- Audio Download
- Listening Length: 10 hours and 6 minutes
- Program Type: Audiobook
- Version: Unabridged
- Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton
- Audible.co.uk Release Date: 31 Jan. 2013
- Language: English
- ASIN: B00B8WCOPI
The Universe Versus Alex Woods Audio Download – Unabridged
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Top Customer Reviews
I should have known it was coming; the clue is in the urn of ashes, but the tone for the opening half of the novel is light and playful. Alex Woods is a social misfit, a slightly geeky modern teenager. After he is knocked unconscious by a meteorite he finds himself a minor celebrity. Worse his head injury causes him to suffer from epilepsy. Many things conspire against him to make him the school pariah.
Bullying inevitably ensues. After fleeing his persecutors Alex finds himself in the back garden of the daunting Mr Peterson. Despite an initial mistrust, Alex and Peterson, strike up an unlikely friendship, brought together by a love of Kurt Vonnegut.
Alex is an astute and entertaining chronicler, though much of the humour lies in the things he misunderstands. He is very much a modern Adrian Mole.The book is laugh out loud funny in places, and Alex a wholly likeable character, especially for those of a geeky disposition. Though mostly very different, this book has a number of similarities with Jo Walton's terrific coming of age novel, Among Others.Read more ›
Alex Woods goes from age 12 to age 17 during the course of this story. He's a geeky sort of lad to whom extraordinary things happen right from the outset but because this is written in the first person it is Alex's voice that remains remarkable throughout the entire 346 pages. He speaks and thinks in a deadpan style which is humorous, partly because at his age he is learning everything for the first time and he explains it to us in elaborate way that is very amusing, but also because Alex is such a serious minded and moral sort of chap that he seems at odds with everyone else. Even his own mother describes him as a "puritan" !
Alex is one of life's outsiders for reasons I won't reveal but his quiet determination to do what he feels is right in every situation and hang the consequences is both touching and thought provoking. I found it hard to imagine how the author could create a story so unusual and yet at the same time manage to keep it pitch perfect right to the end. Its a brilliant achievement and what happens to Alex, or more to the point what Alex causes to happen, will I'm sure be viewed by readers in many different ways.
In the gentlest of ways this novel asks us to consider several aspects of the lives we lead and how we deal with death but, for me, it was mainly about what we can achieve if we live our lives in a manner that remains true to our moral values.Read more ›
One of the appealing aspects of the book, which reminded me a little bit of James Finney Boylan's The Planets, is that extraordinary things happen to the main character but he takes them in his stride. All together I found this to be a charming book which is very hard to put aside.
As a book based on strange twists and events it is hard to say too much without spoiling the surprises, but it really is a book worth reading if you like books that are just a bit askew.
The opening is set up to make us wonder at what has gone before, because we meet seventeen-year-old Alex on his way back into the UK, being stopped at Dover by a customs officer who finds some interesting items in Alex's car, namely 113 grams of marijuana and the ashes of his closest friend, Mr Peterson. Alex then takes us back, recounting the significant and often highly unusual events of his life to date, ultimately looping nicely back at the end of the novel to how he came to be in his present unusual situation. This structure, the bookending of the novel with the present day, and the past sandwiched inbetween, makes the read into a pleasing whole.
Alex has never known his father, and his mother has a somewhat unorthodox career as a clairvoyant, running a shop selling all manner of fortune telling type goods and offering her fortune telling services there. As Alex relates his past, we discover that he suffered an injury in a bizarre accident - struck on the head by a meteorite after it hit his home several years earlier. He has to learn to live with the medical after-effects of this, suffering seizures, and the occurrence also prompts an interest in neurology.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Slow start but the it will grab you until you finish it. Easy reading for holidays, the end makes you think quite a lot!Published 15 days ago by Mario
Just Finnish ed this book, the first I've read by this author. Made me cry. Basically it's about a teenage misfit boy, who strikes up an unlikely bond with an older American man,... Read morePublished 17 days ago by sue bickerton
Assisted suicide is an extremely contentious issue which is frequently argued sensitively by its advocates with little attention to the profound principles involved. Read morePublished 26 days ago by David Potter
I'll start by saying I'm a bit of a crime/thriller fan so this would not normally be top of my list of books to read but I came it across it by accident & thought why not? Read morePublished 1 month ago by Mrs Ferret
Fabulous ! Couldn't put it down ! I really liked Alex, the hero , and his unconventional upbringing ! I recommend it strongly !Published 1 month ago by Mr Michael Cronin
Even though the reader can sort of guess what is coming, it is still a very powerful story. It is written with much sensitivity and the characters are very likeable and well... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Isabella