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Eruption (Supervolcano #1)

3.04  ·  Rating Details  ·  995 Ratings  ·  214 Reviews
The New York Times bestselling author and "maven of alternate history" (San Diego Union-Tribune) presents a near- future thriller.

A supervolcanic eruption in Yellowstone Park sends lava and mud flowing toward populated areas, and clouds of ash drifting across the country. The fallout destroys crops and livestock, clogs machinery, and makes cities uninhabitable. Those who
Hardcover, 420 pages
Published December 6th 2011 by Roc Hardcover (first published January 1st 2011)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,696)
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May 01, 2012 karen rated it did not like it

i really am not looking forward to writing this review. this was the worst book i have ever read, and even though david was kind enough to point out that most of the books i read are shitty, he is wrong. this one is the shittiest.

and it has nothing to do with the frequent disparaging of rhode island. not content simply to use it as a unit of measurement (although he does), he also says many unflattering things about the state itself. but considering how crappy this book is, i am pretty sure rhod
Jun 04, 2012 James rated it it was ok
I REALLY wanted to like this book, I've read Turtledove for years, and when I found out he had written a supervolcano book, I was pumped. I'm afraid this one should have been called Crappy Family: And a Volcano Blows Up.

I have to imagine that, should a nice chunk of the nation be obliterated, with major cities completely wiped out, and hundreds of thousands of people killed, even in California, they'd be more concerned with recent events than the fact that newspapers are getting thinner as paper
Kate E
Dec 02, 2011 Kate E rated it really liked it
Excellent writing, and the geologist in my heart approves of the technical background details. A bit slow in pacing, though it may be justified. If this thing does go off in our lifetime, it's going to be a long time before humanity as a whole understands the implications for their lifestyle, not to mention their survival possibilities. We're a stubborn lot.

So, Harry, where's the next book? Don't let little things like eating and sleeping slow you down, man - alteration of an entire planetary ec
Michelle Morrell
Nov 13, 2015 Michelle Morrell rated it did not like it
Shelves: library, x-read-2015
This is my first Harry Turtledove book, about a California cop and his extended family, as a supervolcano under Yellowstone erupts and screws the world. Obviously I've heard his name before, he's an author of some renown and I was excited to read his take on the apocalypse.

What an ugly, caustic book. And I don't mean the garbage spewing out of the supervolcano. Reading through, yes, the main character is grumpy, curmudgeonly. Okay, let's keep going. His daughter is specifically called by everyon
Jan 24, 2012 Alfredo rated it did not like it
First Koontz, now Turtledove!

Two of my favorite authors just came up with barely readable books...this must be a record.

Let me start by saying that this is not alternate history...this is not even science fiction...this is...this is...just like the film "2012'!

What I mean with that is a disjointed, confusing, repetitive, pointless, apocalyptic yarn that goes nowhere.

The ENTIRE cast of characters is fairly disagreeable...well maybe not the geologist...but everybody, and i mean everybody, else is
Jan 03, 2012 Mary rated it did not like it
My advice: don't read this. I spent most of the book rooting for the supervolcano to rise up and destroy the characters (with the sole exception of Kelly, the geologist grad student, who is out in the thick of things with the developing volcano. She inexplicably finds love with Colin, the main male character, but I was mostly able to overlook that because she was often the one giving me my volcano fix).

The details about Yellowstone and how it might erupt are done well enough; Turtledove does his
Dec 11, 2011 Annmarie rated it it was ok
Possibly one of the most boring books I've tried this year - I gave up 120 pages in. The characters varied from highly unpleasant to kind of unlikeable. I'd think the author's a bit of a misogynist for the daughter and ex-wife characters and the internal dialog of the cop main character, but really all the characters sucked so perhaps it was all intentional so we'd be happy if they all got smothered in volcano ash. I'm hoping that's what happened in the story, anyway. Not sure how one can make a ...more
Paul Ditroia
Jul 27, 2012 Paul Ditroia rated it did not like it

This man has a PhD in Byzantine history. He has written some of the most well researched, best alternative history novels I've ever read.

Why at this point in his career he chose to write this USA network movie drivel I have no idea.

The characters are one dimensional and unlikable, the event itself in the book was underwhelming, and the aftermath was "So what?". No real drama, no tension. There was about a 10 page section that made me feel like I was playing The Sims. She took something out of h
Jun 29, 2013 Donnelle rated it it was ok
I'll start on a positive note: the material devoted to the actual eruption was good stuff; intense, suspenseful, and even a little scary. The pages devoted to it just flew by, and I really wanted to see what would happen next. Perhaps one of the most compelling aspects of the material was that it was kind of evocative of the series "It Could Happen Tomorrow" on the Weather Channel - it was a worst case scenario type of situation, but the events were compelling, rather than wholly unbelievable.

Feb 05, 2012 Tim rated it did not like it
I was anxious to pick up this book because (a) I'd read quite a few of Turtledove's earlier novels and really enjoyed them and (b) recently read another book on the subject of a super-volcano eruption at Yellowstone called "Ashfall" by Mike Mullin. Technically its a YA novel but thus far its been far superior to the drivel in Turtledove's version.

This may be a first for me in that the author has managed to craft an entire book without a single sympathetic character - except for Pickles, the cat
Dec 18, 2011 Jan rated it did not like it
I had this book on pre-order for two months. I have never been more disappointed by a good author. Not only is this novel a mess of meaningless foreshadowing and characters, the "science" was deplorable. My fifth graders could have constructed a more interesting "what if " story after watching any decent National Geographic super volcano DVD. Despite my frustrations with this book, I slogged all the way to the end, somehow hoping Turtledove was going to craft a clever twist or make me even care ...more
Mar 11, 2014 Renee rated it did not like it
Wowee zowee.

I wanted to like this book SO MUCH and kept plowing through the choppy POV and crappy dialogue but I just can't even finish.

I made it to page 74 and after reading this: "One of the girls behind the desk, a blonde who'd be porky in another five or ten years, had not a clue concealed anywhere about her person."


No. Do not waste your time.
Jun 09, 2016 George rated it did not like it
Recommendation: DON'T READ

Have read many SciFi/Fantasy books as well as book from Turtlesove before. But this book rates as the worst I have ever read. This is a story of a bunch of characters that are frankly not interesting and little developed. The Supervolcano eruption is just a background distraction and not really well dealt with at all.the whole book is quite scatterbrained and little logic or goals come out of it. If you like Soap Operas you might like to read this. But if you are expect
Sep 28, 2012 Kirt rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Didn't survive the first CD. Starting off with a potty-mouthed loser as protagonist was a poor choice by this author. Stick with alternate histories, Harry.
Jul 08, 2012 Tanya rated it did not like it
Oh my god. It has been quite some time since I've read a book I disliked as completely as this one. It had rare, small moments, sure, but overall? The idea of a "What if...?" story involving the supervolcano under Yellowstone isn't bad, it's the book itself.

We open with Colin Ferguson, a Southern California cop, who is on vacation in the Yellowstone area getting over his ex-wife who left him for an aerobics instructor. (My first 'wtf?' moment was that the main character shares a name with an ac
Mar 13, 2012 Hal rated it it was ok
I normally really like Harry Turtledove's books. However, this one left me a little cold.
The basic premise is that the Supervolcano under Yellowstone Park erupts. Now this sounded like a really cool disaster novel.

There are a couple of problems with the novel:
•It takes at least 1/3 of the novel before the Supervolcano actually goes off. This should've happened sooner in the book.
•After it goes off, Harry Turtledove describes some of the devastation, but it's less graphic than I would've liked -
Yellowstone Park is known as a national treasure, and a wonder to behold, but few know about its deadly potential. The park sits atop a gigantic supervolcano, which has gone off in the past, and is due to erupt again virtually any time. Humanity has never witnessed the wrath of a supervolcano... until now. Harry Turtledove begins a new trilogy, Supervolcano, with the first of the series, Eruption.

Synopsis for Eruption :

A supervolcanic eruption in Yellowstone Park sends lava and mud flowing towa
Patrick Di Justo
Feb 03, 2014 Patrick Di Justo rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2013
Come on: it's Harry Turtledove! You know what you're going to get: a smart, tough drill sergeant character (in this case a police LT), a frivolous middle aged woman (his ex wife), a smart younger woman (his new love, a vulcanologist), and a variety of "everyman" younger characters. All the characters will make pop culture references endlessly, and most of them will speak "military" small talk: "Have a good day" "Have a better one".

These characters will all find themselves in a drastically change
Aug 14, 2012 Katie rated it did not like it
Let me just say up front I wasn't able to finish this book.

In the beginning I was actually enjoying it quite a bit. I have read several books by Harry Turtledove and I have learned to forgive his lack of character development in favor of his incredible ability to weave historical and technical details into a realistic, while also fantastic story. I was enjoying the lead up to the volcano eruption, including all the little nerdy bits of volcano science, and was looking forward to an exciting sto
Mar 14, 2012 Schnaucl rated it liked it
I don't know if this is supposed to be part of a series or a stand alone novel. If it's the beginning of a series I'd feel a little differently because it just sort of ends with a bunch of unanswered questions.

I don't normally have trouble keeping characters straight in my head but for some reason I had problems with everyone except the main character and his girlfriend. I'd always have to think for a minute to orient myself with the change in point of view.

I guess I expected more of the book
Dave Moore
Sep 02, 2012 Dave Moore rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: NO ONE
I just finished this book and, honestly, I would be hard-pressed to explain why I stuck with it. Despite an intriguing premise and a great cover, it was nothing more than a soap opera-type glimpse at a dysfunctional family we are given no genuine reason to care about. Further proof of the old saw about a book and it's cover. Being a fan of Crichton, Warren Fahey, and a few others who make their work compelling by making the science central to their plots interesting and suspenseful, the way scie ...more
Feb 21, 2012 Candy rated it did not like it
Not even sure where to start exactly. This book was just not what I expected at all and it was all in a bad way. I was looking forward to a really good epic/global disaster and instead I got a ho-hum effort full of bizarre references and use less scenes.
The author spent more time on less important plots than he did on the actual eruption. There is a killer loose in the LA burbs and that wastes a good 100 or do pages. There is enough family drama to invite Dr. Phill into the mix. Then there is a
Leo Knight
Harry Turtledove specializes in alternate history, taking a moment in history, twisting it around, and asking, "What if?" In this first novel of his latest series, he introduces us to a very real phenomenon, a supervolcano beneath Yellowstone Park. The last time it erupted, it blasted out a caldera the size of Rhode Island. What if it went off today? *Spoiler alert!* It does. The title of the novel is, after all, "Supervolcano: Eruption," not "Supervolcano: It Just Might."

Mr. Turtledove tells hi
Dec 17, 2014 James rated it it was ok
Shelves: science-fiction
Harry, Harry, Harry. Harry, Harry. Harry.

What have you become? What aberration is this? What has become of...

How in Gods name can a novel about the eruption of a super volcano be as dull as volcanic ash?

This books leaves you with more questions than "House of Leaves" and none of the questions are about the story as there doesn't seem to be one.

Maybe in the sequel...

I don't know if I can do it.

I started to read this as a sleep aid or something to help decide what I should have for lunch.

Jul 07, 2014 Wendi rated it liked it
I will admit right up front that I love a good disaster pr0n book, movie, TV show. It's sick, I know.

This wasn't such a bad book. In fact, the actual story is really good. What happens if the volcanos under Yellowstone blew? What happens if you're away from home and get stuck across the country? What happens if the city you lived in was buried under ash and you just got away in time only to land in a refugee camp? What if you're a single parent, just laid off from her job, trying to make ends me
Holden Attradies
I have yet to be disappointed by a Harry Turtledove book. His writing style, of cycling through a large number of point of view characters so you get to see a major world event from many different angles over a long period of time, is rather amazing. As the super volcano under Yellow Stone is something that I've read a lot about this book was right up my isle. I had a hard time putting it down and have already started the next book.

Was it perfect? No, it had a few flaws. After the explosion the
Jordan Anderson
After finishing this one, I have to scratch my head in wonder at the numerous backlash and overwhelming hatred it seems to garner. I'm not saying this is an amazing novel (it isn't), but at the same time, I'm not saying that it's as flat-out awful as a lot of readers would have you think.

Look, I'm a reasonable guy, so I would be remiss to not mention that there are some issues with "Supervolcano". I'll agree that the book moves at a glacier's pace. It's ridiculously slow, even by general fiction
Bruce Nordstrom
Mar 28, 2014 Bruce Nordstrom rated it it was ok
This is going to be hard to write, because I have been a Turtledove fan for years. And I did not like this book.

The premise is that a Super volcano--in this case, Yellowstone National Park--erupts, sending thousands of tons of ash into the atmosphere, lava by the ton rolling across the countryside, huge rocks flying high. It is a disaster of history changing proportions, and it raises hell with the environment as we know it. And yes, this is a fact. Yellowstone is a super volcano, scheduled to e
Charles Nelson
Jul 06, 2016 Charles Nelson rated it did not like it
OK, I'd just read my first Harry Turtledove book, "Joe Steele", and found it an interesting premise and fairly enjoyable story line. So, I decided to read "Eruption" given my penchant for apocalyptic/post-apocalyptic/dystopian novels. I just find them fun to read.

What a disappointment. This book a word...boring. I don't know to even describe how disappointing this book was. The only real disaster that came through in this book was the weak story line that highlighted neither the eruptio
Nov 07, 2015 Robin rated it really liked it
Shelves: library, 2015, audiobook
When I saw this audiobook on the library shelf, I could not pass it by as natural disaster tales are my catnip. A supervolcano comes to life in Yellowstone National Park! The story follows how its eruption effects the lives of one family and the people close to them. I really enjoyed the storytelling and the shifts in focus amongst the large cast of characters-- it was paced really well and the storylines were compelling. I was a bit surprised (and, I'll admit, initially a little disappointed) t ...more
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Dr Harry Norman Turtledove is an American novelist, who has produced a sizeable number of works in several genres including alternate history, historical fiction, fantasy and science fiction.

Harry Turtledove attended UCLA, where he received a Ph.D. in Byzantine history in 1977.

Turtledove has been dubbed "The Master of Alternate History". Within this genre he is known both for creating original sce
More about Harry Turtledove...

Other Books in the Series

Supervolcano (3 books)
  • All Fall Down (Supervolcano, #2)
  • Things Fall Apart (Supervolcano, #3)

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“That anyone would want to be famous still mystified Colin. As TV had trained him to do, he associated the word with divorces and court appearances and rehab and jail time. He knew more than he wanted about all of those except rehab, and that was the one famous people blew off anyway.” 2 likes
“...all the pools are going batshit like you wouldn't believe.... Batshit... It's a technical term... Fleidermausscheisse, okay?"
Fleidermausscheisse? Kelly silently mouthed the word, and as silently clapped her hands. With a dictionary and patience, she could read scientific German. Thanks to fragments of Yiddish from her folks, she could make a better--not good, but better--stab at speaking it than most of her anglophone peers. But she knew she never would have come up with that particular terminus technicus in a million months of Sundays.”
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