Quick Thoughts on “The Deluge” by Stephen Markley

Josh Spilker
2 min readMar 19
  1. “The Deluge” is an 800+ page novel by Stephen Markley.
  2. It’s about climate change? But also politics. I take that back. It’s about politics, with climate change as the central issue. Protests. DC Riots. Christian nationalists. Idealist progressives. Subversion for the greater cause.
  3. Climate is the central issue. Crazy fires, massive heat waves, coastal flooding.
  4. But also policy. Lots of policy. Pets? They eat a lot of food that could go to humans. Protesters as terrorists? Real possibility. AI directing cops & rioters. Yep.
  5. The rotating perspectives was helpful. I didn’t thin it would tie together and a few of the connections seemed a bit forced in the last 100 pages or so. But overall, it made sense. I’m glad he thought about the narrative arc and not just the policy explanations, which there are a lot. This is more about policy than science.

How do you read a novel like this?

  1. To enter into an 800 page novel, you have to commit. Really, think of it more as a television show. You need to know that this won’t unfurl all at one time.
  2. Most of the time, novels this long are thought to be outdated with archaic language. Rarely does anyone write a novel this long anymore. In that way, it wasn’t as difficult as the task appears at first.
  3. That said, I bought a copy on my Kindle and also bought an Audible subscription. I could listen to it while I walked the dog but also read it on the couch. This helped tremendously.
  4. So did driving a lot lately, more than 30 hours over the past 2 weeks.
  5. The Kindle was also advantageous because of its Xray features. I could look up character names and see where they appeared before. This helped me track the minor and supporting characters. The book was told from the viewpoint of 5(?) main characters and then various politicians, ecoterrorists, and on-the-ground people in between. This Kindle feature made it a lot simpler.
Josh Spilker