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Der Schwarm

4.05  ·  Rating details ·  14,455 ratings  ·  919 reviews
"Die Yrr haben die Welt für alle Zeiten verändert." Letzter Tagebucheintrag, nachdem die Welt haarscharf am Untergang entlanggeschrammt war. Alles hatte angefangen mit einem peruanischen Fischer. Das letzte was Ucañan in seinem Leben zu sehen bekam, war eine riesige silbrig glitzernde Fläche, die näher kam. Ein Schwarm Goldmakrelen, dachte er erfreut. Ucañan irrte. Was ihn ...more
Paperback, 987 pages
Published October 26th 2005 by Fischer Taschenbuch Verlag (first published 2004)
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Average rating 4.05  · 
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 ·  14,455 ratings  ·  919 reviews


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Jacob Jones-Goldstein
Sep 10, 2007 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: scifi
This is probably the only non-political book where I wanted to punch the author in the face after reading it. Possibly the most irritating book I have read since The Dark Tower. the book is fine for about 600 pages, then Frank loses it completely.

First off, if after 600 pages you don't care whether a single character lives or dies, you know your in trouble. Secondly, if you are going to make the argument that everyone is just a mass of DNA and everything we do is the sole outcome of that DNA, w
...more
Fran
Speculative fiction at it's very best, and if the genre in which it has been categorized doesn't make you curious perhaps nothing will, for this is an apocalyptic eco-thriller, focused on telling the story of who is behind a series of catastrophic natural events occurring all too close together to be coincidental.

I loved this book. Not only is the science behind it solid (the author even spent some time sampling the gelid waters of the Northern Seas along a bunch of scientist) but the story is
...more
Morad Bagoury
Feb 15, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is by far one of the most amazing books I have ever read in my life. First off, the plot is beyond epic. For as long as we can remember, we have always thought about the existence of aliens in outer space, but we rarely thought about them being underwater. This is where Schatzing does his magic and really gets you going. Many of you know the famous line:
We know more about space than we know about our own oceans
Well, this statement is out into action after (view spoiler)This is by far one of the most amazing books I have ever read in my life. First off, the plot is beyond epic. For as long as we can remember, we have always thought about the existence of aliens in outer space, but we rarely thought about them being underwater. This is where Schatzing does his magic and really gets you going. Many of you know the famous line:
We know more about space than we know about our own oceans
Well, this statement is out into action after (view spoiler)
Secondly, I feel obliged to compliment the author's writing style. I could swear that he made me itch to turn the page at the end of each chapter. His style is suspenseful, logical and very fast-paced. You won't have a single moment of rest with this book, that is guaranteed.
Lastly, I would like to give all readers an important piece of advice regarding this book:
DO NOT, I REPEAT,DO NOT TAKE THIS BOOK WITH YOU TO THE BEACH, AS YOU WILL COME TO REGRET IT LIKE I HAVE

A five star-rating is in order here....Well done, Frank..
...more
K.D. Absolutely
Apr 17, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to K.D. by: 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die (2008-2012)
Nature strikes back. This is the most important message of this book: we have to take care of our environment and that definitely includes the sea, the ocean. In this wonderful sci-fi book, a group of scientists have to fight against the Yrr, an alien kind of one-celled microorganisms found in the bottom of the sea that have the ability to eat away the continental drift and when these pesky creatures destroy the drift, it causes tsunami and flooding. These Yrr can even pollute small crabs and lobste ...more
Chris_P
Jul 25, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
From the first time I laid eyes on the plot of The Swarm, I knew I had to read it. Nature taking revenge through marine animals for all the shit man has caused. Whales killing people, worms coordinating their efforts to cause tsunamis, mutant crabs spreading a deadly virus and so on... I was imagining Tool's Ænema in literary form. Now, I'm left wondering how such a good idea can end up so fucked up...

Well, the answer is rather simple. The greek edition is 1018 pages long. Every 20-30 pages of
...more
Kirschkuchen
Mar 23, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Sigur Johanson is a wormologist (He's actually a biologist at the university Trontheim and an expert for worms). Accidentally, there's a strange species of deep sea worms that eat a lot of stuff with complicated names. Things threaten to collapse on a continental level. Basically, the world as we know it will crumble under the impact of worms (so far so awesome).

Leon Anawak is a whalist (he's a maritime scientist and studies whale behaviour) and is taken aback when he watches whales
...more
Gudmundur
Pretty good yarn if not taken too seriously. The strengths are that the story is obviously well researched and the biological and scientific explanations given look quite convincing (although my knowledge of the field is admittedly limited). The "enemy" is interesting and adequately mind-boggling for a sci-fi yarn. The cons: The characterization is pretty weak, and some of the characters are far too cartoonish to be convincing (Judith Li, Greywolf...); the technique of the all knowing narrator i ...more
Isi
Oct 15, 2009 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
A great plot idea by a terrible author. Not recommended. Characters are flat, one-dimensional, and predictable, at times the book is downright sexist and, yes, racist. Language (I read the German original) is puerile and often vulgar in a dumb, embarrassing way. While some of the science in the book appears plausible to me, other aspects are strangely under-researched: Who ever heard of the rank of "general commander" in the US Navy? The absolute low is when Schätzing descends into the depths of ...more
Cindy
Jan 31, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Cindy by: 1001 Books Group Read
I'm wavering between 2 and 3 stars for this Crichton-esque brick of a sea-thriller.

On one hand you have whales, crabs, dolphins, sea worms, shoals, and sharks galore. All awesome. Oh and the top fru-fru Parisian restaurant infested with gooey lobsters. Right on. Also, there's some interesting thoughts on life-forms, consciousness, collectives and intelligence. I'll be thinking about those ideas for a while, even if they aren't anything new. The thriller and horror part of the story w
...more
A Girl Has No Name
Aug 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: crime-thriller, 2017
3.5 stars rounded up to 4!

The Swarm by Frank Schätzing has been on my TBR for quite a while and I am very happy that I have finally given this book a try. I liked the blurb and the premise of nature rebelling against how it is misstreated by humanity. Wales, worms and other animals are apparently working together in order to put a stop to the human infraction of nature.

I definitley liked the whole concept of the story and the fact that dangerous things are happening at different places all around the world. Scient
...more
Valeer Damen
May 11, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Schätzing has done a great amount of research for this, inquiring at actual marine biology institutes and other knowledge centres. If you look around a bit, you will note that his information is still up to date.

He manages to tread the fine line between too much information and superficiality very well. He makes accessible scientific information to a lay audience, which might be the most praiseworthy author's activity there is. I'd be grateful if he could write a book like this on ev
...more
elvedril
May 20, 2007 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, sci-fi
A well written thriller with a very interesting plot. Despite its strengths it is held back by an unlikely premise and the author's inability to stop pontificating about international politics through his characters.

It reads like a bit like a multi-writer Mary Sue story. I don't mean the fact that pretty much every important character is a certifiable genius, that's fine since the story revolves around the top experts in multiple fields working together. Okay, that's wrong, it's not fine. It's
...more
Ang
Dec 06, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
What an incredible book this is! Recommending it to anyone who's ever had scientific interest, wondered about alien intelligence, chaos, the environment, animals, people, humanity, politics... anything really! What an incredible book

Reading it again, it's so awesome!!! 😋
Free Fall
Oct 20, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
After I read this book for the first time, it remained my favorite for half a year. I still enjoy going back and reading my favorite parts occasionally. On the other hand, it's really heavy. Difficult to curl up in bed with.

The plot starts with several scientists scattered around the world who start to notice odd things about the ocean. The odd and disturbing occurrences build up until - bam - apocalypse. Actually, it's a small version of the apocalypse, but close enough.

...more
Sadie
An interesting mix of eco-thriller and "What if" and some kind of pre dystopian drama (yes, I'm having some troubles fitting this one into my genres/shelves ;)).

This book isn't perfect, the characters are not round enough for me to keep them all apart at all times, some kind of glossar/cast list would've been nice (or maybe that's just my edition?) Anyways, the book makes it up with an quite exciting plot that was fast paced for the most time. Not all of it - some scenes were a bit t
...more
Jule
Mar 02, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
wow, wow. wow wow wow wow wow.

this book stole my nights last december. i almost missed christmas for the sake of finishing it as soon as i could. i dare say it is one of the best books i ever ever read. of the books of its kind, i mean. too many days in december i felt drowsy because i was unable to put the book back on the night stand the previous night.

i read this book in its german original and enjoyed reading in my own language so much. schätzing did an impressive job, res
...more
Dimitra
Mar 13, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: lonely-novels
FINALLY!!!
After keeping this book on my tbr shelf for 7 years, after almost 2 months of reading, I FINALLY finished this ginormous thing!!!

I can't say that I didn't enjoy reading it, but it certainly was a struggle...
In my opinion, it would be perfect if it was like 300-500 pages long.
1000+ with continous, repetitive scences of experiments and researches without any explanation of that...thing...were too much!

But the moments of thrill, twists and suspens
...more
Fiona Brichaut
Jul 25, 2009 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: waste-of-time
I read this because it was recommended by a colleague and the environmentalist stand was close to my heart.

Made it through around 200 pages before I gave up, having realised I had just wasted 2 weeks of my reading life. (The fact that it took me 2 weeks to read 200 pages says it all.) It's just one long bla bla bla bla bla of "scientificky" jargon. The only mildy interesting part was the chef being attacked by a lobster, but since it takes about 5 lines in the telling, don't hold you
...more
Jay
Jan 19, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Mita
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Christina
Jan 23, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: vacationers, beach bums, science geeks
Recommended to Christina by: my sister...
I really enjoyed this book in spite of the author's glib b.s. politics and his supremely b.s. hairstyle. This is clearly a man with so much ego it passes for no self respect. Let's be honest, it was tasty paperback fare.
Take that as you will.
Sabrina
May 20, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: science-fiction
I’m torn about this book. On the one hand, I want everyone to like and read it, because this Science Fiction story is written by a German author and widely read in the German-speaking community. I mean have you seen how many reviews this book has? And what a rating! On the other hand, now, that I’ve read all 1000 pages of it (on a positive note, it might be shorter in English, Germans use a lot of words), I wouldn’t want to repeat the experience.

Let’s just summarise the positives and
...more
Spyros
May 03, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A year of big books. I am not slacking. But this is the second a-thousander (= a book of 1000+ pages, my creation. move along now pleb) I read this year. And probably another one follows so this year's challenge is doomed

So. I absolutely loved the concept. Underwater aliens, science and environmental issues: precisely my cup of tea. Pretty hard sci-fi. I had a few issues when genomics were involved but other than that, kudos for all the science facts. I actually learned quite a few t
...more
Jody
If Dan Brown was German and wrote underwater sci-fi, this would be the result.

Bloated, cheesy, and filled with awfully written characters & tired old tropes - women defined by their looks, younger women in love with middle-aged men, and almost cartoonishly evil Americans. A lot of completely unnecessary romance & bizarrely placed introspection - case in point below:

He did feel scared and unsure of himself- more so with every step that took them closer to the hangar deck. What if/>He
...more
Vera
Dec 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Frank Schätzing is a hype in Germany and so I got his latest book, 'The Tyranny of the Butterfly' which I, honestly, didn't like too much - it was too much of an action thriller than the dystopian novel on artificial intelligence I was expecting or hoping for.

I am very glad that, despite my disappointment, did pick up The Swarm a couple of weeks later. It was actually just because it was on one of the trays in the library and I thought 'Ah well, why not.' But this book blew me away. Once again
...more
Lester
Dec 16, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wow! What an achievement! The story begins with strange happenings in the ocean and its creatures, and takes a tremendous twist - the jacket cover description of an 'ecological thriller' is apt. So rather than talk about the story, I will talk about the writing.

The first thing that really struck me was the pace of the book. It begins as the events do - slow, sporadic, and almost lethargic. The reader is lulled into a feeling that strange things are happening, but they are going to ta
...more
Diego
Dec 02, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: literature, science
This is a gripping book, and in his first part a thrilling one. The author spent several years to get all the scientific background that let him to write a convincing story. And he really achieved his objective, because the text results highly precise describing the stunning nature, at the same time it never loses pace.

The main focus of the plot is a world biological crisis, although the main characters don’t realize the magnitude of the events until the middle of the book. The story
...more
Jennifer Barbee
I felt very half-and-half on this novel. I felt as though it worked very well when it was a disaster/adventure novel, and often became extremely tedious when it got mired in politics and the minutae of scientific theory. I think that my favorite part about this book was this:

I bought the book used on Amazon, and it arrived still tagged and stamped from the Brooklyn Public Library. Peppered through the book was a commentary written in pencil by (what I would judge by the handwriting t
...more
Dan Henk
Dec 31, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A good, but flawed book.
Great setup, great concept, and you can tell the author did his homework on the technical details. A fairly long book, but the writing flows easily, and the suspenseful premise keeps you reading. That is, until towards the end. I would say it suffers from the same affliction as the movie Event Horizon. Amazing beginning, great concept, with a storyline that winds you up, making you expect a great payoff. Which isn't quite there. Partially, it's the final concept, an
...more
Katie
Feb 18, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: suspense
I haven't liked a book this much in a long time, but I'm sure it's not for everyone... It reads a lot like a Michael Crichton book; disaster novel backed up with a lot of science, which the author takes the time to give a simple overview. But the end-of-the-world scenario is refreshingly unique: the sea is fighting back against humanity's poisoning. The first half is an Eco-thriller of epic proportions. The last few pages end with some deep thinking questions. All in all, an excellent read.
Jennicem
Jul 14, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I didn't hate this book. But I didn't love it either. Maybe all the American stuff bothered me a little... But I'm an American so I'm sensitive. Maybe it was all just too much. I would not say "do not read this book, it sucks", I would say if you want to take on this 800+ whopper be prepared to be bombarded with biology overload and totally confusing conclusion. If you don't have anything else to read for the next month or longer, go for it. But buy some extra strength headache medicine.
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Schätzing was born in Cologne and studied communication studies; he later ran his own company, an advertising agency named INTEVI, in Cologne. Schätzing became a writer in 1990, and penned several novellas and satires. His first published novel was the historical Tod und Teufel in 1995, and in 2000 his thriller Lautlos.

Schätzing achieved his greatest success in 2004 with the science fi
...more
“I'm a reasonable kind of guy. If I hear something that seems to make sense, I'm willing to give it the benefit of the doubt. If the alternative explanation has to be pounded into shape before it fits the mould of our experience, it seems to me that it's unlikely to be true.” 7 likes
“It was the mystery that biologists from Darwin onwards had been longing to solve. How could we understand the ability of fish and seals to survive in the cold dark waters of the Antarctic? How could humans see inside a biotope that was sealed with layers of ice? What would the Earth look like from the sky, if we crossed the Mediterranean on the back of a goose? How did it feel to be a bee? How could we measure the speed of an insect’s wings and its heartbeat, or monitor its blood pressure and eating patterns? What was the impact of human activities, like shipping noise or subsea explosions, on mammals in the depths? How could we follow animals to places where no human could venture?” 2 likes
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