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Ultimatum

Ultimatum

Written by Matthew Glass

Narrated by Phil Gigante


Ultimatum

Written by Matthew Glass

Narrated by Phil Gigante

ratings:
3/5 (8 ratings)
Length:
14 hours
Released:
Apr 1, 2009
ISBN:
9781423390947
Format:
Audiobook

Also available as...

Also available as bookBook

Also available as...

Also available as bookBook

Description

November 2032, Joe Benton has just been elected the 48th president of the United States. Only days after winning, Benton learns from his predecessor that previous estimates regarding the effect of global warming on rising sea levels have been grossly underestimated. With the world frighteningly close to catastrophe, Benton must save the United States from environmental devastation. He resumes secret bilateral negotiations with the Chinese--the world's worst polluter--and as the two superpowers lock horns, the ensuing battle of wits becomes a race against time. With tension escalating on almost every page and building to an astonishing climax, Matthew Glass's visionary and deeply unsettling thriller steers us into the dark heart of political intrigue and a future that is all too believable.


"A rare thriller that terrifies not because it is possible, but because it feels probable--if not inevitable. Sharp as a well-honed scalpel, Ultimatum is a masterful novel with deftly drawn characters, real settings, and a dark, dark, understanding of geopolitical reality. The ending will leave you gasping."--Douglas Preston, author of The Monster of Florence

"Prophetic. I hope to God this isn't the future--but Matthew Glass makes it all so believable that I fear for our planet."--Lincoln Child, author of Deep Storm
Released:
Apr 1, 2009
ISBN:
9781423390947
Format:
Audiobook

Also available as...

Also available as bookBook


About the author

MATTHEW GLASS remains anonymous—though many have speculated that he might be an insider who cannot reveal his true name. The critically acclaimed Ultimatum, his first novel, was published in 2009.

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Reviews

What people think about Ultimatum

3.0
8 ratings / 8 Reviews
What did you think?
Rating: 0 out of 5 stars

Reader reviews

  • (2/5)
    It wasn't a good reading. First, it took a long time to get at the bottom of the thread. It was not only boring it was also very confusing and surreal. Furthermore it wasn't catching or gripping it was more a very hard deal to get through the plot. I definitely can't recommend it.
  • (2/5)
    This wasn't really what I was expecting, and it has turned out to really not be my sort of thing. The story is set in the not too distant future and opens with the newly elected president of the USA confronted with the fact that the effects of global CO2 emissions are much greater and far reaching than previously thought.I had envisaged an action-packed, seat-of-the-pants, dystopian view of the world imploding under the weight of it's own carbon crimes. This book is nothing like that at all.It focuses very heavily on what the incoming president's administration is going to handle this news and how they are going to reduce emissions worldwide. It is very heavy on dialogue. We observe in detail what everyone is saying, but learn very little about who they are or how they feel about is. There is almost no background information on what has happened worldwide prior to 2032 and it is very light on humour on any level - it takes itself very seriously.I can't say anymore about it, as I have given up on it, not something I do often. It was just too dry for me, but it is very clever and obviously very thoroughly researched
  • (3/5)
    Ultimatum is the first novel from English writer Matthew Glass. It's set in the near future, 2032 to be precise, and Joe Benton has just been elected as President of the United States of America. Before he takes office, the incumbent president asks to meet him in private. What he tells Benton is shocking. Global warming is accelerating much faster than anticipated and action must be taken quickly. The previous administration had been in talks with the Chinese trying unsuccessfully to reach a bilateral agreement to cut emissions.This news radically changes the focus of Benton's administration. He had been planning to push through a series of laws to reform education and health, as well as funding a Relocation plan, to help move people from areas affected by climate change. Now he needs to find the time and resources to deal with this new crisis. Benton is a man who genuinely wants to make change, meaningful change that is, but the world is frighteningly close to catastrophe.Ultimatum gives detailed insight into the pressures and actions of an American president and his administration. Like Lincoln, Benton appoints a cabinet who are not always unified in their views. As Benton tries to formulate a plan, he also has to deal with warring cabinet members. At this stage, the book is filled with dialogue and detail, but somehow, it stays interesting.As a result of his desire to truly make a difference and create a better world for his children, Benton takes the USA down a decisive and controversial path, leaving America stranded on the global stage. As he faces the consequences of his actions, it is interesting to see how he questions his actions and responsibilites.Ultimatum is billed as an environmental and political thriller, but it's not quite balanced on a knife-edge. It does deliver keen insight into modern global politics and the current greenhouse gases crisis. It is unsettling and thought-provoking, but with the occasional feel of a scientific paper.
  • (5/5)
    Matthew Glass has given us a thriller that is all too possible, drawing the reader in from page one. The book begins innocuously enough in the year 2032 in a mood of energy and optimism for rebuilding the nation’s basic foundation. The bright and popular newly-elected U.S. president has won his seat with an unprecedented majority on a platform of honesty, decisiveness, and trust. The excitement is contagious as the population celebrates their president-elect, but hidden clouds are on the horizon when he learns that the agreements he has inherited will challenge his government’s integrity..Engrossing, tense, and tightly knit, Ultimatum is written with a strong sense of political process, heart-stopping decision-making, and intrigue. Although a work of fiction, it bestows a feeling of stark realism and drama as crises build. How these crises are approached by the president and the many people who form his government are quite fascinating to this Canadian reader. The characterizations are full-on, the plot development plausible, even perhaps ultimately probable. This book is a strong and shocking wake-up call involving the whole world.Previous policies on global emissions have done nothing to prevent the looming disaster that had escalated to extreme proportions but the severity had been downplayed. This is where the president finds himself as he takes office. President Benton is a strong presence throughout the book and the author has smoothly if urgently demonstrated the transitions in rapid succession. His torment is felt as he wrestles to keep the honesty and trust promised in his platform. The world turns upside down and inside out within the first several days of his presidency as he becomes more aware of deals made by the previous government.The story begins within the U.S. but the pace of global warming is overwhelming in its path of destruction. The horror is the speed and loss of land worldwide. Coastlines have disappeared and relocation of populations is in the millions.Matthew Glass has set a momentum that does not let up but constantly accelerates. He definitely keeps the tension building. This novel is indeed a roller-coaster of a thriller. The action keeps the reader involved from start to finish, second-guessing outcomes, trying to predict responses, and what the final horror will be. This book will definitely bring some new thoughts on how much the world is really one; how things must be tackled worldwide, parts played by arrogance and greed. Very spellbinding and thought-provoking. Great writing, Matthew, I really enjoyed my adventure into the world of politics.
  • (3/5)
    Matthew Glass’s debut novel, Ultimatum, has suffered unfulfilled expectations. If you read it expecting to find the thriller it was marketed as, you will be sadly disappointed. If you’re open-minded, what you’ll find instead is a provocative novel of ideas and politics.The near-future story is set in 2032. Joe Benton, a good man with good intentions, has just been elected President of the United States. He thought he knew what he was getting into, but almost immediately upon entering office, he learns from the outgoing President that the global warming/climate change situation is SIGNIFICANTLY worse than anyone has ever publicly or even privately acknowledged. The United States and the entire world is facing a catastrophe. Rising tides, flooded cities, millions of people needing to be relocated, and much, much more.When I read the description of the novel, I was expecting an action thriller. Desperate people airlifted from the rooftops of drowning cities. That sort of thing. On the contrary, this is a serious, intelligent (and realistic, all things considered) look at the tense politics involved in negotiating a crisis. It’s suspenseful, but a page-turner it’s not.I can’t regret time spent reading books with these dire ecological warnings. What’s eerie is that as I was reading the novel, I was hearing news reports that echoed the content of the book almost exactly. Very disturbing.
  • (3/5)
    I’ve had this book since the end of April and finally got to it. Since I knew it would be awhile I let my dad read it first and he loved it. He said it was totally believable, relevant to what is going on in the world and he did not want to stop reading.For myself it took awhile to get into it and then I could not put it down. I will say the book did tick me off and I really wanted to smack a couple of the characters on the back of their heads after some of their actions. The way all the characters interact seems totally believable to me as to how our president, secretary of state, etc would really talk. It also again makes me realize it’s not surprising how little our government is really able to get done on big issues like the environment with all these factions squabbling. Olsen as secretary of state seemed to know what he was talking about in regards to China but seemed to have no real filter between his brain and mouth so he alienated those around him even if his basic ideas were sound. It was understandable to me that instead of responding in a logical manner Ball started to be defensive and argumentative in regards to anything Olsen said. In the end I did feel like because President Benton wasn’t fully willing to commit to Olsen’s plan he brought the final attacks upon the US. I think if he had made more of a stand earlier on we wouldn’t have gotten to that point.I know others will disagree with my opinion and I think that is what is great about this book. It makes you think and everyone will probably have a slightly different take on who was right, who was wrong and could anything have been done differently. The premise of this book is a scary thing because the problems are realistic and it’s a matter of how the people all over the world respond to our environmental problems that will determine if we ever reach this point in reality.
  • (3/5)
    This book is touted as a thriller, but that characterization is just inaccurate. A better description might be "a good text for a political science class on how the presidency operates." Joe Benton is President-Elect in 2032. The date only comes into play in two senses: one, in 2032 the world is that much closer to environmental disaster, and two, that puts us far enough in the future to imagine the truly science fiction scenario of Benton having been a three-term Democratic senator from the rather red state of Arizona!President Benton finds out that environmental devastation is getting to “the tipping point” at which time the acceleration from the feedback loop will make recovery untenable. He has to act immediately to cut emissions, and he needs China to go along, since they have become the biggest carbon emitters. Without the U.S. and China agreeing to painful cutbacks, the rest of the world will not cooperate. Too much time has already been wasted because of political pressures from competing interest groups. President Benton wants to make meaningful change, for a change.For the next 400 pages or so, strategy is discussed. In great detail. There is no real information given on the environmental problems. Rather, there is political squabbling among cabinet members vying to influence the president, and there are political discussions among a diverse group of actors trying to discern the motives and future behaviors of other countries. Many characters are introduced: Cabinet members, Senate and House members, staff aids, press aids, speech writers, assistant writers, communication aids, legislative aids, and aids to aids. A spreadsheet would have been helpful. It gets a little bit more interesting when President Benton begins to question the advice he has gotten and his responsibility for having acted on it. Otherwise, it is mostly all angst and no action. For a more entertaining way to learn about how the presidency operates, I would probably recommend the television drama “West Wing.”
  • (3/5)
    In Ultimatum, Matthew Glass, puts together an eerily possible futuristic scenario. President elect in 2032, Joseph Benton, discovers the global warming problem he was preparing for is more rapidly approaching then he’s prepared for. Political maneuvering ensues. The action does stall at times giving way to much dialogue and consequential discussion. . However, Glasses writing is crisp and the conclusion is dramatic as could be desired. The fear this novel conjures is in its realism. Though disturbing, Ultimatum is not a traditional thriller as expected, but more of a look at cause and effect politics and international policy which to some may be even scarier. Those interested in political and environmental intrigue will surely enjoy this debut.