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Der Schwarm

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Vor Peru verschwindet ein Fischer. Spurlos. Norwegische Ölbohrexperten stoßen auf merkwürdige Organismen, die Hunderte Quadratkilometer Meeresboden in Besitz genommen haben. Währenddessen geht mit den Walen entlang der Küste British Columbias eine unheimliche Veränderung vor. Nichts von alledem scheint miteinander in Zusammenhang zu stehen. Doch Sigur Johanson, Biologe und Schöngeist, glaubt nicht an Zufälle. Auch der indianische Walforscher Leon Anawak gelangt zu beunruhigenden Schlüssen: Eine Katastrophe kündigt sich an. Die Suche nach dem Urheber konfrontiert die Forscher mit ihren schlimmsten Albträumen. Frank Schätzing inszeniert den Feldzug der Natur gegen den Menschen als atemberaubendes Schreckensszenario mit Tempo und Tiefgang.

987 pages, Paperback

First published January 1, 2004

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About the author

Frank Schätzing

53 books767 followers
Schätzing was born in Cologne and studied communication studies; he later ran his own company, an advertising agency named INTEVI, in Cologne. Schätzing became a writer in 1990, and penned several novellas and satires. His first published novel was the historical Tod und Teufel in 1995, and in 2000 his thriller Lautlos.

Schätzing achieved his greatest success in 2004 with the science fiction thriller The Swarm.

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5 stars
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Displaying 1 - 30 of 1,429 reviews
Profile Image for Jacob Jones-Goldstein.
Author 5 books12 followers
September 12, 2007
This is probably the only non-political book where I wanted to punch the author in the face after reading it. Possibly the most irritating book I have read since The Dark Tower. the book is fine for about 600 pages, then Frank loses it completely.

First off, if after 600 pages you don't care whether a single character lives or dies, you know your in trouble. Secondly, if you are going to make the argument that everyone is just a mass of DNA and everything we do is the sole outcome of that DNA, why is every single American in this book practically evil? I don't have a problem with the portrayal as such, just that it doesn't jive with what he is putting forth about humanity.

And Lastly, if the Yrr are so much better than humanity, so much more in tune with nature and basically benevolent, why are they using whales as projectiles? All of their offensives essentially involve that mass destruction of living creatures both human and non. That kind of hurts the case of them being benevolent avatars of mother nature or whatever he is trying to suggest.

The chapter about the trip a particle takes through the oceans right in the middle of the books Climax was particularly galling.

This may be the first any only time I invested this much time in a book to basically skim the ending.

It is big and long so it would undoubtedly make excellent kindling.
Profile Image for Francisca.
189 reviews84 followers
November 9, 2018
Speculative fiction at it's very best, and if the genre in which it has been categorized doesn't make you curious perhaps nothing will, for this is an apocalyptic eco-thriller, focused on telling the story of who is behind a series of catastrophic natural events occurring all too close together to be coincidental.

I loved this book. Not only is the science behind it solid (the author even spent some time sampling the gelid waters of the Northern Seas along a bunch of scientist) but the story is compelling, and scary, and you can't stop reading. I think I finished the book in three days (and the thing is about 900 pages long) because I had to know how everything would end.

The cast of characters is huge, diverse, and beyond wonderful. The majority of them are marine scientists from various fields, called into action when strange things start to happen in the world’s oceans. It all begins with the discovery of a new species of worms living on the methane hydrate deposits on the world’s deep-sea continental shelves. The worms feed on the methane deposits, weakening the continental shelves that soon start to collapse. But that's just the beginning, and when poisonous jellyfish and crabs come out from the sea to attack everything moving on land, whales start sinking ships, and underwater probes start going missing, it becomes obvious that there’s something going on, and that mankind has a new enemy.

If you want to read a good thriller that is original beyond bounds, this is the book you have to choose because the novel works well. The premise is quite original and well researched. The book is entertaining, outdoing many Hollywood disaster movies in certain passages and it's a pleasurable read. Especially if you, too, sometimes wish the ocean could fight back.
2 reviews1 follower
March 23, 2012
Sigur Johanson is a wormologist (He's actually a biologist at the university Trontheim and an expert for worms). Accidentally, there's a strange species of deep sea worms that eat a lot of stuff with complicated names. Things threaten to collapse on a continental level. Basically, the world as we know it will crumble under the impact of worms (so far so awesome).

Leon Anawak is a whalist (he's a maritime scientist and studies whale behaviour) and is taken aback when he watches whales attack boats and kill people. *gasp*

More bad things happen: jellyfish kill people, ships collide, there's a suspicious absence of the Gulf Stream, a massive crab attack, an epidemic in France (because of exploding lobsters) and - I almost forgot - a tsunami that kills a few million people and destroys most cities close to the Baltic Sea (the worms!!! Where's Kevin Bacon when you need him?).

Tina Lund dies (This is the first in a serious of unrelated characters doing unrelated things with no impact on the main plot (I lied. It's not the first, but at one point I stopped counting).

Naturally, all events are related. After what feels like 500 pages, the world is in shambles.

Even though most of the damage has been done in Europe and the main protagonist is from Europe, the Americans start a task force (they kidnap every scientist and order them to... be scientists).

They all go to a castle in the mountains for research. After all the above mentioned coordinated attacks that have picked up speed, culminating in the Tsunami and forcing the world to react as a unity, what do you think happens? Exactly! Nothing. For excruciating months and about 800 pages, nothing really happens. This is because- Oh, look! An unrelated character is doing something unrelated! Shiny!

The attacks stop and there's research going on. Kind of. Actually, everyone does a little bit of puttering around.

Johanson, who's not only a wormologist but a strange-thingologist, develops the following theory (we instantly know that he's right): There's an unknown species living in the depths of the ocean since the beginning of time. They are doing things because- Oh, look! An unrelated character is doing something unrelated! Shiny!

The Yrr (just for the record, I think that's a stupid name) are single-cell organisms and operate like tiny Borg (--> The Star Trek works because the book swings the moral bat worse than Captain Picard, sadly without having any of his boyish charm).

Then there's a 400 page description of someone's father's funeral.

Then everyone goes on a ship.

Let's just think about this for a moment. There's something in the ocean that makes every creature in it go wonky, and that has the power to stop the gulf stream. Is it reasonable to put every scientist who has even the slightest chance to fight back on the same ship and let them sail off into the deep sea? Obviously it is, because the book expects you to believe this is a good idea.

There's a secret lab that we know must be there when we read the word 'ship' for the first time, but we need about 300 pages to discover it. Then we need another 600 pages to get inside the lab, and really, it's unexciting.

I feel I should mention the evil American antagonist with Asian background, General Li (American Navi General, think about it for a moment). General Li (navy) is such an outrageously clichéd villain, though, that I refuse to admit her existence.

The person representing the United States (the one I don't want to discuss), wants to kill all Yrr, and she knows how to do it. Somehow we're made to believe that killing a species who's determined to erase mankind and destroys half of the earth while doing so is a bad idea.

Instead wormo-thingologist Johanson, develops a communication method that involves a dead man, Yrr-pheromones, mini submarines and blowing himself up in the middle of a tremendously boring 800 pages showdown. Don't ask - only MacGyver can make that explanation sound reasonable.

BTW, if you ever asked yourself how you can possibly make trained military dolphins boring, read the book! It's a great step by step guide.

Then we finally realise, why during the last 2,000 pages, we've constantly read about Karen Weaver. You don't need to know anything about Karen Weaver except that she was somehow around, is the token female character and love interest of... uh... someone. She is now saving the world after Johanson's (and navy general's) death. Obviously she does that by kidnapping the already mentioned dead body with a mini submarine. While she remains in the boat, the body bravely jumps into the water to communicate with the Yrr. HUSSAH!

The attacks of the Yrr stop then, because the dead body which is full of their natural pheromones and... Alright, I give up.

The book ends.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
August 13, 2020
Borring.... Yawn.

Meeting the Queen of yrr couldn't have been any less exciting.

Maybe the original would've been better. Maybe a reread?

He was one of many, too many. What he'd experienced in the early hours of that morning had been going on elsewhere all over the world. The parallels were striking – once you knew what had happened, and only Ucañan did. Maybe the fisherman, with his simple way of seeing things, had even sensed the more complex connections, but in the absence of his evidence, the mystery went unsolved (c)
At sea the world was just water and sky, with little to tell them apart. There were no visual markers, which meant that on clear days, the sense of infinity could suck you into space, and when it was wet, you never knew if you were on the surface or somewhere beneath it. Even hardened sailors found the monotony of constant rain depressing. The horizon dimmed as dark waves merged with banks of thick grey cloud, robbing the universe of light, shape and hope in a vision of desolation. (c)
... not long afterwards the terror ceased.
Or was it merely suspended?
Are we using our reprieve? (c)
Even when speculation started about intelligence on other planets, Christianity managed to keep pace. After all, wasn't God at liberty to replicate creation as often as He liked? (c)
Perhaps it's time for humanity to enter a new phase of evolution and finally reconcile our primordial genetic inheritance with our development as a civilised race. If we want to prove ourselves worthy of the gift that is the Earth, it isn't the yrr we should be studying but ourselves. Amid our skyscrapers and computers we've learned to disavow our nature, but the path to a better future lies in knowing our origins.
... the yrr haven't changed the world. They've shown us how it really is.
Nothing is as it was. Although, come to think of it, I haven't stopped smoking.
We all need continuity of some kind, don't you think? (c)
How could we understand the ability of fish and seals to survive in the cold dark waters of the Antarctic? How could humans see inside a biotope that was sealed with layers of ice? What would the Earth look like from the sky, if we crossed the Mediterranean on the back of a goose? How did it feel to be a bee? How could we measure the speed of an insect's wings and its heartbeat, or monitor its blood pressure and eating patterns? What was the impact of human activities, like shipping noise or subsea explosions, on mammals in the depths? How could we follow animals to places where no human could venture? (c)
Profile Image for Chris_P.
382 reviews269 followers
July 30, 2016
From the first time I laid eyes on the plot of The Swarm, I knew I had to read it. Nature taking revenge through marine animals for all the shit man has caused. Whales killing people, worms coordinating their efforts to cause tsunamis, mutant crabs spreading a deadly virus and so on... I was imagining Tool's Ænema in literary form. Now, I'm left wondering how such a good idea can end up so fucked up...

Well, the answer is rather simple. The greek edition is 1018 pages long. Every 20-30 pages of plot development and rudimentary suspense were followed by 40-50 pages where characters were doing nothing important at all. Not to mention a couple of 50-page-long breaks where everything that happens is totally unrelated to the story. What's more, the endless blabbering of the omniscient narrator about scientific facts tested my patience any number of times. At first I found those facts to be interesting and educational but soon they became tiring and totally distracting of the plot which took what seemed like forever to develop.

As if all this wasn't enough, I found the dialogs to be a bit unrealistic. It was like the author was struggling with them and forcing himself to write them in order to make his characters more familiar to the reader. Although, I'll give him the benefit of the doubt on this as it may well have been the translator's* fault.

What I found a bit fun, if cheap, was the fact that it's the first among all books and movies about the end of the world where the Americans are the psychotic lunatics who are willing, in their stupidity, to risk sending the world to hell in order to exploit what's happening for their own benefit. Of course this makes sense as the author is German but, if only for a little while, I enjoyed the originality of the notion. On the long run, though, portraying the Americans in such a caricatural manner served only negatively.

The Swarm had the potential to be a great novel and that made me even angrier. Never mind if I don't like a book. It happens and I'm ok with it. But when I come across a book that not only has a very interesting story to tell but also has a few great elements (like the idea of the final solution which I found magnificent), the last thing I'd like to see it do is waste its own potential. It's a shame but that's exactly how I felt about The Swarm. If only it was 600 pages long instead of 1000 and included more action and substance instead of an ocean of useless information, I'm sure it would be one of the greatest novels of the previous decade.

*Βρήκα γελοίο το γεγονός ότι χρησιμοποιείται σε όλο το βιβλίο πληθυντικός ευγενείας ανάμεσα στους χαρακτήρες. Στο βαθμό τού να απειλεί ο ένας τον άλλον με όπλο και να του λέει "αφήστε το όπλο κάτω Τάδε γιατί θα σας σκοτώσω". Ούτε καν "κύριε", αλλά με τα μικρά τους. Δεν ξέρω αν και στο πρωτότυπο ήταν έτσι. Υποθέτω πως ναι όμως.
Profile Image for Thanos.
93 reviews16 followers
May 17, 2018
Τώρα τι να πω? Αλήθεια τι μπορώ να πω γι αυτό το βιβλίο?

Θα παραθέσω γεγονότα:

1) Το ότι ήταν πάνω από 1000 σελίδες με μικρά γράμματα και χωρίς μεγάλα περιθώρια έπρεπε να με προβληματίσει… Δεν το έκανε.
2) Από την αρχή ξεκίνησε με βιολογία, ωκεανογραφία, μόρια και άτομα, μηχανήματα και εξαρτήματα. Κάπως έτσι άρχισε σιγά σιγά να δίνει κάποια δείγματα.
3) Το ότι μέχρι τα μισά του βιβλίου δεν είχε γίνει απολύτως ��ίποτα σημαντικό ήταν ένα καλό δείγμα να το σταματήσω… έλα όμως που έχω την λόξα να μην αφήνω βιβλία στη μέση… (μαζοχισμός άραγε?)
4) Πραγματικά δεν μπόρεσα να συμπαθήσω/αντιπαθήσω κανέναν χαρακτήρα. Δεν πάει να ζήσει, να αυτοκτονήσει, να τον πυροβολήσουν, να γίνει τροφή για τα ψάρια… Πέρασε και δεν ακούμπησε…
5) Κι εκεί που έχεις διαβάσει 500-600 σελίδες, ξαφνικά τσουπ, πετάγεται κάποιος και τους λέει «Ρε παιδιά αυτό πιστεύω έγινε» χωρίς να έχει προηγηθεί τίποτα. Ήταν ακόμη πιο άκυρο από κάποιον από μηχανής θεό.
6) Κάποια στιγμή προς το τέλος υπάρχουν 42 ολόκληρες σελίδες –ναι τις μέτρησα- για τον Άναουακ που δεν έχουν καμία απολύτως σχέση με την ιστορία. Τα νεύρα κρόσσια λέμε…
7) Κάπου εκεί στις 300-200 σελίδες πριν το τέλος υπήρξε ένα μικρό ενδιαφέρον… μικρό όμως…
8) Και φτάνουμε στο τέλος… Γιατί το Goodreads δεν έχει μηδέν ως βαθμολογία? Θα έπρεπε…

Νομίζω ήμουν αρκετά ξεκάθαρος και το ένα αστεράκι τα λέει όλα. Είναι κρίμα γιατί η γενική ιδέα είναι καλή...Θα μπορούσε να γίνει ένα καλό θρίλερ, αλλά δυστηχώς...δεν...

Δεν είναι βιβλίο για τον καθένα. Ας το διαβάσουν μόνο όσοι δεν κουράζονται με απίστευτα λεπτομερείς επιστημονικές εξηγήσεις και αναλύσεις και όσοι ενδιαφέρονται για τη θαλάσσια ζωή… Οι υπόλοιποι ας το προσπεράσουν γιατί πιάνει και πολύ χώρο στη βιβλιοθήκη…
Profile Image for Morad Bagoury.
4 reviews5 followers
February 15, 2013
This is by far one of the most amazing books I have ever read in my life. First off, the plot is beyond epic. For as long as we can remember, we have always thought about the existence of aliens in outer space, but we rarely thought about them being underwater. This is where Schatzing does his magic and really gets you going. Many of you know the famous line:
We know more about space than we know about our own oceans
Well, this statement is out into action after
Secondly, I feel obliged to compliment the author's writing style. I could swear that he made me itch to turn the page at the end of each chapter. His style is suspenseful, logical and very fast-paced. You won't have a single moment of rest with this book, that is guaranteed.
Lastly, I would like to give all readers an important piece of advice regarding this book:

A five star-rating is in order here....Well done, Frank..
Profile Image for Dennis.
658 reviews276 followers
March 10, 2021
Die Natur schlägt zurück in Frank Schätzings Sci-Fi Thriller aus dem Jahr 2004.

Oder genauer gesagt, das Meer schlägt zurück. Als Wale plötzlich vermehrt Schiffe angreifen, giftige Krabben an Land krabbeln und mutierte Würmer für Unterwasser-Erdrutsche sorgen, wird klar, dass hier etwas im Gange ist. Etwas Dramatisches, dem eine Vielzahl an Protagonisten auf den Grund gehen.

Schätzing hat ein spannendes und umfangreich recherchiertes Katastrophenszenario geschaffen. Umfangreich ist freilich auch Schätzings Buch geworden. Ein beinahe tausendseitiges Werk, das einen beim Aufschlagen erst mal mit der zusätzlich noch recht kleinen Schriftgröße kurz in Ohnmacht versetzt.

Schätzing hat einen Hang zum blah blah, der mich zum Beispiel auch sein Science-Fiction Werk Limit nach knapp 300 Seiten (oder etwas weniger als einem Viertel) abbrechen ließ.

Wer hier dabei bleibt, wird aber mit einem denkwürdigen Leseerlebnis belohnt.

Für mich jedenfalls bleiben nach nun etwas über drei Jahren einige Momente noch immer unvergessen. Das kann ich nicht von jedem Buch behaupten.

Mein damaliges Rating (7/10 - das war vor meiner Goodreads Zeit, als ich mir noch die Freiheit eines etwas brauchbareren Ratingsystems genehmigt habe) scheint mir heute fast zu niedrig.

Vielleicht lese ich es noch mal, bevor es dann endlich doch noch verfilmt wird. Andererseits, vielleicht auch nicht. Es ist eben doch verdammt lang. Was wohl auch der Grund dafür war, dass es seinerzeit nicht für ein höheres Rating gereicht hat. Womöglich braucht es einen Buddy Read oder eine Lesegruppe, um mich zum erneuten Lesen zu motivieren.

Was ist jetzt eigentlich mit der Verfilmung? Weiß da irgendwer was drüber?
Profile Image for Eirini Proikaki.
339 reviews113 followers
July 10, 2017
Tσουνάμι καταστρέφει τη μισή βόρεια Ευρώπη,φάλαινες βυθιζουν πλοία,μεταλλαγμένα καβούρια μεταδίδουν θανατηφόρους ιούς,σκουλήκια καταστρέφουν το βυθό της θάλασσας,η φύση δείχνει να έχει στραφεί ενάντια στους ανθρώπους και προσπαθεί να τους καταστρέψει.Τι συμβαίνει?
Αυτή ήταν πάνω κάτω η περιγραφή του βιβλίου,εκπληκτικό οικολογικό θρίλερ έλεγε,μπεστ σέλλερ ελεγε,μπάνικο εξώφυλλο είχε...Ουάου,σκέφτηκα,αυτό πρέπει να είναι φοβερο!Σαν να διαβάζεις ταινία καταστροφής!Και ήταν.Στην αρχή τουλάχιστον.Ξεκινάει ωραία,δημιουργώντας σασπένς και μυστήριο,κάνει μια κορύφωση με το τεράστιο καταστροφικό τσουνάμι και μετά...το χάος!Εκατοντάδες σελίδες με πληροφορίες που θα μπορούσα να διαβάσω και στο wikipedia αν ήθελα.Το βιβλίο είναι πάνω απο 1000 σελίδες και θα έλεγα οτι ίσως οι 300 είναι γεματες με εγκυκλοπαιδικές γνώσεις.Στην αρχή είχαν ένα ενδιαφέρον αλλά κάποια στιγμή κουράστηκα και έφτασα μέχρι και να πηδάω σελίδες,που σπάνια το κάνω.
Αυτό το βιβλίο μου άφησε την αίσθηση οτι πήγα σινεμά με τα ποπ κορν μου να δω την υπερπαραγωγή με τα φοβερά εφέ και περίπου στο 1/3 της ταινίας ,η υπερπαραγωγή έγινε b movie του χειρίστου είδους ,απο αυτά που δεν τα παίζει ουτε το Star μετά τα μεσάνυχτα.
Δεν με ενδιέφερε τι θα γίνει,ολα απο ένα σημείο και μετά αρχισαν να μου φαίνονται αστεία ,δεν με ένοιαζε ποιος ζει και ποιος πεθαίνει , σε πολλά σημεία απλά σκυλοβαρέθηκα,και το φαντασμαγορικό του τέλος μου φάνηκε πιο χαζό και απο τη χαζομάρα.
25 reviews
October 15, 2009
A great plot idea by a terrible author. Not recommended. Characters are flat, one-dimensional, and predictable, at times the book is downright sexist and, yes, racist. Language (I read the German original) is puerile and often vulgar in a dumb, embarrassing way. While some of the science in the book appears plausible to me, other aspects are strangely under-researched: Who ever heard of the rank of "general commander" in the US Navy? The absolute low is when Schätzing descends into the depths of pseudo-philosophical bullshit. Which he often does.

I guess I shouldn't be too harsh on a book that kept me going through some 1300 pages. So I'll give it one thing: The plot was exciting enough to keep me laboring through to the end.

I need to start reading real books again.
Profile Image for Rachel (TheShadesofOrange).
2,206 reviews3,213 followers
December 31, 2022
4.0 stars
I absolutely loved this epic science fiction novel that attacks climate change and environmentalism in a creative way.

This chunky novel reminded me of Neal Stephenson's work because it explored hard science fiction concepts through an epic lense. This is not a character focused story but I did not need it to be. I loved the scope of the story which felt so exciting and imaginative.

In my opinion, this book is sorely underhyped. I can see it not being for everyone but it certainly was for me. It's a very long book but I wouldn't cut it down. I flew through the pages, desperately looking for reasons to get back to reading it.

I would highly recommend this novel to anyone who loves hard science fiction as much as I do.
Profile Image for K.D. Absolutely.
1,820 reviews
November 22, 2012
Nature strikes back. This is the most important message of this book: we have to take care of our environment and that definitely includes the sea, the ocean. In this wonderful sci-fi book, a group of scientists have to fight against the Yrr, an alien kind of one-celled microorganisms found in the bottom of the sea that have the ability to eat away the continental drift and when these pesky creatures destroy the drift, it causes tsunami and flooding. These Yrr can even pollute small crabs and lobsters and when these delicious creatures are eaten in New York, it causes epidemic of wide magnitude. Red tide, right? But Schatzing did not use that term here. These Yrr can also trigger the mutation of mussels (I am not kidding) so they become highly mobile and attack whaling ships. These small microorganisms can also be sniffed by whales and orcas that can make these huge sea animals to get crazy and turn ocean liners upside down and sink into the bottom of the sea.

The first time this book was published in Germany in 1998, it stayed in their bestsellers' list for 7 years. This English translation came out in the US in 2004. Hollywood actress and producer Uma Thurman and the German producers bought this book's film rights. On May 9, 2007, it was announced that the film was in the works. Ted Tally has finished writing the screenplay and Dino De Laurentiis was to be one of the prime financial benefactors of the project. The release date is estimated to be in 2015. (Source: Wiki). Eight years to make a huge movie out of this well-written sci-fi. It should be a MUST see movie!

I say that this is a well-written sci-fi because its mind-boggling claims are backed by scientific explanations. What I mean is that Schatzing really did his research (he is a marine biologist by profession) while writing the book and so each of what the Yrr can do is well-explained to make the whole thing plausible to happen. Each sub-plot - chains and chains of tragedies happening in the different parts of the world - is well-structured and well-developed and reading it felt like you are watching different cable channels announcing different sea-related incidents and catastrophes happening if not at the same time, close to each other. The whole book leaves a scary tone but it is a definitely a wake up call for all of us. That's why this probably woke up German readers to put this book into their top spot of their bestsellers' list for 7 years.

The only little criticism that I'd like to point out is that the characters seem like bystanders in this whole thing. What I mean is that if you are fond of reading character-driven plots, this book is not really for you. I mean, by nature sci-fi are event-driven but some great authors still able to incorporate well-developed characters into event-driven plots like Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451 or Walter M. Miller, Jr.'s A Canticle for Leibowitz, the last sci-fi I read prior to this. Both books have mind-boggling premise but the characters are involved in those and they "evolve" as the plot progresses.

Also, caveat should be given to those sci-fi aficionados who read sci-fi only for entertainment. You might find readng some scientific details boring. This is the reason why it took me too many days to finish this book. But if you also read sci-fi to further your scientific knowledge on the matters that the author included in the book, then I promise that you will not get bored at all with this Schatzing's masterpiece.
Profile Image for Gudmundur.
3 reviews2 followers
March 15, 2010
Pretty good yarn if not taken too seriously. The strengths are that the story is obviously well researched and the biological and scientific explanations given look quite convincing (although my knowledge of the field is admittedly limited). The "enemy" is interesting and adequately mind-boggling for a sci-fi yarn. The cons: The characterization is pretty weak, and some of the characters are far too cartoonish to be convincing (Judith Li, Greywolf...); the technique of the all knowing narrator is used a bit haphazardly (and when the narrator "peaked" into the mind of Peak, what came out was pretty stereotypical and at least once down right racist); the author really likes to show that he did all this research, and there are lengthy chapters and monologues with scientific details that drag things down; when the author goes on existential sprees I lost patience and just skipped the pages (Karens descent down to the bottom of the Arctic sea, f.ex., went on forever with existential musings and halucinations that did not add anything to what was happening). And the showdown aboard the Independence was quite silly, indeed the authors treatment of the americans (although understandably sarcastic, given the flood of movies and books where the Americans come and save the day and turn 4th of July into the Independence day of the world) was far too cartoonish and silly and really dragged the whole thing down, especially for a novel trying to go for scientific veracity.
Profile Image for Alexandra Matobookalo.
86 reviews38 followers
April 10, 2018
Το βιβλίο έχει μια πολύ ωραία και ενδιαφέρουσα ιστορία. Αν καταλήγαμε πραγματικά σε αυτό το σενάριο θα ήταν σκέτος τρόμος. Η έρευνα που έχει κάνει ώστε να παρουσιάσει τα στοιχεία με σκοπό να φανεί αληθοφανής η ιστορία είναι άξια θαυμασμού. Δίνει πάρα πολλές πληροφορίες για τη θαλάσσια ζωή αλλά και όχι μόνο.

Όμως, η απόφαση του συγγραφέα να αποδώσει την ιδέα του περισσότερο με επιστημονικό, πάρα με μυθιστορηματικό τρόπο, εμένα δεν με κάλυψε. Θεωρείται οικολογικό θρίλερ άλλα πιστεύω έδωσε μεγαλύτερη σημασία στο «οικολογικό» κομμάτι πάρα στο «θρίλερ». Ένιωσα αγωνιά ελάχιστες φορές, δεν μπόρεσα να συνδεθώ με τους ήρωες, δεν μου προξένησε ζεστά συναισθήματα και αντιθέτως με κούρασε πάρα πολύ σε πολλά σημεία του.

Σε περίπτωση που σας αρέσουν πιο επιστημονικά βιβλία με δόσεις μυθοπλασίας, σας το προτείνω.
Profile Image for Uhtred.
271 reviews16 followers
May 7, 2022
A true brick. In the literal sense of the term: more than 1000 pages, and all of an incredible heaviness. The "thriller" story is present, but it is buried by thousands of pages of sermons on ecology, global warming, environmentalism, the search for energy and all these topics that in a normal book would be the right "side dish" of the main plot but which in this book instead become the central part, while that of the thriller becomes a miserable particle dispersed within the sermon. I really did an absurd effort to finish it, always hoping that sooner or later it would change gear, but no, it is always too slow, with many useless descriptions and characters. And selling a book calling it "the thriller of the oceans" when in reality it is a treatise on defense of the environment, is not correct. If the author had intended to write a scientific treatise, he and the publisher should have been more correct and published it in the "essays" category, not in fiction. Not to mention Schatzing's non-existent capacity for synthesis… how boring.
The basic ideas are there, for example the concept that the sea is a very unknown world for humanity and that if the sea rebelled, it would be the end for humanity; but this concept, which perhaps could have made the book take a "science fiction" turn, is instead transmitted with extreme slowness and absence of tension, so that after a while we get tired of seabed worms and aggressive whales, also because we ourselves are attacked by the very heavy philosophical digressions on ethics, the environment, human intelligence and human greed. The characters are far too many and all are flat and stereotyped; moreover, even if the book is chock full of data, numbers, rankings and statistics, perhaps to make it appear scientific, in reality it is not even credible, because no one believes that a contemporary scientist, for example a biologist, can know so deeply all the animal species and also can know everything about physics, geology and volcanology as well as knowing how to use and drive all the most modern technological discoveries. And no one can believe that a science writer is able to program in three days an artificial intelligence that simulates a superior organism: perhaps in the books of Clive Cussler, but in that case you already know that it is all invention and there is no attempt to look scientifically grounded. In short, an illegible mess.
Profile Image for Tonia.
92 reviews23 followers
July 10, 2017
Τεράστιο! Αλλά καθόλου κουραστικό. Σε βάζει σα σκέψεις για τον τρόπο με τον οποίο ο άνθρωπος χρησιμοποιεί τη φύση και τι θα γινόταν αν η φύση πάρει "το αιμα της πίσω" και αρχίσει να επιτίθεται στον άνθρωπο.
Profile Image for Nikos.
57 reviews16 followers
February 25, 2016
Μετα απο 1021 σελιδες και 1066γρ(το εβαλα στη ζυγαρια) το τελειωσα.Αν εξαιρεσουμε τις τελευταιες 300 σελιδες που κατι ψιλολεγανε, οι πρωτες 700 ηταν : Βιολογια. μοριακη βιολογια, βιοχημεια, βιοφυσικη,βιοτεχνολογια, μηχανικη βιολογια,γεωλογια, γεωχημεια,γεωφυσικη,ωκεανολογια, ωκεανογραφια, μηχανολογια, πλατφορμες πετρελαιου, μικροβιολογια, γυναικολογια, χημεια σκετη,χημεια απ"ολα,πυρηνικη φυσικη, αστρολογια, αστρονομια,μαγνητικα πεδια, οινολογια,λογιστικη, αισθητικα, κοσμετολογια, θρησκειολογια,μεταφορες-μετακομισεις ο Μπαμπης, ψησταρια (ολα στα καρβουνα )τα μπατζανακια,τορνοι-βαφες ο Θανος, σαντουιτσαδικο η κυρα Λενη και κομμωτηριο le grande psalidi!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Profile Image for nettebuecherkiste.
517 reviews132 followers
July 28, 2015
Es fängt leise und kaum bemerkt an: Vor Peru verschwindet ein Fischer. Einige Zeit darauf beginnen verschiedene Tierarten, sich merkwürdig zu verhalten. Wale scheinen plötzlich aggressiv und attackieren Boote. Vor Norwegen finden Exploratoren eines Ölkonzerns Massen von Würmern, die nicht nur nicht dorthin gehören, sondern auch seltsame Mutationen aufweisen. Doch das alles ist erst der Anfang…

Mit “Der Schwarm” hat Frank Schätzing wohl das Werk seines Lebens geschrieben. Ich kann gar nicht genug betonen, welchen Respekt ich vor der enormen Rechercheleistung habe, die für dieses Buch nötig gewesen sein muss. Aber der Roman ist nicht nur in dieser Hinsicht bemerkenswert. Auf 1000 Seiten erschafft Schätzing einen Ökothriller, der seinesgleich sucht, eine unglaubliche, originelle Geschichte. Die Länge des Romans mag abschrecken, ist jedoch nötig, um den verschiedenen Charakteren neben der komplexen Hauptstory und den wissenschaftlichen, jedoch absolut laientauglichen Erläuterungen (die den verschiedenen Wissenschaftlern unter den Charakteren geschickt in den Mund gelegt werden) genug Raum zur Entwicklung zu lassen. Lediglich Leons Trip in seine Heimat Nunavut hatte für mich ein paar Längen. Damit habe ich schon vorweggenommen, dass mir die Ausarbeitung der Charaktere wirklich gut gefallen hat. Dass nicht alle von ihnen das Ende erleben werden, kann man sich angesichts der Entwicklung der Geschichte denken.

Wie sich die ganze Katastrophe im Meer entwickelt, habe ich als ungeheuer spannend empfunden. Da braucht es nicht viel Action, wobei die angesichts von Walattacken auf Schiffe ja durchaus vorhanden ist. Gegen Ende hin wurde es mir sogar eher zu viel Action, aber sie passt dort auch einfach hin. Die ganze Theorie der Intelligenz aus der Tiefsee ist schlicht genial und faszinierend. Die sicherlich vorhandene Kritik an den USA sehe ich nicht als pauschal – schließlich sind ja auch unter den “Guten” US-Amerikaner zu finden. Vielmehr richtet sie sich gegen Institutionen (CIA) und Einzelpersonen. Viele sehen in der rabiaten Judith Li Ähnlichkeiten zur Ex-Sicherheitsberaterin und -Außenministerin Condoleeza Rice. Hinter dem Präsidenten, mit dem sie eng verbunden scheint, sehe ich durchaus auch George W. Bush.

Schätzings Buch ist jedoch nicht nur ein unterhaltsamer Roman, es steht selbstverständlich auch eine Botschaft dahinter: Wenn die Menschheit die Ozeane und den Planeten allgemein weiterhin so behandelt wie bisher, wird sie untergehen. Mit dem Ende des Buchs war ich einverstanden, obwohl ich es mir auch hätte anders vorstellen können. Um nicht zu spoilern, schreibe ich meine Meinung dazu unten in weißer Schrift, wer es lesen möchte, kann es markieren.
Da das hier auf goodreads nicht funktioniert, lasse ich genug Platz dazwischen.


Ich finde, das Ende hätte durchaus auch düsterer ausfallen können, obwohl es ja schon nicht gerade rosig ist. Angesichts der ungeheuerlichen Umweltsünden der Menschheit hätte sich meiner Meinung nach ruhig abzeichnen können, dass sie nicht überleben wird. Vielleicht wäre das aber für einen Roman zu negativ und würde zu der Schlussfolgerung “Ist eh zu spät” führen. Ich bin persönlich nicht sehr optimistisch. Ich bin jetzt nicht so fatalistisch zu sagen, die Menschheit wird auf jeden Fall untergehen, aber ich bin alles andere als sicher, dass sie eine Zukunft hat.
Profile Image for Cindy.
257 reviews263 followers
February 15, 2010
I'm wavering between 2 and 3 stars for this Crichton-esque brick of a sea-thriller.

On one hand you have whales, crabs, dolphins, sea worms, shoals, and sharks galore. All awesome. Oh and the top fru-fru Parisian restaurant infested with gooey lobsters. Right on. Also, there's some interesting thoughts on life-forms, consciousness, collectives and intelligence. I'll be thinking about those ideas for a while, even if they aren't anything new. The thriller and horror part of the story was plenty interesting to keep me turning the pages quickly.

On the other, much angrier sullied hand, you have obscene amounts of political, environmental and philosophical/religious pontification, aimed both directly at the reader and through the super-genius-beautiful-yet-one-dimensional cast of characters. Gah. I was so looking forward to a scientific thriller in translation that presented a multi-national cast and world view. The Swarm has this in spades, but also is incredibly one-sided in its vehement anti-US stance. The rest of the world is beautiful, intelligent, and rational. The US, however, is the source of all the world's woes, including inventing conspiracy theories?! I have lived for over 4 years in other countries, and it's dead easy to vilify the US. But the thing is all countries and their citizens have both bad and good virtues. No one is perfect, just like no country as a whole is pure evil. To portray the US as the latter is lazy characterization, an cheap shot and frankly just immature.

Finally, last gripe: the science is beyond sketchy. Schätzing clearly has done a ton of research (he packed every last detail of it in the book - that's why it's over 800 pages!). Yet he gets so much of the science wrong. Methane does not smell like rotten eggs - it's odorless.

I really like Jay's review that said that:
The Swarm:Science :: Da Vinci Code:Religion

That pretty much sums it up. :)
Profile Image for Alexandra .
887 reviews283 followers
March 7, 2010
Cooler Umweltkrimi - ala die Natur schlägt zurück - zwar Fiktion aber schlüssig und gar nicht so weit hergeholt. Die Killer in diesem Buch sind sehr variationsreich - alles was die Natur so zu bieten hat: Wale, Krabben, Hummer, Würmer....

Hier steht die Story im Vordergrund, die menschlichen Charaktäre sind nicht so liebevoll entwickelt, aber das macht nicht viel, man sollte sie eh nicht so sehr ins Herz schließen, denn sie sterben wie die Fliegen. Kurz vor dem Ende spekuliert man schon, ob überhaupt noch jemand übrigbleibt. Keine hohe Literatur aber auf jeden Fall so spannend, dass man das Buch kaum weglegen kann
Profile Image for Lygeri.
301 reviews21 followers
July 19, 2020
Όταν πρωτοδιάβασα αυτό το βιβλίο -απνευστί- ήταν τέτοιος ο ενθουσιασμός μου που το αγόρασα ξανά και ξανά και το έκανα δώρο σε όλους τους φίλους μου. Συγκλονιστικό! Η ενδελεχής έρευνα του Σέτσινγκ φαίνεται ( και αποτυπώνεται στο μετέπειτα βιβλίο του "ειδήσεις από ένα άγνωστο σύμπαν"). Εκτός από το γεγονός ότι σε μαθαίνει τόσα διαφορετικά πράγματα ( το κάθε κεφάλαιο φαίνεται να επικεντρώνεται σε κάποιο άλλο επιστημονικό τομέα - πόσο απίθανο είναι αυτό;), είναι ένα επιστημονικό μυθιστόρημα που θα μπορούσε να γίνει ταινία υπερπαραγωγή με σκηνές που περιγράφονται και σου κόβουν την ανάσα!
Profile Image for Serkan.
53 reviews63 followers
February 14, 2016
1) Fact1: Biyoloji dersi gibi kitaptı (iyi anlamda). Bu nasıl bir yazardır neresinden araştırmış bu kadar şeyi.
2) Fact2: Kötü editör iyi kitabı rezil eder. Gereksiz bölümler gereksiz diyaloglar gereksiz yan olaylar.
3) Öğrenilen ders: Film senaryosu yazmakla kitap yazmayı birbirine karıştırmamalıyız.
4) Uyarı: 6 punto kör eder.
5) Temenni: Gene de keşke her kitap bu derinlikte olsa.
Profile Image for elvedril.
18 reviews1 follower
September 29, 2007
A well written thriller with a very interesting plot. Despite its strengths it is held back by an unlikely premise and the author's inability to stop pontificating about international politics through his characters.

It reads like a bit like a multi-writer Mary Sue story. I don't mean the fact that pretty much every important character is a certifiable genius, that's fine since the story revolves around the top experts in multiple fields working together. Okay, that's wrong, it's not fine. It's really annoying to read long descriptions of just how wonderfully gifted and intelligent everybody is, and how much they respect each other's brilliant insights in their fields of knowledge, but it's understandable as part of the plot. The part that really got me is the melodrama in character backgrounds. Like I said, all geniuses, but nobody from a standard family background in the lot. Everybody was orphaned at a young age, grew up on some sort of metaphorical or literal "mean streets", or been touched by a dark government conspiracy. And don't get me started on the need to describe just how amazingly charming and attractive some of them are. Or the exaggerated evil of every American in the book. Is that really necessary to make the characters interesting? I find it hard to believe that you can get 20 top scientists in a room and not find one science nerd from the suburbs who worked hard and went to a good school. I'm honestly surprised none of the characters discovered they were the lost heirs to magical kingdoms...

Furthermore, I found the science aspect of the science fiction to be somewhat unconvincing. Though it could be very accurate for all I know, since my background in biology isn't very strong. The author thanks a long list of people with PhDs for their help so it's possible. Then again if you can't write real science in a way that's believable... Eh, that's not fair, fact is sometimes stranger than fiction.

Finally, I found the last 40 pages or so to be really frustrating. It was basically all pontification. It was like reading an empiricist revenge fantasy. A German patriot, environmentalist, empiricist revenge fantasy. It seemed like a weak payoff for 800 pages of reading and makes it hard for me to recommend the book to anyone.
Profile Image for Chantaal.
999 reviews104 followers
March 18, 2023
I'm spoiler tagging this review because while it is quite full of epic rage and I do my best NOT to include outright spoilers, I might let some things slip that could possibly spoil someone who had any interest in this book. Not that I'm recommending this. I hated it. There's a lot of capslock and cursing.

Profile Image for Leah.
421 reviews46 followers
October 13, 2019
Von bösen, bösen Urwesen, noch böseren Amerikanern und der Kunst des Querlesens.

Irgendwie hatte ich bei diesem Buch das Gefühl, dass es brandaktueller nicht sein könnte, obwohl bereits 2004 erschienen: Mensch gegen seine Umwelt und die Umwelt schlägt endlich zurück. Hier sind es (Achtung! Spoiler!) in der Tiefsee lebende Einzeller: die Yrr, die mittels Biochemie anderer Tiere steuern können und die ganze Küste Norwegens so durch einen Tsunami vernichten lassen. Daran knüpft sich direkt eine fast philosophische Fragestellungen: Ist der Mensch wirklich die Krönung der Schöpfung, vor allem, wenn er wissend seine Umwelt zerstört?
Zwar packte mich die Idee direkt, aber nach 100 Seiten war ich bereit schlappzumachen. Ich wusste gar nichts mit all den Figuren anzufangen und schon gar nichts mit den Anomalien, den endlosen Wissensschwafeleien über die Tiefsee, über Ölbohrinseln, Metanhydrate, Quallen... Schätzing strapazierte da an einigen Stellen meine Geduld und zwang mich dazu, manches einfach zu überlesen.
Wenn er sich mal wieder in einen Erguss über jegliche Phänomene begab, konnte ich nur dann weiterlesen, wenn es mich wirklich interessierte: die Tierwelt der Tiefsee, das war zum Beispiel was, aber bei Technik, DNA, legte ich einfach nicht die verlangte Ausdauer an den Tag.
Am Ende fügt sich das Buch aber gut zusammen und auch die Vielzahl an Figuren wirkt nicht mehr überfordernd, wie es im ersten Teil den Anschein machte. Ich habe manche Hintergrundgeschichten als etwas kitschig empfunden und wie man auch die Wissensdiskurse locker hätte kürzen können, hätte man sicher auch einige Absätze über Figuren rausschmeißen können. Am schlimmsten fand ich dann aber, dass die Amerikaner in diesem Buch durchweg Böses im Schilde führten und wie in einem Agentenfilm handelten und auch so sprachen. Vieles war einfach ein bisschen too much. Zum Ende hin hat es trotzdem die Spannung erhöht.
Fazit: Hier und da kann man ruhig überblättern (und das sage ich wirklich ungern), die platten Dialoge nicht ganz ernst nehmen und das actiongeladene Finale genießen.
Profile Image for Sacha.
218 reviews55 followers
September 3, 2022
Der Schwarm von Frank Schätzing

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (5*)

Vor Peru verschwindet ein Fischer. Spurlos. Norwegische Ölbohrexperten stoßen auf merkwürdige Organismen, die Hunderte Quadratkilometer Meeresboden in Besitz genommen haben. Währenddessen geht mit den Walen entlang der Küste British Columbias eine unheimliche Veränderung vor. Nichts von alledem scheint miteinander in Zusammenhang zu stehen.

Ein atemberaubender Öko-Thriller und noch viel mehr. Aus meiner Sicht ist dieses Buch Frank Schätzings Meisterwerk. Ich mag seine Bücher und habe fast alles gelesen, auch wenn es in letzter Zeit etwas ruhiger geworden ist um ihn. Die schiere Anzahl Stunden, die in dieses Buch für die Recherche geflossen ist (so viel, dass sogar ein zweites Buch herausgekommen ist), ist einfach unvorstellbar. Es ist darum auch so stimmig und enthält wenig bis keine Lücken.

Schade nur, dass das Buch erst jetzt verfilmt wird und ich hoffe, ZDF & Co. geben sich auch ordentlich Mühe. Da wir aber alle wissen, dass Filme nie an Bücher heranreichen, ist es wohl besser gewesen und sollte man nicht zu enthusiastisch sein. 😉

Ich habe das Buch bereits zum zweiten Mal gelesen und auch nach mehr als 10 Jahren, hat es nichts von seiner Spannung, Brillianz und Aktualität verloren. Es ist tatsächlich eines meiner absoluten Lieblingsbücher und ich kann nur jedem empfehlen es zu lesen. Informiert Euch nicht zu sehr vorab und spoilert euch so nicht selbst (wenn das noch möglich ist), sondern geht unvoreingenommen in das Buch und schaut, was Ihr erlebt. 😁

100%ige Empfehlung für jeden der gerne liest! 😁👍🏻
Author 4 books3 followers
May 11, 2010
Schätzing has done a great amount of research for this, inquiring at actual marine biology institutes and other knowledge centres. If you look around a bit, you will note that his information is still up to date.

He manages to tread the fine line between too much information and superficiality very well. He makes accessible scientific information to a lay audience, which might be the most praiseworthy author's activity there is. I'd be grateful if he could write a book like this on every other subject as well.

The book starts out as a thriller, reinvents itself as science book, and, suddenly, somewhere past the middle, Schätzing catches that tone that is more than just competent writing. Though he has been smooth and witty from the beginning, he discovers a touch of brightness halfway through.

I love this: it is a book that touches everything.

Beware of cover texts on foreign editions: often they give away the plot for about 3/4 of the book.
Profile Image for CrossingJordan.
225 reviews38 followers
September 2, 2020
2,5 Sterne

Nach dem wahnsinnig spannenden Einstieg in die Handlungsentwicklung gab es nur mehr ein ständiges Auf und Ab im Spannungsbogen, der viel zu oft von langatmigen Passagen abgelöst wurde, sowie ein unbefriedigende Ende/Auflösung. Ich bin ziemlich enttäuscht.
Profile Image for Jody.
794 reviews34 followers
February 24, 2019
If Dan Brown was German and wrote underwater sci-fi, this would be the result.

Bloated, cheesy, and filled with awfully written characters & tired old tropes - women defined by their looks, younger women in love with middle-aged men, and almost cartoonishly evil Americans. A lot of completely unnecessary romance & bizarrely placed introspection - case in point below:

He did feel scared and unsure of himself- more so with every step that took them closer to the hangar deck. What if there was nothing? By now he felt almost certain that they wouldn’t find a door, and then he’d have to get used to the idea that he might be delusional. He was fifty-six, he was good-looking, and people seemed to find him intelligent and charming. There was never any shortage of women.

Exactly what his status an an obviously undeniable pussy-magnet has to do with him looking for a hidden door is beyond me. Like, seriously. I think my eyes almost rolled out of my head at that point - thankfully this was almost at the end of this 1,104 page behemoth, because by then I couldn't take much more.

I am absolutely baffled as to how this made the 1001 list, other than perhaps they were trying to meet some kind of translated quota.
Profile Image for Patrizia.
806 reviews15 followers
August 20, 2016
Ein Buch mit absolut tollen Passagen und dann auf der anderen Seite unheimliche Längen. Die Idee -> top! Umsetzung = toll aber einfach 200-300 Seiten zu viel
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