Candace B. (Grand Island, NY)
I just finished this book 5 minutes ago and am wishing there was a sequel I could start right now. I am not a fan of science fiction but this book was far beyond what I expected. The story was engrossing with believable characters and so many themes and areas of discussion that it would make a great book club choice. It is about faith and love and life choices and flaws but most of all, it's a great read! Thank you Michel Faber.
Amy H. (Benbrook, TX)
Nothing like it!
I thoroughly enjoyed this read. It took a few chapters for me to get in sync with the pace of the story and slow character development, but i love Faber's writing style and unique description of events and things and "people" (or "Jesus lovers") around him. This was such a unique story with a unique delivery to the reader (for example, the use of special characters when denoting the Jesus lovers' special language). This would be a very interesting book for a book group - it would prompt unique discussions from various view points, specifically right/wrong, good/evil and the varying shades of human morality. This was a truly wonderful read. Enjoy!
Jan T. (Leona Valley, CA)
The Book of Strange New Things
Michel Faber is genius. This masterpiece explores faith in the context of religion, marriage, friendship and humanity. The author's seamlessly ability transcends traditional genres in telling the tale of a marriage complicated by distance and faith. This book is mesmerizing - the events on earth and the new planet are fascinating. The end of the novel is perplexing - almost a beginning. This is a must read - it propels you to the end. Excellent!
Ruthie A. (Summit, NJ)
Thought Provoking Not Really Sci-Fi!
I loved The Crimson, The Petal and the White, but this book is as different as two books could be! This is also a book I might not have picked up had I known what it was about - not a Sci-Fi fan, nor would the religion heavy theme have attracted me. Would have been my loss!
This insightful novel is the story of Peter, a minister with a past, who has been chosen to head to Oasis, and bring Christianity to the "Aliens". He leaves behind his beloved wife Bea.
This could have been a very predictable story - humans colonizing another planet, trying to force our values and religion on the inhabitants, wife left behind, big Corp monetizing the future etc, but in Faber's deft hands it is anything but cookie-cutter.
The reader experiences everything through Peter's eyes, and our impressions and judgements evolve as Peter's knowledge grows and his insight expands. Faber has statements to make in this novel, about religion, about what we are doing to our planet, about how we treat one another, etc, but he uses a subtle hand. The near-future Earth Faber gives us feels realistic, if not inevitable. It is the relationships that resonate the strongest in this book, there are many and they all feel very realistic rather than stereotypic.
Small quibble; I often felt the descriptions went on a bit too long and were sometimes too repetitious; the rain, the humidity, I get it! Apart from that, this was a brilliant, thought-provoking, creative novel that will stay with me for a while!
Chris H. (Wauwatosa, WI)
Strange New Things
I don't know how to begin to review this book except to say it's thrilling, frightening, and compelling. I would recommend it as a "must read" on anyone's book list.
Barbara O. (Maryland Heights, MO)
A a Strange New World
I am not a big fan of futuristic books but this book lures you in and holds your interest until the end. Michael Faber's "Book of Strange New Things" is fascinating. I could not put it down. Throughout I kept being reminded of Mary Dorian Russell's "The Sparrow". This book is beautifully written and the reader is drawn closer and closer into a new society and a strange new environment. This book is about people first and foremost and about love in many forms. Bravo!
Susan S. (Lafayette, CA)
A wonderful, strange book
I really liked this book. I am a fan of speculative fiction, and technically I guess you would say it falls into that genre. But as others have pointed out, it is not easily categorized – it's also a love story: it's also a fish out of water story; it's also something of a mystery. It's very easy to read – it has a clean, direct, simple prose style which I very much appreciate. That is not to say however, that the ideas or the atmosphere are simple. It as has a sense of foreboding throughout, both from the increasingly disturbing reports coming from earth and even more so from the native population of Oasis. In addition, the earth colony on Oasis is decidedly odd also. This was a great read, which has lingered in my thoughts ever since I finished it.