Appleseed: Book summary and reviews of Appleseed by Matt Bell

Appleseed

A Novel

by Matt Bell

Appleseed by Matt Bell X
Appleseed by Matt Bell
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  • Publishes in USA 
    Jul 13, 2021
    480 pages
    Genre: Novels

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Book Summary

In the vein of Neal Stephenson and Jeff VanderMeer, an epic speculative novel from Young Lions Fiction Award–finalist Matt Bell, a breakout book that explores climate change, manifest destiny, humanity's unchecked exploitation of natural resources, and the small but powerful magic contained within every single apple.

In eighteenth-century Ohio, two brothers travel into the wooded frontier, planting apple orchards from which they plan to profit in the years to come. As they remake the wilderness in their own image, planning for a future of settlement and civilization, the long-held bonds and secrets between the two will be tested, fractured and broken—and possibly healed.

Fifty years from now, in the second half of the twenty-first century, climate change has ravaged the Earth. Having invested early in genetic engineering and food science, one company now owns all the world's resources. But a growing resistance is working to redistribute both land and power—and in a pivotal moment for the future of humanity, one of the company's original founders will return to headquarters, intending to destroy what he helped build.

A thousand years in the future, North America is covered by a massive sheet of ice. One lonely sentient being inhabits a tech station on top of the glacier—and in a daring and seemingly impossible quest, sets out to follow a homing beacon across the continent in the hopes of discovering the last remnant of civilization.

Hugely ambitious in scope and theme, Appleseed is the breakout novel from a writer "as self-assured as he is audacious" (NPR) who "may well have invented the pulse-pounding novel of ideas" (Jess Walter). Part speculative epic, part tech thriller, part reinvented fairy tale, Appleseed is an unforgettable meditation on climate change; corporate, civic, and familial responsibility; manifest destiny; and the myths and legends that sustain us all.


About the Author
Matt Bell is the author of the novels Scrapper and In the House upon the Dirt between the Lake and the Woods, as well as the short story collection A Tree or a Person or a Wall, a non-fiction book about the classic video game Baldur's Gate II, and several other titles. His writing has appeared in The New York Times, Tin House, Conjunctions, Fairy Tale Review, American Short Fiction, and many other publications. A native of Michigan, he teaches creative writing at Arizona State University.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"The reason you've never read a book like Appleseed is that there's never been a book like Appleseed. The scary thing, though, is this is a world you might recognize. This premise, this content, this form, this language—only Matt Bell could have given us this novel." - Stephen Graham Jones, author of The Only Good Indians

"Equal parts dystopian novel, psychological thriller, and literary fiction, [Scrapper] evokes a dark and lonely existence for its stoic protagonist ... By the novel's end, Bell adeptly depicts Kelly as a complicated soul capable of great violence and kindness." - New York Times Book Review

"A fearless and harrowing meditation on the ruination and transformation of cities and of people; but amid loss and destruction, Bell finds a strain of piercing hope. This is an extraordinary book." - Emily St. John Mandel, New York Times bestselling author of Station Eleven, on Scrapper

"It's hard to imagine a book more difficult to pull off, but Bell proves as self-assured as he is audacious ... Bell's novel isn't just a joy to read, it's also one of the smartest meditations on the subjects of love, family and marriage in recent years ... The novel is a monument to the uniqueness of every relationship, the possibility that love itself can make the world better, though of course it's never easy." - NPR on In the House Upon the Dirt Between the Lake and the Woods

"For readers weary of literary fiction that dutifully obeys the laws of nature, here's a story that stirs the Brothers Grimm and Salvador Dali with its claws ... as gorgeous as it is devastating." - Washington Post on In the House Upon the Dirt Between the Lake and the Woods

"A big, slinking, dangerous fairy tale, the kind with gleaming fangs and blood around the muzzle and a powerful heart you can hear thumping from miles away. The story's ferocity is matched by Matt Bell's glorious sentences: sinuous and darkly magical, they are taproots of the strange." - Lauren Groff on In the House Upon the Dirt Between the Lake and the Woods

"Somber, incantatory sentences to hold you within [Bell's] dreamlike creation ... This unique book leaves you with the haunting lesson that even if you renounce and cast away your loved ones, you can never disown the memory of your deeds." - Wall Street Journal, on In the House Upon the Dirt Between the Lake and the Woods

"A blood-soaked fable ... With this debut novel, Matt Bell [reworks] myths, rituals and fictions into something that can hold his visceral, primal vision. In the House upon the Dirt between the Lake and the Woods provides us with a new, unstable literary element, something scavenged from the old, something bright and wet and vital." - Globe and Mail - Toronto), on In the House upon the Dirt between the Lake and the Woods

"An extraordinary achievement, telling a most ancient story in a way that feels uncannily new." - Boston Globe, on In the House Upon the Dirt Between the Lake and the Woods

"This is a fiercely original book—at once intimate and epic, visceral and philosophical—that sent me scurrying for adjectives, for precedents, for cover. Matt Bell commands the page with bold, vigorous prose and may well have invented the pulse-pounding novel of ideas." - Jess Walter

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More Information

In the vein of Neal Stephenson and Jeff VanderMeer, an epic speculative novel from Young Lions Fiction Award–finalist Matt Bell, a breakout book that explores climate change, manifest destiny, humanity's unchecked exploitation of natural resources, and the small but powerful magic contained within every single apple.

Those assigned this book will receive a print copy by mail.

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