This is a "must read". Niven and Pournelle have done more than produce a truely riveting novel that you honestly won't want to put down- this is a cautionary tale cum survival manual. Many of you have no idea of just how quickly our "Civilization" will yield to simple survival- and what you might be able to do to get through it. Do your family a favor and read this book!
I would describe this book as the end-of-the-world disaster story that ayn rand never got to tell. Very engaging and thought provoking - although changes in world politics do make some storylines feel outdated.
a great story about the effects of a comet strike on american society. from big science to a fuedal society where the quick and strong might not be quick and strong enough. an engrossoing plot, with very well developed characters.
If you can make it though the LONG set up, where all the characters are introduced and their background is set up (and parts of that are LONG winded), the action that happens once the hammer falls is a huge payout. Vivid details of the destruction caused by the hammer hitting the earth, and people struggling to survive and make it through the aftermath. This is the book that turned me onto PA as a genre... an oustanding book (and HUGE too). And--while the intros seem to take forever--its really a small portion of the overall book.
If you're a fan of PA this is the book for you... great characters, easy to follow and great (and gripping) story telling... and disaster sequences that you'll remember for a long time.
Apocalyptic action packed sci-fi. Great summer entertainment.
Somewhat dated as it was written in the 70's, it's still an amazing look at how society would react to the end of civilization. Favorite quote "Societies only have the morals they can afford"
This book really made me think about what would happen to the world if something like this happened. I loved this book and really wanted more even when it ended.
One of the best end of work sci fi. Very good!
This book is a real page-turner, difficult to put down in large part because the authors have created characters that are at once both believable and sympathetic. Using good quotes, from Jouvenal to Heinlein, for chapter headers they not only helped orient me but also saved themselves the need to pontificate further by using their characters to 'preach'. To be sure, this is science fiction and it therefore lacks some of the stark realism of the mystery genre (neither sex nor death are dealt with explicitly) but I'm not so sure that's a 'bad thing'. Perhaps when one has created a scenario in which the entire planet is 'being screwed' by a comet one needn't waste time with salaciousness or gore. Better to focus on 'how we'd cope'...which is really what this book is all about. It will pain me to put this book back on the shelf, recycle it, but maybe that will only mean I'll have to swap for another copy next year. Because I know I'm going to want to at least flip through the book and refresh my memory on such notable quotes as: "No proposition is likelier to scandalise our contemporaries than this one: It is impossible to establish a just social order." Jouvenal
The chances that Lucifer's Hammer would hit Earth head-on were one-in-a-million. Then one in a thousand. Then one in a hundred. And then...
A good apocalyptic novel. The author focuses on a band of people and their daily pre and post apocalypse struggles, treating the actual buildup and aftermath of the comet strike as secondary. So you don't get bogged down with a familiar script.
3 stars out of 5
One of my top 50 books. Excellent societal collapse novel.
Good end of world/society book even if a little dated as far as technology is concerned. It all would have been lost anyway. If you like King's "Under the Dome" or seeing the changes to society in "The Walking Dead" then you will enjoy reading this book.
This is an exciting and fascinating look at how the world as we know it might end. It will make you consider your own life very carefully.
EXCELLENT end-of-the-world story, very involving and oddly enough, told with a great deal of invention and humor.
Very well put together story, keeps you turning the pages. This could happen, you never know what might fall from the sky.
I wrote a review ... it disappeared. I wrote it again ... it mostly disappeared AGAIN = HUMBUG TWICE. Sorry you missed them. Bottom line is that I am about to re-read the text, hoping IT does not disappear!!!
Slow, tedious and unaffecting. It takes 200 pages just to get to the global disaster, then another 400 pages to tell the story -- very slowly and boringly -- of 10 or 20 survivors. There must be at least 100 pages describing nothing but people driving on muddy roads and incessant rain trying to find sanctuary. The road was muddy, the rain was incessant. The road was muddy, the rain was incessant. The road was muddy, the rain was incessant. You get the picture.
The comet impact itself occurs mostly off-stage, as do many of its devastating effects. The characters are not terribly interesting and the main threat in the book -- an army of cannibalistic ex-soldiers and religious nuts -- just never really becomes believable. A supposed love quadrangle is equally unbelievable and emotionally flat and unconvincing. Pat Frank's "Alas Babylon" is far superior and a heck of a lot shorter than this weighty doorstop. "When Worlds Collide" does a far better job of communicating the dread of a planetary collision, and its love triangle is believable and affecting.
Comet hits Earth. Good story and lots of action. I really enjoyed this book.
Fun end-of-the-world book. Each section, from preparation, to immediate aftermath, to long-term survival, is handled well.
The only real down-side is what I perceive as Libertarian indulgence from authors who have never worked real jobs. :)
Probably one of the top ten novels in apocalypse fiction. Lots of build-up to the actual crisis and then a convincing description of the confusion and struggle to get to a place of safety. I don't buy the cannibal army - why do books like this always insist on a cannibal army? - but the rest of it is pretty good. Reading it in 2017, I'm okay with it being so dated in terms of technology but the racist/sexist attitudes make me wince a little.
I was entralled with the concept of what would happen to Mother Earth if a comet struck.
very well written and I enjoyed it very much
As a end of the would novel I feel tat ranks equal if not than ON THE BEACH.
The gigantic comet had slammed into Earth, forging earthquakes a thousand times too powerful to measure on the Richter scale, tidal waves thousands of feet high. Cities were turned into oceans; oceans turned into steam. It was the beginning of a new Ice Age and the end of civilization. But for the terrified men and women chance had saved, it was also the dawn of a new struggle for survival--a struggle more dangerous and challenging than any they had ever known....
I have not read this one. But it says it is about a gigantic comet that slammed into Earth and the aftermath.