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The Snow

3.24  ·  Rating details ·  515 ratings  ·  52 reviews
The snow doesn't stop. It falls and falls and falls. Until it lies three miles thick across the whole of the Earth. Six billion people have died. A few thousand survive. But those few thousand need help, they need support, they need organising, governing. And so the lies begin.
Paperback, 297 pages
Published August 19th 2004 by Gollancz
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Average rating 3.24  · 
Rating details
 ·  515 ratings  ·  52 reviews

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Jun 08, 2013 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
It started off as a very promising novel and idea: what would happen if it simply never stopped snowing and most of the world died out, leaving something like 100,000 remaining survivors worldwide to build society from scratch?

Still, as I read on, it became simply... confusing. I googled the book to see if I'd missed anything, and it seemed that I was not alone in my stupor - this was a common response amongst anyone who had read the book, complete and utter confusion. The author tries to draw
Stacey (prettybooks)
The Snow was loaned to me by a science fiction enthusiast, a friend of mine whose favourite author is Adam Roberts. I began this book not knowing anything about it – not even what my friend thought of it because she wouldn't tell me! – and so I revelled in reading a book where anything could happen.

The Snow is set in a truly post-apocalyptic world: “..the snow doesn't stop. It falls and falls and falls. Until it lies three miles thick across the whole of the earth. Six billion people have died.
Jan 16, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017-reads
“The snow started falling on September 6th, […] And at the beginning people were happy.” (p.1)

Imagine if it started snowing in September and didn’t stop. As the snow piled up deeper and deeper, how would the World governments react? How long would it take before society collapsed? Adam Roberts explores this scenario in his 2004 novel The Snow, a book which starts well but seems to lose its way around halfway through.

Roberts sets his story in present-day London. The main character is Tira, a Lon
Dec 01, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I thought I would like this book, the whole snow apocalypse seemed like a promising story plot... I was wrong. First off, it wasn't very well written, a lot of repetitions and a monotonous style. This book is mostly about how the snow came and how two survivors deal with their new lives, their stories are told through official documents. But the author doesn't provide enough information and depth to make any of it feel believable, and I was left with too many basic questions about post-snow soci ...more
Too much about the (weak) emotional relationship(s) between the main protagonist and the people she has, was having, or had sex with. The majority of the book is written as a report, documenting the coming of the 'snow' and the aftermath. This style isn't consistent throughout and at one stage I thought this was going to turn out to be a series of short stories, which would probably have made for a better read. For me, too little attention is given to how and why the snow came about. Yes these a ...more
Sep 08, 2008 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
The premise of this book is great, and the beginning had me really hooked but then it seemed to lose it's way horribly. The story fizzled out and was quite unsatisfactory in the end (but I kept on going hoping it would improve), and also the characters were unsympathetic and one-dimensional, and I didn't really care one way or the other what happened to them.

Having said this, I really like Adam Roberts writing style, and will definitely pick up another of his to read sometime, and give him anoth
Sep 18, 2009 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nov 28, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I first read "Snow" in 2004 and it was like my first time skiing down a black run at Zermatt. Terrifying, unexpected, and full of whiteness.

I won't give away the plot, but the scenario is that a young Indian woman survives a catastrophic snowfall only to be rescued by the remaining humans. Her home becomes a pre-fab barracks in a militarised society where there are seven men to one woman.

Roberts has said that he originally wanted to write a book about two themes: firstly, surviving a global cat
Dec 10, 2015 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: post-apocalyptic, sf
A post-apocalyptic story with a good premise. The snow just does not stop falling... first it disrupts traffic, then it makes daily life difficult, then it buries houses, and finally it covers the entire world. The few survivors (mostly military personnel) live in prefabs on the surface, and they keep "mining" for food and valuables buried in the old cities.

All this, however, is dealt with in less than 50 pages. The rest of the book is about petty politics and disagreements in the survivor colon
Johan Haneveld
To be honest, I'm of two minds about this book. I wanted to like it, I loved the premise and rushed through the opening act, I even liked the structure (collected government documents, even redacted), but a bit before the halfway point it became a struggle to read on. I thought the story was stalling, treading water, and only in the final stretches it picked up again. Still, there was a bit anticlimactic about the ending, as in: the explanation for the strange phenomenon of the title that was su ...more
Paul  Perry
Aug 09, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is, for me, Roberts first great book. I've enjoyed everything I've read by him – all his previous novels have been clever, well written stories that at the same time have deep themes and morals woven into their fabric – but The Snow was a real WOW! book.

The basic premise (although absolutely nothing is basic in an Adam Roberts book) is that heavy snow begins to fall and does not stop. The world is soon covered in a blanket many metres – and eventually kilometres – deep, and civilisation qui
Elizabeth Moeller
Just when i would think that I had a handle on what was going on in this science fiction novel, all of a sudden it would change and become a different kind of apocalypse. It begins with Londoner Tira experiencing the vast snow fall that blots out all of her normal life and then making her way to an office building where she lives with a man who has similarly become a refugee from the snow. Then, when it seems as though this is a pretty standard end of the world narrative, Tira is rescued from be ...more
The beginning of this book reminded me of The Day of the Triffids, by John Wyndham, both in writing style and general plot. After the first chapter, though, it gets way more scifi-ey. It's a bit difficult to get into, I found, but once you get used to the writing style, it gets easier. Some parts can be a bit confusing, but if you don't think too deeply about it, it can be an enjoyable story. I liked how each chapter was an official document, it made it seem more real. The idea, too, is original ...more
Jul 25, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2012, pabc
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sep 24, 2014 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Self-indulgent rubbish. Good idea, really badly executed
Stephen Palmer
Feb 11, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Part infuriating., part brilliant, part WTF...
When I heard the premise of this book, I was pathetically excited. Set in a future where snow just keeps on falling, until it's miles thick all around the world. How would human life survive? I couldn't wait to track down a copy to find out.

And the first section of the book definitely lives up to my expectations. Told in past tense by a survivor (slightly annoying as you know she'll get out of the snow, slightly exciting as you don't know how), it catalogs how one day a gentle snow storm started
Nov 01, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
Reading a high concept work of science fiction from Adam Roberts is often deflating. He zigs where other authors might zag, leaving readers potentially disappointed that the narrative didn't do what was promised on the tin, as it were. The Snow suggests an end of the world cozy catastrophe (yes, the Aldiss refrain about Wyndham) but instead, like Splinter and Gradisil, opts for emotional exploration using the structure of a speculative fiction novel. The snow does indeed fall, though this tak ...more
Jan 27, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This type of disaster/apocalyptic novel can be very uneven, the best having a compelling scenario carried through to a plausible conclusion. The plot here is captivating, a young English woman being one of the few survivors of a snowfall that blankets the Earth to a depth of several miles, and the eeriness of the new environment and the struggle for explanations are fascinatingly drawn. However, despite some vivid writing, to an extent the back-story of one of the main characters and the eventua ...more
Eric Lawton
Sep 18, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Usual Roberts formula, a social and political drama told in first person, illustrating a common issue but with an invented-world setting. And with a big twist closer to the end that overturns the sci-fi but not the social point of the book.
Up to a two-word title from his usual one but the book was the same length.
2.5 stars DNF at 43%. While the premise is interesting the story soon became less about survival and more about politics, government, and relationships I cared about even less then the politics. I started skimming pages for quite a while before deciding that I didn't particularly care about anything that was going on nor about how it ended.
A entertaining story all in all, but quite prolonged and boring at times. I often found myself struggling to force myself to read, and I don’t think this should happen while reading a really great sf.
Daniel Deboer
High concept, low execution. The first few chapters are great. The rest is written in a pseudo-historical-document style that annoys more than it informs.
May 27, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dec 02, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Always winter and never Christmas
Nathan Rose
Oct 04, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of the greatest books I have ever read. It's impact has been with me to this day.
Nov 08, 2008 rated it liked it
I have a bit of a love/hate relationship with Adam Roberts' books. The premises are fascinating, the stories are compelling and I do very much enjoy Roberts' writing style. Unfortunately, none of the works I've read so far contain a single likeable character, major or minor.

His characters are all either seriously emotionally damaged in some way or just selfish or mean or self-important or... Well, you get the idea.

Yet I eat Roberts' stuff up. This is, what, the sixth book of his I've read so far
Jun 29, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This starts off as a Wyndham-like apocalypse scenario. It starts snowing, and doesn't stop. For years. This opening is really good, following an Asian woman as she survives in under-snow London.

Later, we are shifted to a colony of survivors on the surface of the snow, where we are fell some government documents that are allegedly banned, including some science mumbojumbo trying to explain the snow. The book kind of drifts through these, until we get back to Tira's story as she adapted to live ab
Feb 03, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I came across this book in my local Library, after reading one of Roberts' other books, By Light Alone. Once again, Roberts has created a world so similar to our own, yet spun on its axis by one fantastical (but not entirely unbelievable) trait. As in the best of sci-fi tradition, it's not the snow, or where it comes from, that make the story: it's the interactions between his (largely dysfunctional) characters in extreme environments. And in The Snow, as well as in By Light Alone, Robert's grea ...more
Peter Walton-Jones
Jul 19, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi, dystopia
Imagine that the snow starts and never quite stops falling. Like Noah's flood but the world is buried in snow. A few survive. What would life be like? What would change? How can humanity survive? This idea roughly outlines "Snow". It is nearly a great story but ultimately it doesn't quite get there. I think perhaps it is not quite dark and disturbing enough. However it is an excellent story with a great central character. I have also read "Salt" by Adam Roberts and he certainly does big ideas an ...more
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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.

Adam Roberts (born 1965) is an academic, critic and novelist. He also writes parodies under the pseudonyms of A.R.R.R. Roberts, A3R Roberts and Don Brine. He also blogs at The Valve, a group blog devoted to literature and cultural studies.

He has a degree in English from the

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