Odds Against Tomorrow: Book summary and reviews of Odds Against Tomorrow by Nathaniel Rich

Odds Against Tomorrow

by Nathaniel Rich

Odds Against Tomorrow by Nathaniel Rich X
Odds Against Tomorrow by Nathaniel Rich
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  • Published in USA  Apr 2013
    320 pages
    Genre: Thrillers

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Book Summary

New York City, the near future: Mitchell Zukor, a gifted young mathematician, is hired by a mysterious new financial consulting firm, FutureWorld. The business operates out of an empty office in the Empire State Building; Mitchell is employee number two. He is asked to calculate worst-case scenarios in the most intricate detail, and his schemes are sold to corporations to indemnify them against any future disasters. This is the cutting edge of corporate irresponsibility, and business is booming.

As Mitchell immerses himself in the mathematics of catastrophe - ecological collapse, war games, natural disasters - he becomes obsessed by a culture's fears. Yet he also loses touch with his last connection to reality: Elsa Bruner, a friend with her own apocalyptic secret, who has started a commune in Maine. Then, just as Mitchell's predictions reach a nightmarish crescendo, an actual worst-case scenario overtakes Manhattan. Mitchell realizes he is uniquely prepared to profit. But at what cost?

At once an all-too-plausible literary thriller, an unexpected love story, and a philosophically searching inquiry into the nature of fear, Nathaniel Rich's Odds Against Tomorrow poses the ultimate questions of imagination and civilization. The future is not quite what it used to be.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"An oddly affectionate portrait of disaster relief that deftly mocks the indemnity mindset of a culture under siege." - Kirkus

"Starred Review. It is almost impossible to read this novel without indelible images of Hurricane Sandy coming to mind. The novel succeeds on its own terms in envisioning such a disaster in terrifyingly visceral terms. And Mitchell's intensely fraught journey from man of intellect to man of action is one the reader will not soon forget." - Publishers Weekly

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Born in New York City, Nathaniel Rich now lives in New Orleans. He is the author of The Mayor's Tongue.

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