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The Book of Strange New Things - Michel Faber (OK)

Posted: September 17th, 2016, 2:19 pm
by Little John
Odd book. Almost a new genre you might call “Science Religion”. A lot of good reviews from respected sources hailing this as a breakthrough in literature. Faber also wrote “The Crimson Petal and the White” adapted for TV a year or so ago. After this novel, published in 2014, Faber declared that he would retire from novel writing because, in his own words:- “I have written the things I was put on earth to write. I think I've reached the limit".

The story is about Peter Leigh, a reformed alcoholic and born again Christian, who is recruited by a global corporation to travel to another galaxy as a missionary; to spread the Gospel among the inhabitants of a new planet. He is not the first, the previous missionary disappeared in mysterious circumstances but not before converting a number of the indigenous population to Christianity, leaving them hungry for more.

Meanwhile, other members of the earth colony, have been trading medicine for food from the natives, who, it transpires, have no self healing abilities. Any injury leads to certain death. When Peter is bitten by alien creatures, the natives are convinced he will die and are amazed when he comes back to them fully recovered.

He keeps in touch with his wife via inter-galactic email and learns from her that the World, and civilisation as we know it, is falling apart. Too wrapped up in his mission, Peter finds himself neglecting his wife's needs until its too late. Only then does he realise his has to return to Earth to find his wife and child and face Armageddon together.

I can see the allegorical stuff but didn't quite get the main point of the book. There was no conclusion that I could see and it all ended totally up in the air (no pun intended).

Re: The Book of Strange New Things - Michel Faber (OK)

Posted: May 13th, 2017, 9:20 am
by Little John
He was on the today programme this morning. Writing one last children's book and then that's it. Odd.