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Richter 10 Hardcover – Feb 1 1996


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 373 pages
  • Publisher: Spectra (Feb. 1 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0553097083
  • ISBN-13: 978-0553097085
  • Product Dimensions: 23.1 x 15 x 3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 544 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)

Customer Reviews

3.2 out of 5 stars
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Format: Paperback
Richter 10 is, inmy opinion, a book to read when you're looking to pass the time. Summer vacation is one example. Prison is another. But whatever the circumstances may be, you will find that Richter 10 is nothing if not interesting.
The author(s) of the book do many things right, while still managing to screw up the story. Surprisingly, it's about an earthquake. Several earthquakes, anyway. Crazy geologist Lewis Crane is hell-bent for revenge on earthquakes after one knocked off his parents in 1994. The book takes place in the early-mid 21st century, and we see several examples of advanced technology. Perhaps some of it is too advanced, but since we went from struggling to get a glider to hang in the air to putting men in space in about 50 years, maybe it is normal.
Anyway, the characters and several parts of the story are not developed very well. We never really get to know the characters, so that when something good or bad happens, we couldn't care less. The characters aren't exactly good people, either. Crane has some good characteristics, but he is pretty much consumed by his power. His assistant, Dan Newcombe, goes from being a humble scientist to a megalomaniac in a few chapters.
The book, though not being too long, drags on for quite a bit. There are ample oppurtunities to end the book, but the author(s) feel the need to keep it alive. Too much of a mediocre thing can be a bad thing.
As another point of negativity, the ending sucks. I won't give it away, but, eh, it wasn't very good.
In closing, I recommend this book to bored people who do not have anything else to do with their time. 50% of the population, in other words.
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Format: Paperback
As an Arthur C. Clarke junkie, I was surprised to find a book by hin that I hadn't read that was also eight years old. Well, it turns out that it wasn't really written by him, but he had enough input into it (see other reviews for details) that he got authorship credit (although he shouldn't have been at the top).
About the only thing I had trouble with was the rash of intense and destructive earthquakes that kept showing up in the book. If such disasters happened at the rate and scale they did here, the world economy would really tank, but somehow they just seemed to cause ripples.
I found the characters to be quite interesting and pretty believable, except for the male impersonator (no really good reason for that, and when the character was discussed, it was a bit confusing when folks called her "him" and when she was alone, she was "her").
This book is a definite page-turner, with just a few minor issues.
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By Victoria on Feb. 1 2003
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I actually give this book 3.5 stars, as I don't think it quite deserves four, but it doesn't deserve three either, so I gave it the benefit of the doubt.
As well as being scientifically interesting (if not completely realistic- but since when has science fiction been completely realistic), this book was also futuristically interesting. In my opinion, I found that some of the social predictions were quite reasonable.
The plot wasn't brilliant- it was quite predictable in many areas- but I found that the setting and vision of this particular future made up for the story's shortcomings. The book ended in a very over-done way (if you read it you'll know what I mean) but not so over-done to ruin the rest of the book. On the whole, this book was quite good and quite satisfying to read.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
To clear up any confusion - Arthur C. Clarke wrote a plot synopsis that he wasn't interested in pursuing. Mike McQuay read the synopsis and fleshed it out into the novel Richter 10. The novel takes place in the near future. The story: a geologist named Lewis Crane is obsessed with stopping earthquakes by fusing the Earth's plates together. To this end, he starts a foundation to predict quakes and render assistance to victims. He comes into conflict with his own employees and a seperatist group called the Nation of Islam (NOI) led by an African American of great charisma. One of Crane's men leaves to join the NOI, setting up the main conflict for the remainder of the novel.
There are some obvious parallels with real life - for example, the leader of the NOI is obviously based on Elijah Mohammed, while the defecting geologist is similar to (but less influential than) Malcolm X. The vision of the future is quite dystopic (and overtly racist) - the U.S. government is a puppet for multinational (Chinese) corporations. However, the novel is not a warning or historical analogy, but simply an adventure story with lots of buildings falling over and tsunamis sweeping people out to sea.
On the whole, it is quite enjoyable. The action is well-written, the technology mostly believable, and the supporting characters well-developed. Unfortunately, the main characters are generally not likable (until, possibly, in the last 50 pages), so it's hard to develop any kind of sympathy for them. In addition, the central scientific tool the geologists use - a working scale model of the Earth - is extremely far fetched. The idea that an earthquake (or any major natural event) could be predicted by a 100-foot model, to an accuracy of a couple of minutes, stretches credulity to the breaking point.
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