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Clade

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3.66  ·  Rating details ·  1,520 ratings  ·  316 reviews
On a beach in Antarctica, scientist Adam Leith marks the passage of the summer solstice. Back in Sydney his partner Ellie waits for the results of her latest round of IVF treatment.

That result, when it comes, will change both their lives and propel them into a future neither could have predicted. In a collapsing England Adam will battle to survive an apocalyptic storm.
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Paperback, 239 pages
Published January 28th 2015 by Hamish Hamilton
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Average rating 3.66  · 
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 ·  1,520 ratings  ·  316 reviews


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Phrynne
Mar 06, 2015 rated it really liked it
Well it must have been a good book because I read it in one afternoon. I really liked the way the author approached the topic of climate change, not as one horrific event but as a background of constant changes against which life carried on as best as it could. What I did not like though was the constant picking up and putting down of characters. Just as I was starting to get to know someone a new chapter started featuring someone completely different. Occasionally I even had to read back to ...more
Figgy
Actual Rating 3.5 Stars

You’re looking for a novel that is an epic, sweeping story of many generations, but at the same time not boring or dull? A novel that covers everything from the birth of a child with asthma to the relationships between a woman and her late father’s ex-wife, all the way through to climate change and bee colony collapse disorder, while not exceeding 250 pages?

Ha, yeah right!

Oh, hold up a minute, this is exactly what James Bradley has managed to do in this short epic novel.


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Mary
This is a plausible, unnerving, and highly pertinent climate change dystopian novel that you should be reading during these troubled times. Clade explores the ways in which we have and will continue to destroy our planet, our relationships, and ourselves, and it does so not with a sudden apocalyptic event, but over time, with a steady downward self-inflicted spiral of mass natural disasters, refugee and immigration crises, wars, crop and species extinction, anti-science leadership and ...more
Susie Munro
reviewed with the benefit of bookclub input. some mild spoilers

I wanted to enjoy this much more than I did, I enjoy Bradley's critical work and was quite looking forward to this novel. The best I can say for it is that it is accessible and decidedly more hopeful than the vast majority of climate change/dystopian fiction.

Clade is more a loosely tied together short story sequence about surviving catastrophic climate change than it is a novel and suffers for it brevity - there's not really any
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Glitterbomb
This was epic in every sense of the word.

Imagine a tale spanning several generations. One that explores the destruction and devastation of climate change, from the very beginning to its end. All in under 250 pages. You would imagine it would be rushed and underdeveloped - lacking in detail. That is not the case here. Clade is an incredibly well thought out, and executed book.

The characters and plot are developed just enough, and you're not bogged down with unnecessary details. Think of a
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Jane
Feb 20, 2015 rated it really liked it
I read a lot of dystopia and I write a little too, and this is by far the most realist - and realistic - of all the stories I've read (or written). Bradley resists the urge to get apocalyptic and instead shows us how the world and lives we've loved will slip away from us like polar ice, sometimes in a trickle, sometimes in giant calving chunks. Clade is not a warning, it's a eulogy.
Sally906
Mar 28, 2015 rated it really liked it

Opens: …As Adam steps outside the cold strikes him like a physical thing, the shock still startling after all these weeks…


I have to confess I had never heard of the book CLADE or its author James Bradly until it was discussed on the Sunday Book club on ABC recently. CLADE is an unusual book in that it looks the scenario of the possible effects of climate change and how it impacts on the world through the eyes of three generations of one family, the Leith family, and some characters who come into
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Jenny
Mar 11, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: spec-fiction
A better title would be: Snapshots because this is essentially snapshots of various characters lives. I generally dislike books that are written to an agenda - and this author has plenty of those. Global warming is his main bugbear, as is immigration - and while he does do a reasonable job of creating characters to showcase his views, I couldn't help feeling lectured to at times. Also a point of irritation for me is that the sections of this book I enjoyed and the characters I began to connect ...more
Shaun Hutchinson
I found this book oddly compelling yet ultimately lacking. It's basically a series of short stories following members of a family with climate change as the background noise. There were a lot of really wonderful elements here that I would have enjoyed if they'd been developed in a meaningful way, but just as we get into the character, the chapter ends and the story moves on and we never really get any kind of exploration of the subject or characters.

At the end of the day, this felt like a book
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RitaSkeeter
Jan 29, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I first became acquainted with Bradley's work through his short story Beauty's Sister, that was published a kindle single. That was so utterly wonderful that I placed him on my list to watch out for future works. Which brings us to Clade . The blurb for Clade didn't grab me, I have to say. The worry I had was whether a book could adequately do justice to multiple generations of a family in only 240 or so pages?

The book is set in a not so distant future where climate change has brought both the
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Sarah
Jan 18, 2020 rated it did not like it
I was uncertain of what the book was about based on the description but I was curious. It turns out the description is vague because the book is. It's set up in sections that are told from the perspective of different characters and each section leaps forward in time, but it does a poor job of telling you who these people are. There was one point where I had the gender wrong for half the section because it gave me no info on who this person was and I thought it was a different character, the ...more
Stuart Dunstan
Jan 27, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Literary science fiction at its best. This book might draw comparisons to David Mitchell's The Bone Clocks (following connected characters over decades) or Margaret Atwood's MaddAddam trilogy (near-future/environmental theme), but it lacks the flashy, over-the-top SF elements and length of Bone Clocks, and that's a good thing.
The writing is so wonderfully succinct, grounded, and elegant that it most reminded me of Ursula Le Guin. A really great read to kick off 2015.
Carina
Feb 17, 2015 rated it really liked it
Quiet, melancholic, beautiful writing. Enthralled by the flood chapter. Not convincing in it's "every ending is a beginning" theme surfacing hesitantly towards the end, but perhaps that's the point - it's a possibility rather than a promise.
Kate
Powerful and elegant - quietly terrifying.

Keith Stevenson
Jan 29, 2015 rated it really liked it
This review originally appeared in http://newtownreviewofbooks.com.au

A near-future novel that uses the devastating effects of climate change as its setting and yet isn’t a complete downer: that’s quite an achievement, particularly as it also avoids resorting to the kind of Hollywood, gung-ho ‘Hey, we saved everyone, anyway’ device to make it all better. If I had to sum up James Bradley’s Clade in one word, it would be ‘unexpected’.

A ‘clade’ encompasses all the members of a species alive and dead
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Rose
Apr 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
Not really dystopian, not really post-apocalyptic, because the apocalypse, most realistically, extends over a lifetime and occurs as a series of bangs and a long, drawn-out whimper. Yet, despite that, the book was strangely hopeful. A very internal examination of how people respond to crisis, set within a very realistic and non-melodramatic vision of how the Anthropocene may go.
Kathryn
Not quite what I was expecting, and it paints a rather scary and somewhat bleak view of what the future could hold.

It was tricky to work out what was happening in each section at times, sometimes with big jumps in time after the previous section, so I would have appreciated some indication of time in the title of each section.
Carolyn
Jan 02, 2015 rated it really liked it

A clade is defined as "a life-form group consisting of an ancestor and all its descendants"(wikipedia.org). In this novel, James Bradley follows not only three generations of one family as they grapple with climate change but also the past and future of the human race as we must adapt to the changes we have wrought on our planet.

The novel opens in Antarctica with Adam Leith, a climate change scientist finding out that his wife Ellie is pregnant with their daughter Summer after two years of IVF.
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Steph
Mar 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Clade stopped me in my tracks. A novel which moves forward into the future as environmental changes continue, and societal change results, with a focus on one family. It does this through a series of snapshots, with unknown but large swaths of time inbetween, and jumping perspectives (as well as styles/tone). James Bradley says he felt Clade was like a piece of music, and he wanted it to work as images or motifs, stories that spoke to each other across the book. These little moments of different ...more
Christopher Wright
Dec 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I delved into this marvellous novel two nights ago and was immediately seized by the characters and narrative. What a brilliant visualization of our troubled future brought to life through the perspectives of three generations of an extended family. The story begins in the near future as we follow a young scientist during his fieldwork in Antarctica, musing on the state of the planet while waiting for news from his wife about the latest round of IVF. We then fast forward to this family's future ...more
Carol Ryles
Mar 05, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I found myself quickly caught up in this entirely plausible plot and the interconnected lives of the numerous point-of-view characters. There were some gaps caused by the lengthy time spans between chapters that left me wondering, especially regarding how order returned after the chaos caused by each successive disaster; and most notably allowing a scientific project that even in these wealthy times is considered by many to be of low priority. Having said that, I enjoyed the symbolism and sense ...more
Claire
Apr 10, 2015 rated it liked it
I bought this book as a 'blind date'. It came wrapped in brown paper and string with the words 'dystopic', 'climate' and 'unsettling' written on it. I was pleasantly surprised by this novel. It held my interest and is very nicely written. My only gripe is that it jumps around just a little too much for my liking and I would have like to know a bit more about each section than I ever did. However, I have just finished it this moment and that may settle when a bit of time to mull over it has ...more
Sandy Papas
Feb 03, 2015 rated it really liked it
4.5 - Kinda like David Mitchell meets Richard Flanagan. Great book, very thought provoking , partly terrifying but ultimately reassuring as well.
Regina
May 25, 2015 rated it liked it
I was totally into Clade, however around the 80% mark it all unraveled for me and became quite a chore to read.

First 80% 4 stars. Last 20% 2 stars. So I'll give it 3 stars overall.

Aaron
Oct 26, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Well written, but never coalesced into a full story that I could really sink my teeth into. We are given a view of the earth falling apart under disease, rising waters, the dying off of animals and new weather patterns from the perspectives of several different characters all tied together. Yet the "story" I was looking for never emerged.
Without giving full explanations, we are provided the viewpoints of different characters, most from the same family, of a world being ravaged by the effects of
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PVLD Reads
Jan 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: adult-fic
This is an epic story in a small package. It takes place just as humanity is starting to feel the huge and very rapid results of climate change: bees are disappearing, there are huge flooding disasters all year round all over the world, and populations are being displaced throughout. But all of these events take place against the background of a very quiet and tender story of a family moving through this environment, trying to solve family relationships on top of trying to survive. This novel ...more
Sue
Dec 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: dystopian
This is a book about how climate change will affect the future of the world. It starts out in Antarctica where Adam is studying the effects of climate change and quickly moves to Australia when his first child is born. After that it quickly moves to England where his now grown daughter and her son stay with him through an apocalyptic storm. The book jumped around a lot to the major characters but once I was able to get everyone figured out, I felt like it was a good way to keep the story moving. ...more
Deborah
This does read like a collection of related short stories. I liked it/them, found it very readable, despite not always knowing when and where the story had got to, or who a first person narrator was.
The changes of style and voice suited the scope of the story.
I'm not convinced by the ending - except that maybe the youth of that character explains the optimism...
I loved the reference to the Sixteenth Doctor.
Not sure about the depiction of a person on the autism spectrum - how he is, how
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Amy
Mar 17, 2018 rated it liked it
The first two-thirds of this book were easily a five, but then it all broke down when the story jumped around and stopped being as cohesive. There’s some really beautiful stuff in there about what humanity would be like when Earth turns into a sinking lifeboat, and that part is nice.

I’m not sure if it was just the copy I read, but this book smelled fantastic. It was a new book, so either they just came that way or someone who does an impressive amount of laundry borrowed it before me; it had
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ashley c
Jun 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
Clade writes poignant, quietly moving stories about climate change through the perspectives of individuals. There's something very disconcerting to read about the ways everyday life can quickly return to normalcy in the face of drastic environmental and societal changes. It's sobering.

I loved following Noah's life. As a child he braved a lot of uncertainty and difficult changes as the world shifted and adjusted around him, his family, his neighbourhood, and his community. There was a lot of loss
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Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the GoodReads database with this name. See this thread for more information.

James is the author of four novels: the critically acclaimed climate change narrative, Clade (Hamish Hamilton 2015), The Resurrectionist (Picador 2006), which explores the murky world of underground anatomists in Victorian England and was featured as one of Richard and
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