Brought to you by Penguin.
Shortlisted for the Booker Prize 2021.
The brand new novel from the Pulitzer prize-winning, booker prize-shortlisted author of The Overstory.
Picked as one of the Best Books of 2021 in the Sunday Times.
Theo Byrne is a promising young astrobiologist who has found a way to search for life on other planets dozens of light years away. He is also the widowed father of a most unusual nine-year-old. His son, Robin, is funny, loving and filled with plans. He thinks and feels deeply, adores animals and can spend hours painting elaborate pictures. He is also on the verge of being expelled from third grade, for smashing his friend's face with a metal thermos.
What can a father do, when the only solution offered to his rare and troubled boy is to put him on psychoactive drugs? What can he say when his boy comes to him wanting an explanation for a world that is clearly in love with its own destruction? The only thing for it is to take the boy to other planets, while all the while fostering his son's desperate campaign to help save this one.
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Beautiful writing and profound thoughts
I love Richard Powers‘ writing - so clever and vibrant. He literally makes you see nature and in this case the universe with different eyes. This book is not a page turner but its a great read: at times heartbreaking, at times heartwarming and very original. It meanders through a single father’s life with his special son, both trying to find meaning since the death of their wife/mother. It includes some sci-fi elements and a lot of breathtaking science - both here on earth and beyond. Also a very topical turn towards American (and world) politics with the lurch to the right and the mistrust of sciences.
The narrator is excellent and manage to capture the distinct voices bd bring out the marvel and wonder of this planet of ours. I’ve certainly looked at birds more closely since this book!