The Age of Miracles

Praise & Reviews

The Age of Miracles book cover
“A genuinely moving tale that mixes the real and surreal, the ordinary and the extraordinary with impressive fluency and flair… Ms. Walker has an instinctive feel for narrative architecture, creating a story, in lapidary prose, that moves ahead with a sense of both the inevitable and the unexpected. She conjures the suburban Southern California world where Julia has grown up with a native’s understanding of its rhythms, rituals and weather… [O]ne of this summer’s hot literary reads.”
–Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times

“This haunting and soul-stirring novel about the apocalypse is transformative and unforgettable.”
–Marie Claire

“Written in a voice that’s as familiar as your own junior-high diaries, Walker’s debut is a classic coming-of-age story, one that’s made all the more heartbreaking by the realization that Julia may never get the chance to come of age. It perfectly captures what it’s like to be a teenager: always feeling like the world is going to end, waiting for the day when life goes back to normal, until you grow up and discover that it never really does.”
–Entertainment Weekly (A-)

“Walker[‘s]…scenarios seem chillingly plausible in an era of global warming and other assaults on nature. She matches the fierce creativity of her imagination with a lyrical and portentous understanding of the present.”
–People, (4 STAR REVIEW)

“…a justifiably hyped debut novel…Walker is good at reminding us how we might actually behave when faced with inevitable extinction. Our memories would likely become one of our most urgent priorities at the end, and something as commonplace as the etching of a name into wet cement would become a profound monument…”
–Chicago Tribune

“Next Big Female Novelist”
–Rolling Stone

“Drought, fires and appalling heat, as well as omens like a Maya calendar that predicts end times, have us rattled. This summer’s hit literary debut from Karen Thompson Walker, “Age of Miracles,” adds kindling to the emotional pyre. It’s about what happens when Earth’s rotation slows and the planet begins to scorch like a marshmallow dangled over a campfire.”
–Dwight Garner, The New York Times

“Haunting…”
–Real Simple

“The Summer Book”
–VanityFair.com (Summer Essentials round-up)

“[Q]uietly explosive… Walker describes global shifts with a sense of utter realism, but she treats Julia’s personal adolescent upheaval with equal care, delicacy, and poignancy.”
–O, The Oprah Magazine

“The Age of Miracles” is equal parts coming-of-age novel and sci-fi adventure, although each feels underserved by Walker’s careful, subdued tone, a gauzy obliqueness meant, perhaps, to reflect the uncertainty of the times, the maddening lack of specific information. Walker is a lovely writer with an unerring ear for hypnotic cadence, and her lilting sentences rock the story gently forward.”
–San Francisco Chronicle

“A must-read”
–CNN.com

“This debut novel is itself testimony to the power of well-chosen words. Its first chapter — a mere 45 lines — is the most exquisite opening I have read in years… “The Age of Miracles” lingers, like a faded photo of a happy time. It is stunning.”
–Cleveland Plain Dealer

“Readers familiar with apocalyptic novels like Cormac McCarthy’s “The Road” and Justin Cronin’s “The Passage” will detect similarities… but…Walker’s voice is her own, enhanced by evocative and poetic prose…I loved this book from the first page.”
–Huntington News

“…[An] elegiac, moving first novel…”
–Newsday

“The point of view of the naïf is always an effective one in science fiction; there is nothing like innocence to make the strange stranger and horror appear more horrible. Walker hits upon the perfect combination of the intimate and the pandemic…There’s as little superfluous detail here as a Miles Davis solo, and “The Age of Miracles” is flawlessly written; it could be the most assured debut by an American writer since Jennifer Egan’s “Emerald City.”
–Denver Post

“The premise of “The Age of Miracles” is fresh.”
–The Houston Chronicle

“…[A] touching, observant and poetic first novel…”
–The Columbus Dispatch

“Simply told, skillfully crafted and filled with metaphorical unities, this resonant first novel has had remarkable pre-publication success…[It] rings with difficult truths both large and small.”
–Kansas City Star

“In movies, we’re used to the apocalypse coming in swift, fearsome blows, but in Karen Thompson Walker’s arresting debut novel, the end of the world takes its time… This book cuts bone-deep with a creeping kind of terror.”
–Austin Chronicle

“The Age of Miracles is suspenseful, yet relatable enough that you have to know what’s happening to Julia and her family. It’s going to be the book that everyone’s talking about this year…”
–Seventeen.com

“It’s a humane, thoughtful, provocative book and highly original.”
–San Antonio Express-News

“The best sort of science fiction, the kind in which a single impossibility becomes possible…The Age of Miracles is squarely in the Ray Bradbury tradition of science fiction that looks forward and backward at the same time a careful writer whose sentences are precise and emotionally loaded.”
–The Portland Mercury

“Walker’s story had gotten under my skin…”The Age of Miracles” is both utterly realist and fantastically dystopian.”
–Minneapolis Star Tribune

“[Walker’s] deft portrayal of this transformation would alone have made “Miracles” a worthy read – but Walker goes one level deeper still, telling a timeless coming-of-age story with fresh, sophisticated power, in part attributable to the striking beauty of her words…Walker’s debut signals the arrival of a major new voice in serious American fiction.”
–Providence Journal

“It’s doubtful you’ll take the lilt of a songbird, the gentle wave of a tree branch, or the brush of a child’s cheek against your own for granted once you read “The Age of Miracles.”…so simply written, so profound in its message, an original coming of age story that grabs you…and won’t let go. “The Age of Miracles,” now rests on my “favorite of favorites shelf,” along with a select number of other unforgettable books.”
–The Missourian

“Karen Thompson Walker’s harrowing and graceful first novel, “The Age of Miracles,” would be fascinating to read at any time.But in the summer of 2012, when the country is being wracked by record-high temperatures, freak storms, devastating droughts, wildfires and floods, it is almost disturbingly well timed…”The Age of Miracles” is as thrilling as any fantastic mystery, and in its echoes of reality magnified, impossible to forget.”
–Buffalo News

“…a very unusual coming-of-age story…very moving”
–Daily American

“ I won’t say much about this very moving, melancholy and thrilling first novel by yet another staggeringly gifted young woman writer bursting into bloom before our eyes.. It’s the one about the slowing of the earth’s rotation, the one that has already been praised to the skies (forgive the cliché, but the skies are actually involved, here) by critics of all sorts. It’s not preachy (in case environmentalist concerns come to mind), it’s just brilliant storytelling. It’s told, in fact, by an endearing 12-year-old girl (at first—she grows up) whose every word you’ll hang on, and whom you may never forget.”
–Ellenville Shawangunk Journal, Sullivan County Democrat

“[A] gripping debut . . . . A triumph of vision, language, and terrifying momentum, the story also feels eerily plausible, as if the problems we’ve been worrying about all along pale in comparison to what might actually bring our end.”
Publishers Weekly, starred review

“What a remarkable and beautifully wrought novel. In its depiction of a world at once utterly like and unlike our own, THE AGE OF MIRACLES is so convincingly unsettling that it just might make you stockpile emergency supplies of batteries and bottled water. It also—thank goodness—provides great solace with its wisdom, its compassion, and the elegance of its story-telling.”
—Curtis Sittenfeld, author of Prep

“Beautiful and frightening . . . Karen Thompson Walker takes a fantastic premise and makes it feel thrillingly real.”
—Karen Russell, author of Swamplandia!

“This is what imagination is.”
—Amy Bloom, author of Away

“Glowing magic . . . . at once a love letter to the world as we know it and an elegy.”
—Aimee Bender, author of The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake

“Pure magnificence. Deeply moving and beautifully executed.”
—Nathan Englander, author of For the Relief of Unbearable Urges

“Reading The Age of Miracles is like gazing into a sky of constellations and being mesmerized by the strange yet familiar sensation of infinity.”
—Yiyun Li, author of Gold Boy, Emerald Girl

“Gripping from first page to last . . . [a] gem of a novel . . . Karen Thompson Walker is the real deal.”
—Dani Shapiro, author of Devotion

“Harrowing and beautiful . . .”
—Jim Shepard, author of Like You’d Understand, Anyway (National Book Award finalist)

“‘Miracles’ indeed. Karen Thompson Walker’s debut novel is a stunner from the first page—an end-of-the-world, coming-of-age tale of quiet majesty. I loved this novel and can’t wait to see what this remarkable writer will do next.”
—Justin Cronin, author of The Passage

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