Review & Giveaway: ALL THE LIVES HE LED by Frederik Pohl

Ready for a little apocalyptic mayhem ? A little dystopia? Today, I’m looking at the newest from a science fiction master, Frederik Pohl. All the Lives He Led, which was released last week by Tor Books, marks the latest in a career that spans 70 years since his first novel, Elegy to a Dead Planet, came out in 1937. Boggles the mind, yes?

ABOUT THE BOOK: With a keen eye for the humanity in any situation, science fiction icon Frederik Pohl has crafted a compelling new novel of a not-too-distant future we can only hope is merely science fiction. When Mount Vesuvius erupted in 79 A.D. it gave so little warning that Pompeiians were caught unawares, and many bodies were preserved in volcanic ash. Two thousand years later, in 2079, Pompeii is a popular theme park eagerly anticipating Il Giubeleo, the Jubilee celebration of the great anniversary. But Vesuvius is still capable of erupting, and even more threatening are terrorists who want to use the occasion to draw attention to their cause by creating a huge disaster. As the fateful day draws near, people from all over the world—workers, tourists, terrorists—caught in the shadow of the volcano will grapple with upheaval both natural and political.

MY THOUGHTS: Hell’s Bells, as Harry Dresden would say, who am I to review a book by Frederik Pohl? I mean, really. Here’s some of the interesting things the official blurb doesn’t tell you. The book is told from the point of view of Brad Sheridan, a young American indentured servant. He’d been a member of the solidly upper middle class until the massive eruption of the geyser at Yellowstone sent America into a tailspin. Suddenly, his family found itself in a relocation camp (read: slum) in Staten Island. With no real future, he signs on as an indentured servant to work at the big millennial anniversary of the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius in a futuristic Pompeii that has been recreated as a theme park. Kind of Disneyland, first-century Roman style. Brad, of course, gets caught up in the terrorist plot and a runaway virus and the threat from Vesuvius itself. It’s a very cool world, a frighteningly possible political scenario, and a fascinating read. It builds slowly for those of us used to the runaway pace of urban fantasy and paranormal fiction, but the payoff is worth the wait.
Want to win a copy of All the Lives He Led? You know the drill: +1 for comment, +1 for blog follow, +1 for Twitter follow @Suzanne_Johnson, and +1 for Tweet or Retweet. Go!
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About Suzanne Johnson

Author of urban fantasy, paranormal romance, and suspense. As Suzanne Johnson, she is the author of the Sentinels of New Orleans urban fantasy series (Royal Street; River Road: Elysian Fields, Pirate's Alley, Belle Chasse, Frenchmen Street (March 2018). Writing as Susannah Sandlin, she is the author of the Penton Legacy series (Redemption; Absolution; Omega; Storm Force; Allegiance; ILLUMINATION); The Collectors series (Lovely, Dark, and Deep; Deadly, Calm, and Cold); and the Wilds of the Bayou series (Wild Man's Curse; Black Diamond).

21 thoughts on “Review & Giveaway: ALL THE LIVES HE LED by Frederik Pohl

  1. Awesome! Post-apocalyptic, dystopian–sign me up! I’ve not read Frederick Pohl, but it sounds like a good place to start.

    (I’m a blog follower)
    (moecatj [at] msn [dot] com)

  2. Somehow I missed reading Fredrick Pohl back in my Sci-Fi reading days but this sounds like a good read.

    +1 comment
    +1 blog follower

  3. Sorry, I was reading the other comments. I think I was suppose to leave where I entered:

    Twitter follower and RT: bhand35

    Blog follower: via Facebook Brian hand(


  4. I REALLY want this one, lol. I need to get back to reading some good sci-fi amidst all the fantasy.

    +1 for comment
    +1 for blog follow
    +1 for Twitter follow
    +1 for Retweet

  5. Thanks for the giveaway! Sci-fi’s my favorite. 🙂
    I’m a new GFC follower (I think the “follow” button worked; my Internet and g-mail’s been screwy lately).

    susanna dot pyatt at student dot rcsnc dot org

  6. I was amazed when I first saw a review of this book on Pat Fantasy blog.

    I have read many of Frederik Pohl’s books but I though he had stopped writing novels a long time ago.

    I would dearly love to get a copy of this book.

    Thanks for the giveaway.

    Carol T

    buddytho {at} gmail DOT com

    +1 for comment
    +1 I am a Follower via GFC

  7. I picked this book before when it was on your New Releases Giveaway. I still want it!

    +1 comment
    +1 blog follower
    +1 twitter follower (@lyssad87)
    +1 retweet