Read Down to a Sunless Sea by David Graham Online


The United States' economy is ruined. Hunger and violence are everywhere. The people are desperate. Thousands crowd Kennedy Airport to escape to Europe.Captain Jonah Scott fills his plane, the Delta Tango, with six hundred passengers bound for London. But while these lucky people are in the air, the ultimate horror engulfs the world. Nuclear holocaust.Now these six hundredThe United States' economy is ruined. Hunger and violence are everywhere. The people are desperate. Thousands crowd Kennedy Airport to escape to Europe.Captain Jonah Scott fills his plane, the Delta Tango, with six hundred passengers bound for London. But while these lucky people are in the air, the ultimate horror engulfs the world. Nuclear holocaust.Now these six hundred are the only people left on earth. Now the Delta Tango must search for a safe place to land. Now Captain Jonah Scott is not only responsible for the security of his passengers but for the survival of the entire human race....

Title : Down to a Sunless Sea
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9781416567660
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 352 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Down to a Sunless Sea Reviews

  • Richard
    2019-04-09 08:21

    I read this book a long long long time ago, and then lost it. I have wanted to re-read this novel forever, but have never been able to find a copy. I think it is an excellent book and well written with a great story about a collapsing United States and an apocalyptic nuclear war. The whole story take place on board a Boeing 747 passenger plane carrying people, military and refugees from the United States to Great Britain. While en-route a nuclear war breaks out and the flight for survival begins. I really want to read this book again.

  • Molly
    2019-03-28 09:04

    I learned three things from this book:Air stops circulating at the equator. Past the equator, you have a whole different planetful of air!You can tilt the planet so that your new home in Antarctica will be sunny and grow good food, if you explode lots of nuclear weapons in the Northern hemisphere.How to fly a plane. yes, it's that detailed.

  • Bob Rust
    2019-04-15 04:18

    Down to a Sunless Sea (1979) a genuinely grim Holocaust novel featuring a few survivors of a devastating nuclear war as they fail to find safe haven.

  • Rob
    2019-04-08 01:24

    I read this many years ago, in the 80s when the threat of nuclear war was something we grew up with and was fodder for a lot in many forms of media. I remember this being a great story. I had it in my book collection for many years, not sure where it ended up, I would be curious to read it again someday.

  • Ken
    2019-04-06 08:21

    There's something almost comforting about reading a book about the end of the world that occurs in the 1980's. It's almost like we've collectively dodged a bullet....The Big One.DOWN TO A SUNLESS SEA is a straightforward Action/Adventure tale of a nuclear apocalypse, and relates the adventures of the brave band of men and women who beat the odds and live to fight another day. The author's background is in aeronautics, and most of the action happens in the cockpit of a large airliner. The writing style and character development are pedestrian at best, yet the compelling storyline demands your attention. Nevil Shute's, ON THE BEACH and Pat Frank's ALAS, BABYLON offer the same story, yet so much better delivered. And, I'm sure there are many, many other examples, but if you are a fan of the genre, DOWN TO A SUNLESS SEA will not disappoint.

  • Amy
    2019-04-08 05:02

    A post-nuclear thriller set around the crew and passengers of a jumbo jet that's over the Atlantic when the missiles start flying, and focuses on their race to find a haven free of radiation that gives them a chance at survival. Definitely dated by now, but this book has imagery that's stayed with me a long time. (There are two versions of the ending; the one I read was the "happy ending" version.)

  • Paula
    2019-04-21 01:05

    Imagine you're a pilot of a huge plane with 600 people aboard headed from New York to London. Just after takeoff, nuclear weapons start flying. There is no longer any New York OR London. . . . or pretty much anywhere else. What do you do? Where do you go? This is the problem facing Jonah Scott & his trans-Atlantic crew. A very thought-provoking book. Loved it!

  • Wayne
    2019-04-20 09:03

    my all time favourite book, read it about 4 times now

  • Mark
    2019-04-22 08:58

    One of the best books I ever read. Written in 1979 so obviously dated, but it really didn't matter, I thought it was a great book. I plan to read it again one day.

  • Angela
    2019-03-27 05:09

    The United States' economy is ruined. Hunger and violence are everywhere. The people are desperate. Thousands crowd Kennedy Airport to escape to Europe.Captain Jonah Scott fills his plane, the Delta Tango, with six hundred passengers bound for London. But while these lucky people are in the air, the ultimate horror engulfs the world. Nuclear holocaust.Now these six hundred are the only people left on earth. Now the Delta Tango must search for a safe place to land. Now Captain Jonah Scott is not only responsible for the security of his passengers but for the survival of the entire human race. (cover blurb)A sexist, somewhat racist look at the end of the world. While the concept is intriguing (nuclear war rages while a transatlantic flight is in air), I'm not sure it's entirely a coincidence that virtually the only people saved are Caucasian Americans and Western Europeans.Several times while reading this book I had to turn to the copyright page to remind myself when it was published (1981). Yep, it was that recent. I wondered if it had been written years earlier. Even keeping in mind the general machismo of airline pilots, the sexism seems over-the-top for something put out in a post-feminism decade, and the bigotry, while subtle, is readily apparent in this politically correct day and age.Still, I'm a sucker for a post-apocalypse storyline and this one is interesting enough to keep the reader turning the pages. It's somewhat Clancy-esque in its detail, with a little too much technology for my taste -- I cannot tell you how little I care about the bells and whistles of a jumbo jet, but the author, a WWII RAF pilot and former flight instructor, certainly did. There are some fine emotional moments: the sacrifice of the Russian women literally made me gasp, and some of the radio conversations with survivors on the ground are truly poignant. This could have been a excellent piece of work. Instead, it's marred by sexism and subtle prejudice. Pity.(In truth, I bought this novel for its title. "Down to a sunless sea" is a phrase from one of my favorite poems, Coleridge's Kubla Khan, which the author quotes at the beginning of the story. And some imagery from the poem is appropriate to the story.)SIDE NOTE: After reading through the Amazon reviews, it appears I have the version with the revised ending. I'm curious now as to the content of the original....

  • Andy Phillips
    2019-04-18 06:18

    The start of the story focuses on a world where the US is in real financial trouble due to depleted oil reserves. There is a lack of jobs, food and basic provisions and everyone is struggling to survive or leave the country. The central hero of the book is a passenger jet pilot who is in the process of transporting refugees to the UK, which is more-or-less living under normal conditions due to more careful management of their oil supplies. The first third of the book details the bad conditions under which the US population lives, and while it is interesting, it becomes rather irrelevant quite quickly, except as a way to fill in some character and story background.While over the middle of the Atlantic, flying from New York to Heathrow, it becomes clear that a global nuclear war has broken out. This is where the story gets really interesting as the crew struggle to find somewhere safe to land. The mix of passengers on the plane seems somewhat unlikely, and a handy plot device to include a number of twists or aspects to the story, but this doesn't detract from the tension.The book features quite a lot of time where the aircraft is in the air, and hence includes several scenes where the crew go through flight procedures in some detail. This is partly for the purposes of the plot, but is largely not necessary, although it appears to be technically accurate (even if it was first published in 1979). I personally found the engineering bits quite informative, but it might not be to everyone's taste.There are a couple of plot twists near the end, where the story speeds up considerably, that I thought spoiled things slightly but for the most part this is an excellent book. The tension is incredible throughout and there are a number of incidents that are really quite touching. These mainly centre around the crews' radio contacts with other aircraft, airports and various radio operators, and feature some unique ideas that I haven't seen elsewhere in apocalyptic fiction (and I read quite a lot of it). The ending is amazing, and not what I expected at all.In summary, an excellent book with particular interest for readers who like disaster scenarios, but with general appeal for fans of suspense/thriller stories.

  • Attila
    2019-04-19 01:18

    The book starts off in an alternate reality Cold War era, where the US has collapsed economically and has turned into a lawless third world country. A British pilot operates a scheduled flight from New York to London, carrying scientists, relief workers, refugees to the UK. During the flight, a nuclear war breaks out, and all continents are destroyed in a few hours in a nuclear holocaust.Unable to land at London, the plane aims for Madeira and Gibraltar, but accidents and catastrophes on the islands prevent them from landing. Then they land at an airport in the Azores, guided by a local resident. Another plane arrives shortly, carrying Russian refugees from the Soviet Union, and the two crews become friends.However, the nuclear fallout is spreading, dark clouds of smoke, debris, and deadly radiation approaching the island. They must go on, and after some changes on the planes, they depart for Antarctica, where the fallout will not reach them, arriving safely.This was a fantastic book, and I really really loved it. However, it has its shares of annoying things (such as the sexist overtones) and mistakes (the most grievous being: (view spoiler)[if the Earth's axis changes its tilt even by a very small amount, a plane cannot use an Inertial Navigation System. The INS relies on an absolute point in space - not on a point fixed to Earth - so if the planet changes its tilt, the navigation would not be possible (hide spoiler)]). Nevertheless, my rating is five stars.

  • Daniel Etherington
    2019-04-10 06:17

    Not exactly a classic of apocalyptic fiction, but refreshingly different. No military brass in a bunker, wasteland wanderers or small town survivors here - instead it focusses on a British airliner, en-route from a broken former USA when the nukes fly, leaving the plane no destination when the UK is splatted. Its crew desperately search for alternatives, and evaluate their options, looking for any slim chances of survival in a world much changed by large-scale nuclear conflict. The airline captain, Jonah Scott - a chain-smoking, sensitive tough-guy who's irresistible to women - is a pretty dated, pulpy creation. Among those on board his plane is a contigent of SAS soldiers, including several officeres. In a life-and-death survival situation, I suspect they might not be so amenable to taking orders from a commercial airliner pilot. Still, author David Graham makes this vaguely credible by highlighting the technical demands of not just flying a massive aircraft, but flying it through radioactive filth and hellish climatic conditions. The descriptions of such sequences are the book's strongest element.

  • Kallierose
    2019-04-04 02:22

    The danger of this post-apocalyptic world felt so real and so immediate that I found myself on the edge of my seat, and completely unable to put the book down. This is one of those books that makes you stay up until 2am because you just can't bear to go to sleep while the character's futures is still unresolved. Was it perfect? No. I would imagine the science was iffy, and some of the plot points were in the 'too good to be true' category, but I loved it nonetheless.

  • Phil
    2019-04-17 03:14

    This book made me cry in two different spots. A terrific "escape the apocalypse" thrill ride. The main character was a good guy and had a tad of a naive view on women (women are sluts or wives) but I blame the author for that. There's a couple of unlikely coincidences and a happy American ending. Worth a read, especially if this is your genre.

  • Mmyoung
    2019-03-25 04:25

    Utter and complete dreck.A Gary Stu story if I ever read one. The author appears to be ignorant of (or willfully ignoring) basic economic theory. The book is unremittingly full of sexist, racist, classist characterizations. Not a believable female or American character.

  • Louis
    2019-04-09 06:13

    I like this quite a bit. It may be because this was during the time that Neutron bombs were being discussed and I got this to read for a flight I was on. Two things that made it seem more believable. I did like the way the story went, and some may not agree with it.

  • Roger
    2019-04-21 06:15

    This might be the 4th time I have read this book and it is as it ever was. Truly a "cannot put down" kind of story. For fans of apocalyptic books, this is a must read.

  • Aline Baldwinalinebaldwin
    2019-03-28 02:25

    Every time I take a long haul flight I think of this book.

  • Jeanne
    2019-04-16 08:23

    read this years ago. lost the book. would love to have it again, but is out of print. still looking though!

  • Joe Barry
    2019-03-25 01:11

    One of the very few books I have read more than once.

  • Jerry Peace
    2019-04-04 03:24

    Ten years ago this novel was an anachronism. We were beginning to develop renewable energy sources, to clean up an environment poisoned by fossil fuel detritus and the wanton dependence on nonrenewable energy. And we certainly had evolved past the threat of global nuclear annihilation. So this book, of a desperate group of people trying to survive a holocaust-not of zombies or aliens or asteroids or pandemics or nanotechnology gone wild-, a nuclear holocaust, seemed quaint. But today, Mr. Graham's book assumes renewed relevance. With many of our leaders denying the scientific consequences of our resource promiscuity and, indeed, deifying the debauching of land and water and air (and people), and, as frightening, demanding a tenfold increase in our nuclear arsenal and threatening its indiscriminate use, this book exudes new relevance. If you want a verbal walking dead description, a "The Hot Zone" of radiation poisoning, don't look here. Graham kind of leaves it like this. Nuclear conflagration kills. Lots and lots.

  • Rachel Adiyah
    2019-04-02 00:56

    The first 90 pages are incomprehensible, an exploration of a dystopian New York City after the American economy has fallen to pieces. If you are able to get through it, do so, because the rest of the novel is a good apocalyptic/post-apocalyptic piece of fiction/sci-fi(?). There are scientists, a lot of flying, enough nuclear war for any glutton, and romance. And the ending is entirely unexpected, I mean, really strange! (I don't actually think that the ending is in any way scientifically possible, but just go with it.) A good read overall, but not a great one, as Israel is accused of setting off global nuclear apocalypse - and while I have no doubt that Israel would respond to a threat, I don't actually believe at all that they would start armageddon, given their love of life; and I am confused as to why every non-American puts their dystopian economic or political nightmare story in the U.S. - use your own damn country, next time!

  • Gary Brompton
    2019-03-28 02:15

    Despite a generous dollop of proper arse patting sexism this was a great read. A concurrently lucky and unlucky crew of an airborne passenger jet witness the end of the world and make subsequent attempts at survival. A relatively hard sci fi novel I found this to be a gripping read albeit in short bursts as there were often many pauses for thought / rationalising of calculations mentally. Technically detailed yet full of Human emotion. Fans of “on the beach” by Shute would enjoy this , in fact it’s referenced in the book itself.

  • Avebury10
    2019-04-14 05:22

    A fairly average post-apocalyptic novel. Despite the poor quality of the writing, the early part is decent but about a third of the way through it begins the descent into ever more ridiculous scenarios until the utterly outlandish ending. There are so many better post-apocalyptic novels out there.

  • Andrew
    2019-04-22 01:57

    The book is basically a thriller about the consequences of an economic collapse in the U.S., followed by nuclear Armageddon, for the pilot of an British jumbo jet. New York City has been abandoned by most of its affluent inhabitants as supplies become thin, and the English pilot has some adventures between flights of mercy. There's a lot of detail about how to get a jumbo jet from its scheduled course to a place of safety when the world falls apart while the plane is over the Atlantic Ocean. The two hundred American refugee children on board are barely mentioned and they act like perfect angels despite everything that has happened in New York and then to the world. --spoiler alert --After the survivors reach safety in the clean Antarctic air, the author engineers an unrealistic change in the Earth's tilt while apparently not realizing that the beneficial climatic change will kill them by taking them out of the polar vortex and back into highly irradiated wind belts.

  • Robin
    2019-04-17 02:23

    The world is destroyed in a nuclear holocaust, leaving the passengers aboard a 797 airliner stranded in mid-flight with nowhere to land. Where can they possibly find safety in a world gone mad? An interesting plot and well-drawn main characters make this a memorable story. If you're a fan of apocalyptic fiction, this is a great read!

  • Joanne Parkington
    2019-03-29 03:03

    Most of you 5 star people may be wondering why i've marked this so poorly ... it's simple, i read Nevil Shute's amazing On The Beach first .. and by comparision this is the Disney version of that. Don't get me wrong, i like the premise and it's executed very well in the first half but overall the drama is thin & the tension is limp. I was bored to death with all the aviation jargon .. i didn't need two pages in each chapter detailing the inner working's of flight .. just cut to the chase man! The writing is very dated and very early 'Bond' ... On the one hand David Graham is deeply misogynistic and then on the other build's them up as sassy & strong & taking it to the boy's ... I mean, why would he empower Kate throughout most of the book (even though she 'spreads' to make men feel better .. flu/divorce/whatever) then dress her like a whore at the end ?? Given the situation there should have been way more drama .. Couldn't Chapel or Nicki have been caught? Couldn't Ben have slipped and missed the plane on the final refuel leaving him stranded etc etc ?? But my main rub with this book is it's central character .. Captain Jonah Scott .. i just didn't like him at all .. his attitude toward's everybody was shit and due to the fact he was either 'grimacing, snarling, shouting or snapping' i couldn't get the vision of a Tourettes sufferer out of my mind!! And so much for his 'bond' with Kate!! Shallow Twat!! And then, after all that build up we get a one & a half page Holy Rolling wrap up as if even the author had got fed up ... i mean, what happend to all the good character's ?? And who did for the kid's ?? A completely wasted oppotunity to inject some much needed gut wrenching, tear jerking dramatic's.Not for me .. flap's down.

  • Michael
    2019-03-29 06:01

    I enjoyed enough aspects of this book to remain thoroughly engaged. The plot twists were great. The whole premise was entertaining and nicely laid out. However!! The characters themselves detracted horribly from the events that unfolded. Much of the dialogue was dreadful. Physical descriptions beyond stock 40's/50's pulp were nonexistent. The fact that this was written in 1981 was hilarious...throughout I had to remind myself of that fact because it read as a book from the 50's. This feature went far beyond the misogynistic absence of the 60's and 70's! Frankly, I'm shocked an editor didn't clean this up more.On the other hand...who cares? The story was great. It would make a good movie. One of the main reasons I forgave the nonsense so easily was that I really enjoyed all the in-depth portrayal of flight operations. I can't imagine many readers will appreciate this as much as I did; so be forewarned: a LOT of Airplanese in here! The week before reading this, I read an "Aeon" magazine article about the romance and origins of the global air traffic language, which added depth to this book for me. You may not be so lucky. Every radio conversation was faithfully included in the book!

  • Sean Leas
    2019-04-06 05:19

    This is a book that has shown up onto my TBR from multiple sources, Goodreads being one of them. I initially had a hard time finding it, but finally procured a copy through Abe. What I received was not what I thought that I was getting, rather I found myself with a beat-up ex library copy. Down to a Sunless Sea sat on my shelf for many moons and coming off of a reading slump I decided to finally tackle it. The first chapter and a half was a bit of a drag and some of that was getting used to the writing. This is an apocalyptic story in a time in the near-past future coming off of the petro crises in the 1970's and America has fallen on dire straights. A fictitious Boeing 797 leaves NY with expats on their way back to the UK when Nuclear War erupts. Action ensues as they frantically try to find a way to safely land. What little science was in the book took is a bit too much to make believable and the epilogue could have been left out. Other than that this was a solid and highly entertaining read. If you checked this book out from The Baker County Library in Baker, Oregon. I think you left some spaghetti sauce in chapter 17. You might want to be a little more careful next time. Just saying.