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The Raft

3.74  ·  Rating details ·  268 ratings  ·  70 reviews
“The day every person on earth lost his and her memory was not a day at all. In people's minds there was no actual event. . . and thus it could be followed by no period of shock or mourning. There could be no catharsis. Everyone was simply reset to zero.”

On Day Zero, the collapse of civilization was as instantaneous as it was inevitable. A mysterious and oppressive movemen
Hardcover, 424 pages
Published May 3rd 2016 by Talos (first published April 1st 2015)
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Average rating 3.74  · 
Rating details
 ·  268 ratings  ·  70 reviews

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Dec 28, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2016-read
Once you decide the events of your past did or did not occur in the way that you once believed, you harm yourself in ways you cannot fathom...Your memories are what are left of your experiences, and a memory tampered with is not easily fixed.

On Day Zero everyone in the world lost their memory. Now memories are trickling back, but in a haphazard fashion that still leaves holes in identities and more questions than answers. Kayle Jenner is living in on a beach in a commune run by the New Past move
Sep 04, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4.5 stars for this one, believe me when I say that I have read a lot of science fiction books so for one to surprise me it needs to be very good, this book surprised me , I can honestly say that while the author makes use of some of the genre cliches (world recently destroyed, dystopian communities, and otherworldly interference) he uses them in a very innovative way and takes you in a journey till the end and you are just swept along for the ride till the end , Imagine not remembering anything, ...more
Barry Morisse
Aug 02, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: library
A few weeks ago I attended the South African Book Fair to dip my toe into the SA publishing industry and see what I found. The fair brought together authors, publishers and book-lovers from all over the country to meet and talk shop about the state of South African literature. This took the form of various panels, debates and discussions around a wide variety of topics – some of which I went to be a part of.

The most entertaining talk I went to was themed around the genres of horror, science fict
Christy LoveOfBooks
Mar 26, 2016 rated it really liked it

Well, that was a trip! The Raft was so not what I was expecting. I mean, I’ve read a ton of books in the dystopian genre, but this was very different. In a good, thought-provoking way, for sure. Fluff, it is not.

There’s a lot of wondering what the hell is going on in the beginning, but in a way that kept me needing to know. It really is put together like a puzzle, and everything starts clicking into place as the story progresses. While it may seem there’s all this random stuff happening, believe
Tudor Ciocarlie
Jun 21, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016-my-best-of
It is good the know that the postapocalyptic novel can still surprise even an experience reader in this subgenre. I've read all kinds of postapocalyptic fiction but I've never encountered this kind of mind-fuckiness in which all the characters are living in a confusing and mind-bending world, but the readers are also sucked in this world because of the structure of the novel, its story and the point of view that shifts between 1st, 2nd and 3rd person. Being a completely confused reader in the ha ...more
Mar 04, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: edelweiss, reviewed
On Day Zero every person on earth lost his or her memory, but memories are what make us what we are. Who are we without our memories? This confounding, confusing imaginative book plays with memories, breaks them apart and moves them around as the protagonist, Kayle Jenner, has one constant memory and quest. He has to find his son Andy who was taken from him by a group of social engineers soon after Day Zero. Time is also not exactly linear in this book. It condenses and expands.

It's very difficu
May 05, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Well this was interesting. This dystopian is based on adults which I've not read in a while. The ending surprised me although I'm not sure if I'm happy about it just yet. Difficult to say much more without giving anything away.
Dec 15, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I thought this book was going to be post-apocalyptic fiction. And I will admit that yes, it was. But what this book actually is is basically the same as the movie "Inception" and is more of a sci-fi or even horror thriller kind of thing than anything I would ever want to read.

My initial reaction to the book was very unfavorable. Eventually, a few chapters in, I became engaged with the story and stopped constantly asking myself if I should just set it aside. It was the story of Jai-Li that finall
Feb 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of the best science fiction stories I have ever read! There are stories within stories within stories, and memories lost, stolen, and returned. Most of the story revolves around a man who is searching for his son. Everyone on Earth lost their memories, and some people have memories that don't belong to them. There is a group of people who claim to know a better way, by separating families and forcing them to live in communes where the 'Body' (ruling group) essentially runs their lives. In or ...more
Melissa Delport
Jul 12, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: tsbc-authors
Dystopias are kind of my thing, you know? With that in mind, after reading this book I both despise and adore Fred Strydom. In my opinion, Fred out-dyatopia'd me (bastard!). Does he deserve a fantastic review for that... Absolutely.
Fred is a talented author and The Raft is a thought-provoking read that is so much more than its dystopian classification. I can see exactly why it has been picked up by Skyhorse and is on its way to international acclaim. The story, while technically set in South Af
Apr 30, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: my-books, 2016-reads
I admit that based on the description I expected an other story.

The beginning was confusing. Whenever I thought I saw the light at the end of the tunnel the world turned upside down.
Time leaps and different memories caused a lot of knots in my brain. But nothing has been written in vain or without reason. Nevertheless I read the book in one day because I needed to know what comes next. The author is such a clever story teller.
He achieved to turn me into a distrustful reader and I'm still not s
Sally Godsell
Apr 19, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What an awesome book - once I got into it didn't want to put it down. Such rich characters and original plot. Had me hanging onto each page.
Meh. Fragmented and clumsy.
Teresa Cervera
Jul 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
I had no expectations going into this book and I was simply blown away. The narrative that is weaved through this surreal post apocalyptic book through memory is brilliantly done. Deserves a re-read. Beautiful writing, twists and turns I never saw coming, and strong characters even with their pasts erased and little to no memory of who they really are.

“Memories are their own strange creatures, flitting between the tall trees of our experiences, inviting us to enter the dark and uncharted woods
Mar 17, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: tsbc-2019, march
I have to come back and review this one. Too many thoughts right now. But I really enjoyed it!
Lori L (She Treads Softly)
May 15, 2016 rated it really liked it

The Raft by Fred Strydom is a highly recommended clever postapocalyptic novel.

"The day every person on earth lost his and her memory was not a day at all. It couldn’t be slotted in a schedule or added to a calendar. In people’s minds, there was no actual event - no earthquake, tsunami, or act of terror - and thus whatever had happened could be followed by no period of shock or mourning. There could be no catharsis. Everyone was simply reset to zero. This moment of collective amnesia could not be
Inez Ryan
"The Raft" is a strange novel that cannot be easily categorised. It came to my notice as it was described as being science fiction. While there are certainly elements of science fiction in it, I really don't think its entirely accurate to categorise this book as science fiction. At times it felt more like surrealism, like wandering around in the writer's imagination, through a dreamlike world where the reader has difficulty working out what's going on.

The first half of the novel felt slow to the
Sep 26, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Wow! This goes down as one of my fave surprise reads of this year but again its one that I'm not sure who I would recommend it to. The basic set up is that on Day Zero, everyone in the entire world loses their memory. The story follows Kayle who is living in a commune on a beach. Was drawn to the cover and knew it would be a little bit dystopian but didn't completely read the back to realize it was definitely more sci-fi. I probably never would have picked this out if I new it was sci-fi!! But I ...more
Aug 12, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
When I started reading The Raft, I felt like a Day Zero survivor - trying to sort through the narrative and find my footing in the novel. Once I got going though, I couldn't put it down! It's a mind-bending journey through a world and a humanity that's lost its collective memory, and from one page to the next it is filled with beautiful imagery and memories, once found, that stick with a reader.
Hendrik Scheepers
Aug 26, 2015 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: abandoned
It sounded interesting. But it wasn't. Right from the start is was just... blah.

At some point some lady tells Main Character Guy some loooong pointless story. Why? I just don't care. It didn't make me think "Oooh. I wonder what that's all about?" I just wondered if anything was ever going to happen in this story. Maybe it gets interesting later, but sorry, I give up
Fiona McCarthy
Aug 30, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book frustrated me. I felt so confused for so long and then got annoyed that I was confused and then That AH HA moment came and I was like damn you Fred, how the hell did you come up with that story! I know that this story is going to be on my mind for a while still. My advice to all who get confused, just push through it is worth it.
Apr 29, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A futuristic epic that will bend your mind with its genius!
Nerine Dorman
Mar 09, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm going to be straight-up honest. I don't think The Raft by Fred Strydom quite worked for me. I've heard so much about the book, that it's amazing, and all that, but my feeling upon finishing the novel was that it could probably have had about a quarter of its content dropped on the cutting room floor and been a stronger novel for it.

If you're looking for a post-apocalyptic quest in a similar vein as kind of world you'd expect in The Last of Us, or The Walking Dead, sans the zombies, this is n
21 H Leduc
Nov 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
In the fictional book The Raft by Fred Strydom, The main character Kayle Jenner has forgotten his memory along with everyone else. The day everyone lost their memory is referred to as Day Zero and now people live in small communities where a group called The New Past runs them. As Kayle slowly regains his memory he goes through an incredible journey of dangerous and death-defying events. Kayle’s only goal is to find his son, however he will come to learn he finds much more than that. His wits wi ...more
Good science fiction to me, is the story of a society experiencing upheaval and change and "The Raft" certainly qualifies with the story set in a world where everyone lost their memories. Kayle Jenner finds himself living in a subsistence community with rules set by social engineers that discourage the sharing of dreams or even living with family members with the goal to lead humanity to "Renascence". What exactly are they trying to achieve? Kayle remembers his love for his son and his fellow co ...more
Feb 17, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
THE RAFT is hands down one of the most bizarrely intriguing books I’ve ever read. Equal parts post-apocalyptic, dystopian, hard sci-fi, horror, hero odyssey, time travel, and a smattering of the sci/fi-horror film Event Horizon. It was so weird I almost gave up on it 1/4 of the way in, but the writing kept pulling me back into the story, so much so I finished nearly the entire book in one sitting. I’m still not quite sure what I’ve read (the ending was quite unexpected).

THE RAFT is an incredibly
Pamela J
Happy for the author's success and accolades on this first novel.
I confess that I was not keen on the first half or first two-thirds of this novel's narrative structure; "Kayle" meets a character who narrates his/her story and so on. It did not work for me. The novel's teleology centers on "Kayle's" quest to reunite with Andy whose resolution may or may not be predictable, but it was for an avid reader like me. The sections I enjoyed most were between the characters of Kayle and Gideon. But sin
Oct 12, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi-fantasy
Fantastic read.

Kayle Jenner and all the people of the world experience a sudden and devastating loss of memory. No one is connected anymore. Everything stops. Except for a group that collects people for the communes - tent cities on beaches with regular interrogations.

Except some memories seem to come back, and Kayle knows he has to find his son. He seems chosen to hear stories from a series of people who have only one story to give: some fantastical, some heartbreaking. His escape starts a qu
Paul Wonders
Jun 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Across the world, in a miraculous instant, all moorings are cut. Every community is dissolved, every memory shuffled, every being's sense of identity disrupted. The world scrambles to reconnect, each soul eagerly tethering itself to anyone willing to accept the alliance, no matter how abusive or oppressive the relationship. We may not know who we really are, but at least we belong to someone or something.

Consciousness of recent history gradually returns to us all, as it must. Many of us learn w
Consuelo Roland
Feb 19, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Listened to this on audible and loved it. A fantastic performance of the multiple voices that mesmerised me into a state of willing submission. One of those books that surprises you, the emotional resonance lingering long after you have put it down. I thoroughly enjoyed this speculative fiction novel with its unusual premise, philosophical undertones and a cast of amazig characters that seemed both real and otherworldly.
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