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Publisher's Summary

National Best Seller • New York Times Book Review Editors' Choice • Roxane Gay's Audacious Book Club Pick

"Moving and thought-provoking...offering psychological insights in lyrical prose while seriously exploring speculative conceits." (New York Times Book Review)

"Haunting and luminous.... Beautiful and lucid science fiction. An astonishing debut." (Alan Moore, creator of Watchmen and V for Vendetta)

Recommended by New York Times Book ReviewLos Angeles TimesNPREntertainment Weekly • EsquireGood HousekeepingNBC NewsBuzzfeed • Business InsiderBustle Goodreads The MillionsThe Philadelphia Inquirer • Minneapolis Star-Tribune • San Francisco Chronicle • The GuardianPopSugar •  Literary Hub • and many more!

For fans of Cloud Atlas and Station Eleven, a spellbinding and profoundly prescient debut that follows a cast of intricately linked characters over hundreds of years as humanity struggles to rebuild itself in the aftermath of a climate plague - a daring and deeply heartfelt work of mind-bending imagination from a singular new voice. 

In 2030, a grieving archeologist arrives in the Arctic Circle to continue the work of his recently deceased daughter at the Batagaika Crater, where researchers are studying long-buried secrets now revealed in melting permafrost, including the perfectly preserved remains of a girl who appears to have died of an ancient virus.

Once unleashed, the Arctic plague will reshape life on Earth for generations to come, quickly traversing the globe, forcing humanity to devise a myriad of moving and inventive ways to embrace possibility in the face of tragedy. In a theme park designed for terminally ill children, a cynical employee falls in love with a mother desperate to hold on to her infected son. A heartbroken scientist searching for a cure finds a second chance at fatherhood when one of his test subjects - a pig - develops the capacity for human speech. A widowed painter and her teenaged granddaughter embark on a cosmic quest to locate a new home planet. 

From funerary skyscrapers to hotels for the dead to interstellar starships, Sequoia Nagamatsu takes listeners on a wildly original and compassionate journey, spanning continents, centuries, and even celestial bodies to tell a story about the resilience of the human spirit, our infinite capacity to dream, and the connective threads that tie us all together in the universe.

"Epic.... Sequoia Nagamatsu is a writer whose imagination is matched only by his compassion, the kind we need to light our way through the dark." (Chloe Benjamin, New York Times best-selling author of The Immortalists)

"Wondrous, and not just in the feats of imagination, which are so numerous it makes me dizzy to recall them, but also in the humanity and tenderness with which Sequoia Nagamatsu helps us navigate this landscape.... This is a truly amazing book, one to keep close as we imagine the uncertain future." (Kevin Wilson, New York Times best-selling author of Nothing to See Here)

©2022 Sequoia Nagamatsu (P)2022 HarperCollins Publishers

What listeners say about How High We Go in the Dark

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Should come with a sadness warning

Wow, this one was depressing. Extremely well written but very depressing. If you have suffered during this crazy pandemic, this book about the after affects from the "Arctic Plague" may not be the book for you. It is basically about how we as individuals, communities and the earth would deal with loss, grief, and death following a life as we know it altering plague.
These themes are told through a series of stories, some better than others, with strings connecting the lives of the characters told within. There is also a bit of science fiction as the stories go farther and farther through time and even space. Overall, an engrossing read but I did have problems with some of the narrators who might have been amateurs and sounded as if they were reading right from the book. Give it a try but heed my sadness warning. If you don't get a lump in your throat or a tear in your eye listing to the "Pig Son" story, you need to check your heart.

77 people found this helpful

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This Was A Great Listen

I finished the brief eternity The Terror by Dan Simmons and it’s a good book with a problematic ending and a terrible narrator. How High We Go In The Dark was an antidote. All but one narrator is excellent with one slightly over dramatic segment that was still very well read. The prose is wonderful, full of small and grand insights about connection in a time of trial and terrible strife.

This is a connecting series of stories that build a narrative about grief, puzzlement, and extraordinary sadness. It features a pandemic at a juncture with climate based collapse. There are elements of science fiction and a couple of segments that reminded me of Cloud Cuckoo Land although I preferred How High…. and it’s execution. Particularly, I appreciated the book’s coping strategy of commodification of death. It was hard at first hearing it but ends up being a blessing to some of the book’s characters.

Sadly, there will be team republicans that will see this book as another woke snowflake manifesto (it is not) while team democrats will feel emboldened (which they shouldn’t.) I would say both political takes on the themes would be wrong and ironic as part of the book is about how communication between us breaks down as stressors build.

The early stages of the book were rough for me. While not about or similar to Covid19 the underlying feelings are there. Most of us have lost friends or family or suffered the isolation and uncertainty a pandemic brings. The book was intense and I almost DNF’d. Thankfully I continued and was rewarded with a good tale that, sadness infused, held out hope and redemption.

A very well written book that deserves peoples attention.

42 people found this helpful

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  • KB
  • 02-26-22

Is there a singularity in my head?

What is happening? Are we human or are we dancer? The end sort of but not really brings things together which I guess might be the point. I enjoyed the narration, especially from a non-white perspective, and I very much respect the creativity of the story; it just didn’t come together for me in the way that I had hoped.

21 people found this helpful

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Amazing!

I can highly recommend this novel, even if you are not a fan of dystopian tales or science-fiction. This humanity is blindingly beautiful and horrifically sad.

15 people found this helpful

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I don't know

jumps around a lot going from chapter to chapter doesn't really make much sense the end tries to tie it all together kind of does kind of doesn't and then it's over and you're like what?

15 people found this helpful

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Trippy

Wild sci fi ride! Each chapter it’s own short story and wrapped up into a bow in the end. Super imaginative, a little frightening and very trippy! Not usually my genre but thoroughly enjoyed this book

11 people found this helpful

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Entirety Different

This book appeared in my Audible Library. I do not remember purchasing it. The story that unfolds in many voices as the book is recited make the listening experience fascinating.

9 people found this helpful

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a deft exploration of existence and relationships

while some of the narration was a bit stiff this beautifully written series of interconnected stories takes the reader on journey what it means to find love and how far you may be willing to go to hold on to it. be it romantic, familial, or friendship, looking at these bonds through the rise duration and aftermath of a plague is extremely poignant as you watch characters grow and develop as circumstances eddy around them. i wasn’t sure what to expect but i absolutely loved it. highly recommended. a very hopeful book.

5 people found this helpful

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Thought provoking and timely

Sequoia Nagamatsu has created a world from start to finish but in a nonlinear way to expand on creation and exploration from now to the deist any future and back to creation itself. Exceptionally well narrated and I greatly enjoyed the multiple voices which help to flesh out each character. Looking forward to more!

3 people found this helpful

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wonderful

I enjoyed every moment of this thought provoking story. any more available from author ?

3 people found this helpful

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