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Lost Everything

by
3.37  ·  Rating Details ·  315 Ratings  ·  71 Reviews
From the author of the critically acclaimed literary SF novels Spaceman Blues and Liberation comes an incandescent and thrilling post-apocalyptic tale in the vein of 1984 or The Road.

In the not-distant-enough future, a man takes a boat trip up the Susquehanna River with his most trusted friend, intent on reuniting with his son. But the man is pursued by an army, and his ow
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ebook, 304 pages
Published April 10th 2012 by Tor Books
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Lori
Read 4/15/16 - 5/2/16
4 Stars - Strongly Recommend to readers with a love for the post-apocalyptic and with a load of patience
Pages: 304
Publisher: Tor Books
Released: 2012







Lost Everything takes its readers on a slow, sleepy crawl across the Susquehanna River in a not-so-distant post apocalyptic future where civil war and severe storms, brought about by economic hardships in the face of global warming, threaten to bring the country to its very knees and take the lives of anyone stupid enough to get
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zxvasdf
Aug 10, 2011 zxvasdf rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Mexico native Alfonso Cuarón directed the cinematic adaptation of PD James's Children of Men. I couldn't understand what I loved about this movie. I watched it again. Then I watched Yu tu Mama Tambien. Then I understood. Cuarón's consummate skill is in telling the story of the world outside that of the protagonist's perspective, effectively reducing the landscape into a vital character of the narrative. His camera wanders, and the world slides by, telling its story merely by being framed.

The sam
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Jake
Aug 26, 2012 Jake rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Lost Everything is like Cormac McCarthy's The Road if written by Terrence Malick. So stark and bleak yet so...ethereal. I loved it when I was done, even though getting to the end was a struggle at times. The primary story, about a pair of men floating up the now-mighty Susquehanna River during an unspecified war in the near future to find a lost son, is riveting. But every single character introduced gets a backstory, with tangents and diversions and unexplained details, to the point that the ma ...more
Brad Hodges
Here's yet another book about the collapse of society following some sort of calamity, but instead of nuclear war it's the rising tides caused by global warming. I read Lost Everything, by Brian Francis Slattery, because it won some award, but I didn't find it award-worthy. It's a dull, dreary book that I soldiered through, much like the characters as they fight for survival.

Set in the Susquehanna River valley, the book focuses on disparate characters. The rising of the oceans seems to have diss
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Kelly
Jan 02, 2012 Kelly rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Brian Francis Slattery, look, I love you, but your all sweeping description of looking out over the landscape of America like some kind of Kerouac-slash-Steinbeck all the time no real plot development to speak of oh wait what the fuck that was the ending shtick is going to get old eventually. EVENTUALLY.
Shaun Duke
May 07, 2012 Shaun Duke rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Reviewing Slattery's Lost Everything will seem rather convenient in light of Elizabeth Bear's Clarkesworld post on the doom and gloom nature of SF. How awful of me to love another work that makes us all sad and boo hoo inside! Except Lost Everything isn't terribly boo hoo, unless the only thing you pay attention to is the central premise: the United States has gone to pot -- global collapse, climate change, and civil war, along with the looming threat of an immense, monstrous storm that will sup ...more
Terry Weyna
What will happen to America as the effects of global warming continue to wreak havoc? Brian Francis Slattery imagines a much different country in Lost Everything, which has been nominated for a Philip K. Dick Award for 2012 for the best paperback original novel.

Slattery imagines that the country we know as the United States is gone, replaced by smaller, regional countries that are engaged in civil war. The Susquehanna River Valley is in the middle of such a war, about which we are told little s
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Andrew
Apr 10, 2012 Andrew rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The war, the war. There was no Fort Sumter, no Pearl Harbor, no moment that we all understood at once that we were fighting. No one to tell us things had changed. There must have been a first shot fired, perhaps two men—it must have been men—arguing over where one’s land began and another’s ended, a first bullet flinging a ribbon of heat through the air. Another one shot back. But I have to believe they did not know what they were starting. If they knew, why would they have shot? An army was rai ...more
Alexandra
Apr 19, 2012 Alexandra rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
While Brian Francis Slattery is an established Science Fiction author, I would place this apocalyptic novel somewhere between Cormac McCarthy’s “The Road” and Mark Twain’s “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.”

Set in a not-too-distant future, two or three generations at most, global warming has brought the United States into a drought-fueled civil war between government forces and a revolutionary army. Amidst this violent and blighted backdrop, Slattery follows Sunny Jim and his preacher friend
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Brendan
May 16, 2016 Brendan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Vastly superior to Cormac McCarthy's over-hyped and over-rated "The Road", Lost Everything is a strange, fey, elegiac tale set in a not-distant-enough future America ravaged by climate change, economic collapse, and civil war. Sunny Jim, a taciturn man with a violent and troubled past, undertakes a journey up the flooded Susquehanna River valley on a mission to collect his son Aaron, whom he left in the charge of his wild, animistic sister Merry. Accompanying him on the journey is Reverend Bauxi ...more
Sofia Samatar
Jun 09, 2013 Sofia Samatar rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
In the midst of violent climate change and war, a man travels on the swollen Susquehanna River to find the son he left behind. This is an important aspect of the novel, but it's also an elevator pitch: it's what I would say if I were trying to sell you the book in five minutes. I would also say: "It's The Road meets Huckleberry Finn!!!" Like all good promotional material, this is true, but it fails to express what I love about the book: the sentences stripped down to a piercing clarity, the use ...more
Gerhard
Aug 03, 2013 Gerhard rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2013
On p35, the unnamed narrator remarks: “There are no words for so much loss, not right after it happens.” Except the problem with Lost Everything is precisely the opposite: there are too many words here. A brimful cornucopia of imagery that overwhelms the reader, with writing so lush and overripe that the very pages seem to shimmer and curl. It reminded me of JG Ballard and Ian McDonald. However, the richness of the writing distanced me from the characters, as I was too conscious of Slattery’s li ...more
Cameluta
***I was lucky to win an advance copy of this book from tor.com.***

This was a very good book, well written, with very realistic characters. You fell the war destruction, and the characters' struggling in every word. The reason I didn't give the book five stars is because it was so depressing (but this made it so realistic). I had to stop reading several times - it was just too much suffering and destruction.
Edwina
Jun 25, 2012 Edwina rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm still reading. Everything is going to pot, I'm told who will live, who will die. I might be told how this happens. I don't count on it. I don't know who's talking. Is it death? But no. Death wouldn't feed people, just take them away. I'll keep reading to the end. I won't recommend it.

I keep imagining little squiggly lines under the clauses that are sentences without verbs. Very distracting.

I think I'd like to read his other books. Later. Not soon.
First Second Books
I love how in this book there’s the apocalypse – but it’s not filled with zombies, nuclear explosions, or Revelations. Instead, it’s just moderately-quietly concluding, in a kind of ‘fade to white as the sky opens up like an orange’ sort of deal.

Also I love how the protagonists in this ‘we have to go and get this kid home safely to his parents’ story are men, because the relevant women in their lives are busy fighting wars and are not available for kid-wrangling today.
Tobias
Dec 03, 2012 Tobias rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
I really enjoyed Slattery's 'Liberation,' and was hoping this novel would be just as good. I was very disappointed. He's an excellent writer, but this novel went nowhere - like McCarthy's 'The Road' but with an uneven, disjointed plot. As in the case of 'The Road,' Slattery offers no specifics as to how the world was ruined, just handwaving in the direction of climate change. What was so great about 'Liberation' was his ability to bring a social scientist's eye to the genre.
Marci Glasgow-Haire
The voice was jumbled, disjointed; the story bleak (as, of course, apocalyptic stories are meant to be) and climate-change-preachy. A little more cohesion to the narrative would've made for a much better book. Heck, even an introduction to the narrator would've gone a long way.

I'm being generous with the two stars. It probably only deserves 1.5. Don't waste your time.
Mere Hruby
Mar 05, 2015 Mere Hruby rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I only finished the book because I paid for it. The characters were flat as well as the plot line. If it was supposed to be a story of the journey one would think the journey would have contained a revelation of self or the world... No such luck. The conclusion made me think, "Really. ALL that for this?". It was definitely not satisfying.
Cameron
Jul 07, 2012 Cameron rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: post-apocalypse
Too dreamy, too many shifts of perspective and time, too few context clues. Some pretty big holes in the setting as well - for example: it would take a lot longer than 100 years for climate change to turn North America into a tropical jungle.
Phil
Apr 20, 2014 Phil rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Do not waste time on this book! The author may have a gift for describing the new ways of the steamy and rotten planet Earth but his plot was thin and characters not believable.
Donovan Richards
No One Should Be Mother Teresa

I vaguely remember a provocative paper assigned in ethics during my undergraduate years. Since I forget specifics, it’s probably not the best analogy, but I find it particularly fits with Brian Francis Slattery’s Lost Everything.

The author of this paper argued that nobody should aim to act like Mother Teresa. First off, the baseline for her code of ethics is too high for most of humanity to reach. Additionally, people can’t relate to the Mother Teresa-types of this
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Eric
Jan 15, 2017 Eric rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I picked this book up for a couple of reasons - and none of them appear to have been the right reasons.

The setting of this book is the area where I currently live. Descriptions of places are easy for me to picture. Things like the Market Street Bridge can be seen from my office on a daily basis. That was not nearly enough to make me enjoy the book more.

My first issue was the writing style itself. It was an odd sort of future reminiscence - almost as if somebody on the other side of this unholy d
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Julie
Hm. How to talk about this book. It took me an entire month to read it, versus the way I devoured the two previous ones. It moves at a very sedate and languid pace, mimicking the Susquehanna River where all of the action is set -- like a sort of meandering sepia-toned post-apocalyptic Heart of Darkness. Another reader described this book as that "those last 5 minutes before you fall fast asleep", and Slattery mentioned that that was the exact hazy time of day in which he wrote the first draft.

Wh
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Adam
Dec 31, 2016 Adam rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Dreamy sort of story about the lost world, end of the world, in upstate and Pennsylvania. Not bad writing but not that compelling of characters. Peaceful, kindhearted in a sort of horrible world.
Chris Holly
May 26, 2013 Chris Holly rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
You will either love this book or really dislike this book. I personally found it well written, solidly focused on the topic it intended to cover and deliciously inexact when needed to be.
Slattery gives us a narrative that is reminiscent of Stephen King's more free associating moments and Cormac McCarthy in "The Road", but these are only mere comparisons. "Lost Everything" is about a man, his wife, their son and a world gone mad in war and in weather. Everyone is tired of the war and there is no
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Philip Alexander
Brian Slattery's Lost Everything is dystopian fiction that has been compared to The Road by Cormac McCarthy. The two books are comparable thematically, but the similarities end there. Lost Everything is a uniquely structured story; a number of time periods and dramatic events stitched together, a tapestry of doom, told by an unidentified survivor / narrator. The earth and it inhabitants have been pounded into submission by massive climate change, bringing natural disasters, destruction, scarce s ...more
Tabitha Vohn
Mar 31, 2016 Tabitha Vohn rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: high-brow
I fear my opinion of this novel is as disjointed as the story itself.

There are primarily two extremities in literature: one to solely entertain and to have no purpose of meaning beyond a pleasant distraction. The other to fully immerse the reader in the beauty and complexity of language in such a way as to create a labyrinth of words the reader must experience more so than digest a plot.

Good literature--in my opinion--does both. Lost Everything does both, but with a heavy leaning towards the la
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Althea Ann
May 24, 2012 Althea Ann rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A slow boat ride through the apocalypse...
I heard the author at a reading shortly after finishing the book, and he's much too apologetic about his book being negative and depressing. Embrace it! Everything is going to hell! Yes!
That said, it's actually not as depressing as it might be. Yes, the United States is in a state of socio-economic collapse, wracked by a civil war fueled by desperation and despair. There's a lot of misery, denial, malaise, and yes, a great deal of loss.
But, judged by th
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Paper Droids
Mar 05, 2013 Paper Droids rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wow. Really, wow. If I could just write that one word for the whole review, I would. Brian Francis Slattery’s Lost Everything is wow. Go get yourself a copy – my work here is done.

Oh, I guess you want to find out why I’m so bowled over by its greatness. Where do I begin?

At its most basic, Lost Everything is about a riverboat journey, a story of a man named Sunny Jim trying to get to his young son, Aaron, in the midst of a battlefield. America is in ruins, devastated by the storms and disasters w
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Dusty Summers
Feb 01, 2017 Dusty Summers rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
"They tried to tell us that what happened to them would happen to us, too, but we could not hear the message. Mistook it for nostalgia, when they were speaking prophecy."

"These cords that God makes, Reverend Bauxite thought, we stand holding one end while they run taut into the darkness. We are connected, to what, we do not know. But if we put the frayed ends up to our ears, we can hear voices."

"Do you see? How the world is now? Nobody can say quite how it came to be this way. There is too much.
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Sci-fi and Heroic...: 2012 P. K. Dick Award winner announced 1 20 Apr 02, 2013 07:32AM  
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“These cords that God makes, Reverend Bauxite thought, we stand holding one end while they run taut into the darkness.” 2 likes
“They tried to tell us that what happened to them would happen to us, too, but we could not hear the message. Mistook it for nostalgia, when they were speaking prophecy.” 0 likes
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