Maxwell's Demon: Book summary and reviews of Maxwell's Demon by Steven Hall

Maxwell's Demon

by Steven Hall

Maxwell's Demon by Steven Hall X
Maxwell's Demon by Steven Hall
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  • Published in USA  Apr 2021
    352 pages
    Genre: Novels

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Book Summary

Fourteen years after the monumental publication of the international bestseller The Raw Shark Texts, Maxwell's Demon heralds the triumphant return of Granta Best Young British Novelist Steven Hall.

Thomas Quinn is having a hard time. A failed novelist, he's stuck writing short stories and audio scripts for other people's characters. His wife, Imogen, is working on a remote island halfway around the world, and talking to her over the webcam isn't the same. The bills are piling up, the dirty dishes are stacking in the sink, and the whole world seems to be hurtling towards entropic collapse. Then he gets a voicemail from his father, who has been dead for seven years.

Thomas's relationship with Stanley Quinn―a world-famous writer and erstwhile absent father―was always shaky, not least because Stanley always seemed to prefer his enigmatic assistant and protégé Andrew Black to his own son. Yet after Black published his first book, Cupid's Engine, which went on to sell over a million copies, he disappeared completely. Now strange things are happening to Thomas, and he can't help but wonder if Black is tugging at the seams of his world behind the scenes.

Absurdly brilliant, wildly entertaining, and utterly mind-bending, Maxwell's Demon triumphantly excavates the ways we construct meaning in a world where chaotic collapse looms closer every day.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"A wonderfully imaginative, splendidly baroque novel that is a combination of the baffling, teasing, and tantalizing. Part fantasy, part mystery, it is altogether delightful and filled with surprises—in a word, exceptional. No, make that two words; the second is fantastic. A rare, sui generis treat." - Booklist (starred review)

"[M]ind-bending...The complex typography presents a challenge (be prepared to read sideways and upside down), but for the right reader, the author's plethora of ideas and proliferating rabbit holes provides endless delights. Fans of Mark Danielewski will love this heady postmodern thriller." - Publishers Weekly

"There's really nothing like this book—long contemplations of philosophy, personality, religion, and history are all woven into something of a mystery in which no one is truly reliable...Hall manages to put a whole world on the page that shifts and changes as weirdly and wildly as the ones in the novel's fictional books. The modern novel's version of a Möbius strip, written with verve and a vast appreciation for the power of language." - Kirkus Reviews

"Ingeniously plotted and compulsively well-paced, a blend of detective story and science fiction with an epistemology course thrown in." - Sunday Times (UK)

"A postmodern mystery...Ingenious fun...Showily postmodern, full of odd typographical elements, altered realities and intertextual jokes...Maxwell's Demon is consistently fun and often impressive." - Guardian (UK)

"With Maxwell's Demon, Steven Hall has created a kaleidoscopic, disconcerting God game in which reality itself is thrown into deep shape-shifting shade. In an era of 'alternative truths'—when what we believe to be authentic is often just another spurious story; when chaos and order, fiction and entropy are quicksand underfoot—this novel couldn't be more timely. Like David Mitchell, Mark Z. Danielewski, and the Christopher Nolan of Inception, Hall has created his own unique world in which readers take a journey as mercurial and unexpected as life itself. Maxwell's Demon is a radiant and unique achievement." - Bradford Morrow, author of The Forger's Daughter

"Labyrinthine, mind-twisting and deliciously diabolical, yet also unexpectedly warm-hearted. Maxwell's Demon is fantastic." - Christopher Brookmyre, author of The Last Hack

"Dazzlingly clever, wickedly playful, devastatingly poignant." - M.R. Carey, author of The Girl with All the Gifts

This information about Maxwell's Demon shown above was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's membership magazine, and in our weekly "Publishing This Week" newsletter. In most cases, the reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author and feel that the reviews shown do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, please send us a message with the mainstream media reviews that you would like to see added.

Any "Author Information" displayed below reflects the author's biography at the time this particular book was published.

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Author Information

Steven Hall

Steven Hall is the author of The Raw Shark Texts, which won the Somerset Maugham Award and was shortlisted for the Arthur C. Clarke Award. It was an international bestseller and has been translated into over thirty languages. In 2013, Hall was named as one of Granta's Best of Young British Novelists. Maxwell's Demon is his long-anticipated second novel.

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