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Summary

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.

©2021 Richard Powers (P)2021 Penguin Audio

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Think and think again

The story of a child endowed with too much empathy to cope in this world.

3 people found this helpful

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Brilliant Powers

I only discovered Powers quite recently and now I'm moving backwards and forwards through his catalogue, always surprised, never disappointed.
Bewilderment is a thing of beauty. Thoughtful, thought-provoking, joyful, heart-wrenchingly sad, inventive, inspiring. I love a lot of fiction but at 60yo, Powers has turned me into a raging, frothing fan-boy.

1 person found this helpful

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A book that forces you to reexamine our existance

A story that tugs at your hearstrings and lights a fire of frustration that the reader shares with a child who sees the world brimming with animal and plant life, yet is left agog at the destruction we humans persist in imparting on our dying plantet. Well written, with perseptive observations from both a bereaved father and son's views of the world.

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Every belief will be outgrown in time

This is the poignant tale of a widowed astrophysicist raising his son that explores the inner and outer realms of life, the universe and everything. The scariest part is witnessing a too believable future shaped by Trumpian ideology in which consumerism and populism determine decision making in the 'endless American civil war'. The bewilderment of the title refers to what we are doing to the planet and each other.