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Publisher's Summary

From the author of the award-winning Mars trilogy comes a vision of a radically different alternative future, where every day is a fight to survive.

North America, 2047. For the small Pacific Coast community of San Onofre, life in the aftermath of a devastating nuclear attack is a matter of survival, a day-to-day struggle to stay alive. But young Hank Fletcher dreams of the world that might have been, that might yet be - and dreams of playing a crucial role in America's rebirth.

Kim Stanley Robinson's first novel, The Wild Shore, is an epic tale that will appeal to adults and young adults alike.

©1984 Kim Stanley Robinson (P)2015 Blackstone Audio, Inc., and Skyboat Media, Inc.

What listeners say about The Wild Shore

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
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Needs 6 stars

This book redefines great sci-fi, it is a great story and good literature. It has lots of ringing truths and it punches through similar books with a rich inner life expressed in terms of the New World lost in the ruins of the old.

4 people found this helpful

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a child story

unlike other Kim Staniely Robinson books it seems this one is aimed at young readers.

1 person found this helpful

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Extremely boring...

I kept waiting for the story line to pick up the pace, but it never did. The plot is definitely interesting, but the characters and story telling is dry.

2 people found this helpful

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Beautiful first novel

Robinson’s auspicious debut novel has an ideal reader in Rudnicki. It’s an excellent audio production of a moving book.

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Impressive Debut Novel

The Wild Shore is the impressive debut novel by Kim Stanley Robinson. It is part of the Three Californias Triptych, and all titles were free on Audible last time I checked. The Wild Shore is the dystopian novel of the three. The triptych covers three possible futures for California.

Written in 1984, it's not surprising then that the dystopian setting was caused by a nuclear war. The war takes place in 1987, and the book is set in 2047. The reader is never really sure what caused the war, rumor has it that neutron bombs were detonated in vehicles in the 2,000 largest cities in the USA as a surprise attack by the rest of the world who wanted to put the US in its place. The novel is set in Orange County, California and focuses on a village of about 60 people struggling to get by. The story is told through the eyes of a young man, Hank, who, like everyone else, isn't sure what is going on in the outside world (although rumors abound). Japan has blockaded the West Coast (and other countries guard the other borders) and no one is allowed in or out of the country. The Californians have no technology and any advancements, such as railroad track repair, are met with bombs from unseen satellites. Hank's friend Tom is the oldest person in their village, supposedly over 100, and tells stories of what life was like in the modern world before the bombs.

The plot involves re-establishing contact and rail travel with their southern neighbors in San Diego, and the ongoing debate in the village whether to try to fight back against the Japanese, who occupy Catalina Island and whose boats patrol up and down the coast.

The pace of the novel is slow and steady, and the tone is melancholic, which was right up my alley and why I liked it so much. Kim Stanley Robinson can really tell a story, and the characters are really well developed in this one. I'm looking forward to reading the next two books in the triptych.

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Home Depot

The narrator sounds like the voiceover artist in Home Depot commercials...5 stars, soothing voice.

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there is a reason this book is free

it is terrible. save your time, skip this book - unless you're paid to read it. then ask for twice what they offer.

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Post nuclear survival under containment

Kim Stanley Robinson's The Wild Shore is part of a collection of alternative futures for the California region where he grew up. In this scenario, the Soviets had distributed neutron bombs to America's most hated enemies and suffered significant depopulation with loss of any semblance of governmental structure beyond local efforts. At the same time, the remaining powers are actively preventing the remnants from creating any organized effort. The story focuses on a young man living within a small community eking out survival, surrounded by survivalist types as well as the Japanese navy. There is much talk and a little action regarding active insurgence, but the bulk of the tale is the day to day struggle and the contrast between the youth and the older generation that remembers earlier times and is conflicted in partly feeling that America got what it deserved.

Whether Robinson was channeling his personal feelings or reflecting his impressions of the local populace is hard to ascertain. Clearly there is a struggle and desire to strike back, but tempered with a reluctance and risk averse perspective. Regardless, the outlooks appears bleak and largely unsustainable with the inevitable daily struggles and in-group fighting. At best, there is a lack of commonality and vision by a community still reeling from the shock of what has transpired.

The narration is perfectly suited with a grave and gravelly voice that reflect both the grittiness and bitterness of the situation. Character distinction is reasonable and pacing is well aligned with the plot.

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Good book but characters are racist and sexist

Provocative vision of a possible future. However - I was troubled by the racism and sexism in the book and couldn't tell how much of it was the author's biases and how much he was intentionally making the characters bigoted. Also, why is nobody using horses for transportation? This is never explained.

1 person found this helpful

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Yay

I really love it when I discover an audio book that can hold my interest. It's always a combination of a good story, delightful prose that inspire me to pause, replay, and dwell on the insight of the author, and a really good narrator that 1.) does not annoy me, 2.) does not bore me, and 3.) has developed good and distinctive voices for the characters
This book has all of those. I'm moving on to book 2. Yay!!!

2 people found this helpful