REVIEW: "THE BOOK OF STRANGE NEW THINGS," by Michel Faber
Expected pub date: 10/28/14
Source: BEA 2014
Genre: Literary Sci-Fi
One of the best books I've ever had the pleasure (and anxiety) of reading.
I was lucky enough to come across a galley of this at the BEA. An attractive cover and even more attractive page tips (gold!) caught my attention. The synopsis didn't sound like something I'd normally read, but thanks to my motto this year 'read (live) outside my comfort zone' I dove into this one with open expectations.
The introductory letter written by Molly Stern, SVP and Publisher at Hogarth, mentions in its summation 'emotional complexity'. I know trying capture a 500-page masterpiece in any two-word net is usually tough to do but yes; just yes. Emotional complexity.
Besides a fantastic premise with VERY believable characters (even the Oasans [i.e. aliens]), this novel whips your emotions around with enough human complication to make you dig your nails into the earth both to keep grounded and to check our planet's temperature. In 'The Book Of Strange New Things,' I felt the boiling mayhem of our planet from light-years away. An impressive tour-de-G-Force by Michel Faber.
I try not to talk to much about plot for spoilers sake, so I'll just say that although the story follows an evangelist in space, bringing the word of the Bible to a group of aliens, this book is not particularly religious. Basically, one does not have to be an Christian to find unbelievable meaning from this book. If my last name didn't give it away, I am not Christian; and I promise this book resonated in a big way. This book is about crisis and yearning and faith and the longest-distance relationship ever. It's about freedom and hard choices and... and... ugh, EMOTIONAL COMPLEXITY. Gah, this book squeezed my heart.
Anyway, put this book on your TBR list. I'll put in on my TBRR list (to be reread) and lets all hope this makes the bestseller lists; as I think this novel will hit home (whatever solar system that may be in) with a lot of people.