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The Great Flood: Travels Through a Sodden Landscape Reviews

The Great Flood: Travels Through a Sodden Landscape by Edward Platt

The Great Flood: Travels Through a Sodden Landscape

Edward Platt

3.00 out of 5

3 reviews

Imprint: Picador
Publisher: Pan Macmillan
Publication date: 29 Oct 2019
ISBN: 9781447298199

A journey that explores floods and flooding in all its forms: Platt investigates the ways in which water has shaped our landscape, our literature and our sense of ourselves.

2 stars out of 5
16 Nov 2019

"how we’re learning to live underwater"

The result is a strange book. It is deeply provincial and yet gesturing to something wider — how even countries with traditionally temperate climates, such as Britain, will need to learn how to adapt to a warming world. By the end of it, however, I felt awash.


4 stars out of 5
1 Nov 2019

"Platt’s writing combines sharp reportage with a poet’s eye for a striking image that vividly captures the otherworldly, waterlogged landscapes he travels through"

Edward Platt travels around Britain in search of the kind of apocalyptic deluge that increasingly swamps the country’s urban and rural landscapes. He is most interested in what people’s accounts of flooding, and his own first-hand observations of wading through sodden fields and streets, can tell him about the experience of such calamity. He writes that he’s “less preoccupied with the point the water reached or the rate at which it went down than with the emotional and psychological marks it left behind”.

3 stars out of 5
23 Oct 2019

"the effect is cumulatively melancholy, incantatory even"

This is not altogether an excursion in the nation’s plump and affluent midriff though... There are a great many personal accounts that can, at the risk of appearing cold, make the book mildly repetitious. Unless you are the unfortunate householder (in which case each loss is keen and unique), one sodden domicile can start to seem very much like another. But the effect is cumulatively melancholy, incantatory even... An undertow of very English resentment and suspicion towards metropolitan authority and expertise pulses through the narrative...