The Water Knife

The Water Knife

Large Print - 2015
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"With the American Southwest decimated by drought, three women find themselves pawns in a game far bigger, more corrupt, and dirtier than any of them could have imagined. Their only hope for survival rests in one another's hands. But when water is more valuable than gold, alliances shift like sand"-- Provided by publisher.
Publisher: Thorndike, Maine : Center Point Large Print, 2015
Edition: Large Print edition
Copyright Date: ©2015
ISBN: 9781628996463
1628996463
Branch Call Number: LP BACIG-P
Characteristics: large print
573 pages (large print) ; 23 cm

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Megan_PNW Mar 31, 2017

A bleak book that challenges us to consider what happens when something we take for granted becomes scarce. The plot is a little slow to start but ramps up into quite the page-turner!

t
tgaddo
Feb 16, 2017

I liked it. I got a couple of friends who retired to AZ to read it. The report they'll never look at running water the same again.

i
ikhetred
Dec 06, 2016

In our current reality where California has experienced serious drought the last five years, where forces of ignorance, cynicism, and division are ascendant in the world, where the chasm between rich and poor grows ever wider, and where efforts to stave off anthropogenic climate change seem woefully inadequate, "The Water Knife" hits brutally close to home. The story unfolds in the southwest United States in a dystopian near-future where water scarcity has led to the collapse of major cities, mass migration of refugees, closed state borders patrolled by militias and drones, and barely concealed low-intensity warfare over the control of water rights. An excellent if depressing read. Definitely felt thirsty afterwards!

JohnK_KCMO Dec 05, 2016

I have a terrifying suspicion that future generations will consider this book prophetic, as we today view Orwell's "1984" and Huxley's "Brave New World". Bacigalupi presents a dystopia that grows too neatly from our present-day reality.

l
libraridan50
Jun 01, 2016

Rivals The Windup Girl for his best work.

PimaLib_CinthiaT May 11, 2016

Geez, O Man! Let's just take the real issue of the day and carry it to it's worse case scenario...OMG! It's a ride.

o
otterno11
Apr 25, 2016

Bleak, brutal, and believable, Paolo Bacigalupi’s latest eco-thriller, The Water Knife, turned out to be quite the page turner, and I burned through it in a matter of (busy) days. In spite of Bacigalupi’s hard boiled sci-fi prose, this is a book with teeth, and with a message. A master of crafting fast paced, entertaining genre fiction infused with real world ideas and intriguing insights, Bacigalupi's writing rarely feels heavy-handed.

Twenty minutes into the future, the Southwest is in trouble, crumbling quickly and heading down the road to chaos that already took down Mexico and Texas. The dwindling supplies of Colorado River water are the literal life blood for the cities of California, Nevada, and Arizona and there's not enough for everyone. Under the noses of the impotent federal government, open warfare between the states is inevitable and Texan refugees are strung up as warnings along the border. It is this world that Angel Velazquez, a “Water Knife” for Catherine Chase, Queen of Las Vegas, inhabits. Angel makes sure that Vegas, with its gleaming Chinese built arcologies keeping the ultra rich cool and luxurious in the desert, gets the lion's share of water by any means necessary. Meanwhile, down in Phoenix, now a third world hellhole, the city struggles to keep up the vestiges of civilization while refugees die of thirst or violence, dumped in empty pools to become yet another “swimmer.” Lucy, a muckraking “collapse porn” journalist and a young Texan refugee, Maria, inadvertently find themselves crossing paths with Angel and a plot that could change the dynamic of power between the three players for the last water in the West.

While I haven’t read The Windup Girl yet, it is easy to see this as set in the same timeline of the stories in the YA novels Shipbreaker and Drowned Cities. The Water Knife is set just a few thousand miles away, a few years earlier during the last gasps of the Accelerated Age (what the inhabitants of the previous two stories refer to this time) and, with the exception of a few futuristic tech touches, seems very contemporary. Imagining what grim situations might await in our future if trends are ignored can bring the selfish bent of current politics to a deeper, more emotional resonance, I feel. The Water Knife is certainly a gut-wrenching, gripping taste of what our future may be like.

k
knitter2248
Apr 22, 2016

From the 2015 Southwest Books of the Year. Apt for us here in Arizona, the book foreshadows what life would be like if our water supplies dry up. A dark novel, pitting Las Vegas against Phoenix, and the hunting and acquiring of water rights. Do know there's a lot of violence.

d
DKS_Portland
Jan 05, 2016

This book is an over-dramatized take on a possible post-apocalyptic world where water is the limiting resource and the various western states forbid travel across borders. Highly unbelievable story with prose that is antithesis of Hemingway - verbose at every turn! Read Cadillac Desert if you want to read about water wars - this book isn't worth your time.

g
Greenman452
Sep 08, 2015

Water has always been fought over in the Western U.S. Current climate change brings this fight to the surface again. This book addresses a future without enough water to go around. Class differences exacerbate the situation. Civilization breaks down in this plausible, violent future. I found this book easy to read and entertaining. Takes a little time to get to the page turning excitement but worth the effort.

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AL_JENNIEB Aug 01, 2016

AL_JENNIEB thinks this title is suitable for 15 years and over

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black_bear_515
Dec 22, 2015

black_bear_515 thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over

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