphill evolutionary slog. Make all of us stronger, tougher, smarter, and infinitely better equipped. Not to mention save us from the bad results of internalizing- worse yet peddling- wholesale prejudice on a grand scale. Come hither. <br/>

Would you ever listen to anything by Kim Stanley Robinson again?

I would and I do read/listen to everything by Kim Stanley Robinson. Every generation has several-many voices who best articulate the inner thoughts of who we are, what we know/need to know/don't and can't know, what we face and how we try to manage the heavy concrete pilings of teetering bad history poised to fall on our heads. He's my personal favorite. Why not? A planet-sized Big Mind. Also: funny. AND vacuums the house to very loud Beethoven. <br/>

What about the narrators’s performance did you like?

Excellent wide-ranging everybody: full embodiments going along fluidly. Big Band of narrators seem glad to be part of this fascinating project of a novel novel. Old and new Audible voice-friends sound very enjoyably engaged in their parts in the whole. Nice work.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

This is not "only" a good book. Not exactly. Also something unsayable but more- bigger in and on the mind than "a book". It is a Book Plus: that rare next new thing/experience. In this case, a Made in the USA ultramodern geek Greek Tragedy served up with a hefty helping of hilarity: in short, hyper life-like.

Any additional comments?

Everything that is, matters. Thinking well about any of it- let alone the giant "What on earth can we do about our bogged-down dying cataclysm-inviting life on Earth?" takes some serious how-to. And we aren't taught how to learn to think. Other people's thoughts can be highly stimulating mind-food. But you too. You too. Everyone who wills it can learn to think like a planet now: create new ways out of that endless miserable Groundhog Day/repetitive motion syndrome we call human history. Keep trying.This is serious and we are IT: who we have. All we have.

11 of 15 people found this review helpful

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Wonderful. Again.

Nobody can take me to a place of technological wonders and worlds past and future in a way that makes it feel so real, human, and freighted with meaning as Kim Stanley Robinson.

If loved his other worlds, you'll love this one even closer to home.

6 of 8 people found this review helpful

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Long time for nothing to happen.

Any additional comments?

Really a lot of effort for little return. Pseudo-economics took up an enormous amount of space and added nothing much except silly fantasies. Nice conceptual development of a post-climate changed city, but ruined by silly treasure hunting and nude swinging from under an airship. Would recommend against investing 20+ hours on this.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Already looking for the next one...

What did you love best about New York 2140?

In spite of all the odds being against it these very disparate characters come together and prove the adage that you are stronger together than you ever would be separate.

Who was your favorite character and why?

I think Charlotte was my favorite character. She set out to make her world a better place.

Which character – as performed by the narrators – was your favorite?

I think Franklin was my favorite character as performed. Part of you wants to hate him but by the end you can't help loving him just a little bit.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

There were definitely parts of this story that made me teary. Mostly due to the interactions and situations

Any additional comments?

If by the end of a book you're looking for the next there should be more. I will say this is a very politically charged novel. Be prepared to be challenged if you don't agree.

4 of 6 people found this review helpful