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The Book of Strange New Things by [Faber, Michel]
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Review

A "New Yorker" Best Book of 2014
An "NPR" Great Read of 2014
A"New York Times"100 Notable Books of 2014
Selected as one of the "Independent" s Books of the Year 2014
An io9.com Best Science Fiction and Fantasy Book of 2014
An ABA Indie Next Pick
A "Fresno Bee" Favorite Book of 2014
A "Guardian" Writers Pick of 2014, Selected by Jackie Kay
Selected as one of "Kansas City Star" s 100 Best Books of 2014
Selected by "Financial Times " David Mitchell as a Favorite Book of 2014
A "Book Riot "Best Book of 2014
A "BookBrowse" Top Book of 2014
Goodreads.com Best Book of the Month
A "Kirkus" Must-reads
A Barnes & Noble Fiction Selection, Top Books for the Holiday Season
A "ShelfAwareness" Best Books of 2014 Honorable Mention A Minnesota Public Radio Best Books of 2014 Selection "Publishers Lunch" news editor Sarah Weinman s best of the year list, honorable mention
A Rick Riordan Favorite Read of 2014
A "PopMatters" Best Books of 2014

Defiantly unclassifiable. . . . "The Book of Strange New Things" squeezes its genre ingredients to yield a meditation on suffering, love and the origins of religious faith. . . . Faber reminds us there is a literature of enchantment, which invites the reader to participate in the not-real in order to wake from a dream of reality to the ineffability, strangeness, and brevity of life on Earth. Marcel Theroux, "The New York Times Book Review" (cover review)
Provocative, unsettling. " People"
Profoundly moving. . . . . A vivid portrait of a distant galaxy, reinforced by a narrative that is deeply, emotionally evocative. " USA Today"
Elegant. . . . A lovely, thought-provoking meditation on love and faith and the never-ending mysteries of the natural world. " Entertainment Weekly"
Eerie and ambitious. . . . Faber is a genuinely gifted storyteller and his novel gains resonance and tidal force in its final third. " The New York Times"
Faber illustrates, movingly, the impossibility of adequate communication in the face of life-changing experience. . . . Rich and memorable. " The New Yorker"
"The Book of Strange New Things "will blow you away Powerful Even beyond its power as a story of cross-cultural encounters, and the questions it makes you ask about the place of humanity in the universe, "Book of Strange New Things"is also worth reading as a great personal story of a man and his wife, as their relationship faces the ultimate test..Fantastic. io9.com
Fascinating Poignant Remarkable Despite its bizarre setting and all the elements of an interplanetary opera, this is a novel of profound spiritual intimacy . I relished every chance to cloister myself away with The Book of Strange New Things [It] offers exactly what I crave: a state of mingled familiarity and alienness that leaves us with questions we can t answer or forget. Ron Charles, "Washington Post"
One of the best books I ve ever read. . . . It s a love story, and the last line destroyed me. Emily St. John Mandel, "The Millions"
Faber's great strength, trotted out right from the opening pages this ability to write believable, lovely, flawed and inept characters. To animate his creations by exposing their great loves and human frailties, and to make us want, somehow, to follow along behind them Faber tells a beautifully human story of love, loss, faith and the sometimes uncrossable distances between people. NPR.org, All Things Considered
Harrowing, wrenching. . . . A bold and unexpected work of beauty. . . . Faber s sincerity keeps "The Book of Strange New Things" honest, and his talent steers him away from cliche. " The New Republic"
A wonderful adventure story, a quasi-science fiction tale and a probing examination of a marriage. . . . A truly strange and wonderful novel. . . . Please read Michel Faber s "The Book of Strange New Things." You won't regret it. " Cleveland Plain-Dealer"
[A] masterpiece "Cosmopolitan"
I would almost like to say, Read this book, and leave it with that. Because its charms, and they are considerable, are so tied with discovering what the heck is going on. That challenges a reviewer, because almost anything I tell you will spoil a moment of discovery the writing is such a pleasure. "Dallas Morning News
"
A bracing, rewarding read. "Kansas City Star"
[Faber] approaches this interplanetary saga as an expert genre traveler. . . . [His] potent new amalgam of sci-fi and spirituality puts him within rocket range of David Mitchell. " New York "
Intergalactic in scope. " Reuters"
This is a big novel . . . but the reader is pulled through it at some pace by the gothic sense of anxiety that pervades and taints every element. . . . Astonishing and deeply affecting. " The Guardian"
A novel so full of ideas, so charged by plot, so odd and wonderful, and written with astonishing emotional precision. There are some novels that come along every now and again, when writing a review seems superfluous and all one wants to do is to grab someone by the shoulders and say: Look, just read the damn thing! This is one of them. Michel Faber always has had an astonishing ability to make the strange believable and the alien real, but in this thoughtful, deeply moving page-turner, he excels himself. " The Scotsman"
A hugely serious story about the testing of religious faith. . . . When [Peter s] spiritual crisis does indeed hit it is as gripping as any thriller. . . . A work of originality and insight. " The Times"
A moving human drama disguised as a gripping science fiction tale. . . . Magnificently bold and addictive. . . . A book quite unlike any other I've ever read. " The Sunday Times"
""
Faber s new novel grapples with [what it means to be human] in unusually direct terms. . . . The fascination of [his] prose style is its lack of sensationalism. His voice on the page is serene and oddly innocent. . . . One might call "The Book of Strange New Things" sci-fi, speculative fiction, literary fiction or maybe just welcome it, thankfully, with a Never before now. "The Independent" (UK)
Contemporary literary fiction rarely provides a Victorian-length magical mystery tour along the trail of breathtaking narrative [yet] Michel Faber s vast new storytelling extravaganza, "The Book of Strange New Things," is that kind of novel. It embodies a wondrous and sorrowful experience you don t just read, but live. "Toronto Star"
Spellbinding, heartbreaking and mind-bending. . . . This is very much a book that rewards re-reading; its subtle echoes and wisps of allusion reverberate across the text. . . . "The Book Of Strange New Things" is Faber s strongest, most plangent and most intellectually gleeful novel. It is affecting as much as it is challenging. . . . Bold, brave, brilliant. . . . It s also, by the way, the most wonderful love story. "Scottish Review of Books"
Brilliant, and disquieting. . . . Faber s novel is entirely true to itself and wonderfully original. It makes a fine update to Walter M. Miller Jr. s "Canticle for Leibowitz," with some Marilynne Robinson-like homespun theology thrown in for good measure. . . . A profoundly religious exploration of inner turmoil. "Kirkus" (starred review)
A marvelously creative and intricate novel, thought-provoking and arresting. "Booklist"
A monumental, genre-defying novel over ten years in the making, Michel Faber s The Book of Strange New Things is a masterwork from a writer in full command of his many talents. "Book Browse, "Selected as a Top Book of 2014
The book wears its strong premise and mixture of Biblical and SF tropes extremely well. "Publishers Weekly"
At the heart of"The Book of Strange New Things"is one question: Whom or what do you love, and what are you willing to do for that love(or not willing)? The resultis a novel of marvel and wonderment with a narrative engine like a locomotive. Yann Martel
In my opinion "The Book of Strange New Things" is Michel Faber s second masterpiece, quite different to "The Crimson Petal and the White" but every bit as luminescent and memorable. It is a portrait of a living, breathing relationship, frayed by distance. It is an enquiry into the mountains faith can move and the mountains faith can t move. It is maniacally gripping. It is vibrant with wit and overcast with prescience and social commentary. Like all superlative science fiction, its real subject is that most mystifying of alien species, humanity. I didn t so much read "The Book of Strange New Things" as inhabit it, the way you inhabited that handful of books which, as a kid, first got you hooked on this wonderful drug known as reading. David Mitchell
Michel Faber s "The Book of Strange New Things" certainly lives up to its title. Faber, as he showed in "Under the Skin," does strangeness brilliantly. I can t remember being so continually and unfailingly surprised by any book for a long time, and part of the surprise is the tenderness and delicacy with which he shows an emotional relationship developing in one direction while withering in another. I found it completely compelling and believable, and admired it enormously. Philip Pullman
Weird and disturbing, like any work of genius, this novel haunted me for the seven nights I spent reading it, and haunts me still. A story of faith that will mesmerize believers and non-believers alike, a story of love in the face of the Apocalypse, a story of humanity set in an alien world "The Book of Strange New Things"is desperately beautiful, sad, andunforgettable. David Benioff
Intriguing both painful and compelling. And when you find out the answers to some of the novel's central mysteries . . . Well, I won't give anything away, but the answers pack a punch. Rick Riordan

"From the Hardcover edition.""

A New Yorker Best Book of 2014
An NPR Great Read of 2014
A New York Times 100 Notable Books of 2014
Selected as one of the Independent's Books of the Year 2014
An io9.com Best Science Fiction and Fantasy Book of 2014
An ABA Indie Next Pick
A Fresno Bee Favorite Book of 2014
A Guardian Writers Pick of 2014, Selected by Jackie Kay
Selected as one of Kansas City Star's 100 Best Books of 2014
Selected by Financial Times' David Mitchell as a Favorite Book of 2014
A Book Riot Best Book of 2014
A BookBrowse Top Book of 2014
Goodreads.com Best Book of the Month
A Kirkus Must-reads
A Barnes & Noble Fiction Selection, Top Books for the Holiday Season
A ShelfAwareness Best Books of 2014 Honorable Mention A Minnesota Public Radio Best Books of 2014 Selection Publishers Lunch news editor Sarah Weinman's best of the year list, honorable mention
A Rick Riordan Favorite Read of 2014
A PopMatters Best Books of 2014

-Defiantly unclassifiable. . . . The Book of Strange New Things squeezes its genre ingredients to yield a meditation on suffering, love and the origins of religious faith. . . . Faber reminds us there is a literature of enchantment, which invites the reader to participate in the not-real in order to wake from a dream of reality to the ineffability, strangeness, and brevity of life on Earth.- --Marcel Theroux, The New York Times Book Review (cover review)
-Provocative, unsettling.- --People
-Profoundly moving. . . . . A vivid portrait of a distant galaxy, reinforced by a narrative that is deeply, emotionally evocative.- --USA Today
-Elegant. . . . A lovely, thought-provoking meditation on love and faith and the never-ending mysteries of the natural world.- --Entertainment Weekly
-Eerie and ambitious. . . . Faber is a genuinely gifted storyteller and his novel gains resonance and tidal force in its final third.- --The New York Times
-Faber illustrates, movingly, the impossibility of adequate communication in the face of life-changing experience. . . . Rich and memorable.- --The New Yorker
-The Book of Strange New Things will blow you away...Powerful... Even beyond its power as a story of cross-cultural encounters, and the questions it makes you ask about the place of humanity in the universe, Book of Strange New Things is also worth reading as a great personal story of a man and his wife, as their relationship faces the ultimate test..Fantastic.---io9.com
-Fascinating...Poignant...Remarkable... Despite its bizarre setting and all the elements of an interplanetary opera, this is a novel of profound spiritual intimacy.... I relished every chance to cloister myself away with -The Book of Strange New Things-...[It] offers exactly what I crave: a state of mingled familiarity and alienness that leaves us with questions we can't answer -- or forget.---Ron Charles, Washington Post
-One of the best books I've ever read. . . . It's a love story, and the last line destroyed me.- --Emily St. John Mandel, The Millions
-Faber's great strength, trotted out right from the opening pages -- this ability to write believable, lovely, flawed and inept characters. To animate his creations by exposing their great loves and human frailties, and to make us want, somehow, to follow along behind them...Faber tells a beautifully human story of love, loss, faith and the sometimes uncrossable distances between people.---NPR.org, -All Things Considered-
-Harrowing, wrenching. . . . A bold and unexpected work of beauty. . . . Faber's sincerity keeps The Book of Strange New Things honest, and his talent steers him away from cliche.- --The New Republic
-A wonderful adventure story, a quasi-science fiction tale and a probing examination of a marriage. . . . A truly strange and wonderful novel. . . . Please read Michel Faber's The Book of Strange New Things. You won't regret it.---Cleveland Plain-Dealer
-[A] masterpiece- --Cosmopolitan
-I would almost like to say, 'Read this book, ' and leave it with that. Because its charms, and they are considerable, are so tied with discovering what the heck is going on. That challenges a reviewer, because almost anything I tell you will spoil a moment of discovery...the writing is such a pleasure.---Dallas Morning News

-A bracing, rewarding read.---Kansas City Star
-[Faber] approaches this interplanetary saga as an expert genre traveler. . . . [His] potent new amalgam of sci-fi and spirituality puts him within rocket range of David Mitchell.- --New York
-Intergalactic in scope.- --Reuters
-This is a big novel . . . but the reader is pulled through it at some pace by the gothic sense of anxiety that pervades and taints every element. . . . Astonishing and deeply affecting.- --The Guardian
-A novel so full of ideas, so charged by plot, so odd and wonderful, and written with astonishing emotional precision. There are some novels that come along every now and again, when writing a review seems superfluous and all one wants to do is to grab someone by the shoulders and say: -Look, just read the damn thing!- This is one of them. Michel Faber always has had an astonishing ability to make the strange believable and the alien real, but in this thoughtful, deeply moving page-turner, he excels himself.- --The Scotsman
-A hugely serious story about the testing of religious faith. . . . When [Peter's] spiritual crisis does indeed hit it is as gripping as any thriller. . . . A work of originality and insight.- --The Times
-A moving human drama disguised as a gripping science fiction tale. . . . Magnificently bold and addictive. . . . A book quite unlike any other I've ever read.- --The Sunday Times

-Faber's new novel grapples with [what it means to be human] in unusually direct terms. . . . The fascination of [his] prose style is its lack of sensationalism. His voice on the page is serene and oddly innocent. . . . One might call The Book of Strange New Things sci-fi, speculative fiction, literary fiction--or maybe just welcome it, thankfully, with a 'Never before now.'- --The Independent (UK)
-Contemporary literary fiction rarely provides a Victorian-length magical mystery tour along the trail of breathtaking narrative...[yet] Michel Faber's vast new storytelling extravaganza, The Book of Strange New Things, is that kind of novel. It embodies a wondrous and sorrowful experience you don't just read, but live.---Toronto Star
-Spellbinding, heartbreaking and mind-bending. . . . This is very much a book that rewards re-reading; its subtle echoes and wisps of allusion reverberate across the text. . . . The Book Of Strange New Things is Faber's strongest, most plangent and most intellectually gleeful novel. It is affecting as much as it is challenging. . . . Bold, brave, brilliant. . . . It's also, by the way, the most wonderful love story.- --Scottish Review of Books
-Brilliant, and disquieting. . . . Faber's novel is entirely true to itself and wonderfully original. It makes a fine update to Walter M. Miller Jr.'s Canticle for Leibowitz, with some Marilynne Robinson-like homespun theology thrown in for good measure. . . . A profoundly religious exploration of inner turmoil.- --Kirkus (starred review)
-A marvelously creative and intricate novel, thought-provoking and arresting.- --Booklist

-A monumental, genre-defying novel over ten years in the making, Michel Faber's The Book of Strange New Things is a masterwork from a writer in full command of his many talents.---Book Browse, Selected as a Top Book of 2014
-The book wears its strong premise and mixture of Biblical and SF tropes extremely well.---Publishers Weekly
-At the heart of The Book of Strange New Things is one question: Whom--or what--do you love, and what are you willing to do for that love (or not willing)? The result is a novel of marvel and wonderment with a narrative engine like a locomotive.- --Yann Martel
-In my opinion The Book of Strange New Things is Michel Faber's second masterpiece, quite different to The Crimson Petal and the White but every bit as luminescent and memorable. It is a portrait of a living, breathing relationship, frayed by distance. It is an enquiry into the mountains faith can move and the mountains faith can't move. It is maniacally gripping. It is vibrant with wit and overcast with prescience and social commentary. Like all superlative science fiction, its real subject is that most mystifying of alien species, humanity. I didn't so much read The Book of Strange New Things as inhabit it, the way you inhabited that handful of books which, as a kid, first got you hooked on this wonderful drug known as reading.- --David Mitchell
-Michel Faber's The Book of Strange New Things certainly lives up to its title. Faber, as he showed in Under the Skin, does strangeness brilliantly. I can't remember being so continually and unfailingly surprised by any book for a long time, and part of the surprise is the tenderness and delicacy with which he shows an emotional relationship developing in one direction while withering in another. I found it completely compelling and believable, and admired it enormously.- --Philip Pullman
-Weird and disturbing, like any work of genius, this novel haunted me for the seven nights I spent reading it, and haunts me still. A story of faith that will mesmerize believers and non-believers alike, a story of love in the face of the Apocalypse, a story of humanity set in an alien world--The Book of Strange New Things is desperately beautiful, sad, and unforgettable.- --David Benioff
-Intriguing...both painful and compelling. And when you find out the answers to some of the novel's central mysteries . . . Well, I won't give anything away, but the answers pack a punch.---Rick Riordan

From the Hardcover edition.

Book Description

Michel Faber's first novel in twelve years. Soon to be Amazon original series Oasis in 2017

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 2230 KB
  • Print Length: 593 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1782114068
  • Publisher: Canongate Books; Main edition (6 Oct. 2014)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00K2ZGPSE
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars 206 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #30,087 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer reviews

Top customer reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The story:
Peter, a Christian missionary, is sent to spread the word and provide spiritual guidance to the native inhabitants of Oasis – a colony that’s been established on a planet light years away. He arrives in a new world that is the complete opposite of everything he’s imagined. At the same time, his wife Bea is left to face her own personal problems on an earth that is gradually falling apart.

My thoughts:
At the start of the book, Peter comes across as anxious, needy and reliant on Bea’s emotional support. Separated from Bea across an infinite chasm of time and space, and preoccupied with his mission and with building a new community with the Oasans, Peter cannot comprehend what she’s going through at home. He essentially abandons her in the time when she most needs him. As a character, he didn’t win me over.

The religious aspect of this book didn’t appeal to me at first, but as more of Peter’s past and the situation on Oasis are revealed it became more interesting. Rather than being the central focus of the book, people’s beliefs are used to expose their motivations, backgrounds and various character flaws.

People who like to read books that are full of action will be frustrated with this book. Nothing really happens. It’s all about Peter’s personal journey and presenting us with a picture of a new future that doesn’t bode well for humanity.

Both the alien landscape of Oasis and the earth that Peter has left behind are terrifying in their own right. The relocated workers on Oasis have been selected for their missions precisely because of their ability to function alone. The result is an atmosphere that is isolating and devoid of passion and emotion.
Read more ›
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Struggling to find the words to elucidate just how bad I thought this book was. My OCD of having to finish what I started is Rhett only thing that got me through this painful dribble. I felt like I was being trolled by the author the whole time - seeing how much nonsense he can peddle I'm a single book.

I'm frustrated, this could have been an interesting read. Faster than light travel, new planet, intelligent life - a great start for sci-fi.

The main problem was the main character, a self righteous, naive, self obsessed idiot preacher who was about as one dimensional as they come. This character was in the middle of an alien community for months, yet didn't bother to find out anything about his new "flock". The aliens in the book where simply named "Jesus Lover 1", Jesus Lover 14", etc - I mean come on, that's the best you could do?!

It felt like over half the text were just letters between the wife back on earth and the preacher. So mundane, "went to the shop today, bought a chocolate bar I haven't seen in ages.".

The book leaves more questions than answers - what's really happening back at earth, is it the end of the world? What really happened the previous preacher? Why do the aliens really love Jesus?

Please, don't waste your time on this lazily written nonsense.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
after reading this book I am left with more questions than answers, not a frivolous book by any means, you start to question a lot about our lives now while reading it. - don't know if I would read it again which is a puzzle
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Great story that keeps you interested
My only negative on the story is that they allow him 5000 dollar messages but don't help his wife on earth. Surely, he would feel better if his wife was supported.
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Part sci-fi, part love story, part an exploration of faith. And like all Faber's​ books beautifully​unique - he has a great way of story-telling.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Enjoyed this a great deal. Not normally a sf fan. Lent it to a friend who then picked holes in the plot. Nevertheless l couldn't put it down and will read again.tv pilot nothing like the book.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I'm a fan of Mr Faber so I'm biased. I couldn't put it down. Aliens become the norm on a distant planet - we are the aliens there. But it's not just that it's personal relationships and breakdowns.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Sometimes we have to travel to foreign shores to get a good look at our home. Faber gently transports us to a world where a God putting his own son into a destiny of death is no more strange than any of us bringing a child into our own world knowing it's fate is sealed. The Christian God did nothing special in human terms. Faber teaches us that Christ is no more alien than we are when seen from an alien perspective. The strangest new thing is our oldest habit.
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