Monday 16 September 2019

#14/2019 Odds Against Tomorrow

Advertised as "climate thriller", it immediately caught my attention. A major earthquake takes place in Seattle, leaving the city in ruins. Major corporations suffer huge financial loses as they are forced to pay huge compensations since no insurance companies agree to cover natural disasters. The protagonist - Mitchell Zukor, a young and talented analyst is hired by a shady corporation called Future World where he is tasked with calculating risks of disasters and selling his findings to corporations to indemnify them against any future events like the one in Seattle. Mitchell immerses himself fully in the worst case scenario analysis and begins gradually losing grip on reality.

Following his line of thinking as he tries to puzzle out the proportions, probabilities and chances of occurrences of these dramatic events is absolutely thrilling. It's like watching an engine that works at full speed and is at a constant risk of overheating. The author does a great job of framing it all in corporate reality. However, as the novel moves into its second half and focus shifts to outcomes, the book loses a lot of its impact. I felt disconnected from the protagonist and had to fight my way through to the end...

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