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Fifty Degrees Below by Kim Stanley Robinson


Here is a book review I posted on LibraryThing last month:

Fifty Degrees Below by Kim Stanley Robinson

20 August, 2009 by Wulf Forrester-Barker
Book Review

Rating: 3 / 5

Book cover

It was not until I did some follow-up research that I realised Fifty Degrees Below was the central book of a trilogy. In that case, it did very well for having a beginning that was engaging to pick up and and middle that largely sustained my interest but it felt very lacking in the end department!

The protagonist, Frank Vanderwal manages an intriguing balance of holding down a responsible job in an organisation devoted to finding effective measures to combat climate change while experimenting with splitting his private life between his van, a tree house and the bathroom of a gym rather than the more traditional house style of living.

Initially this, combined with the backdrop of a Washington DC that had been devastated by floods and was now facing an extreme winter, was fascinating. Somewhere in the later portion of the book though, perhaps round about the time Frank got hit in the face and suffered concussion, it began to feel that it was dragging along.

Perhaps reading the first and last books as well would give a better appreciation of the whole but I would rather have had things wrapped up a 100 or so pages earlier rather than be faced with another thousand pages to read before I can appreciate the whole.


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