Cover image for The book of strange new things
Title:
The book of strange new things
Author:
Faber, Michel.
Personal Author:
Edition:
Unabridged.
Publication Information:
[New York] : Random House Audio, 2014.
Physical Description:
16 audio discs (19 1/2 hr.) : digital ; 4 3/4 in.
Summary:
A devoted man of faith, Peter is called to the mission of a lifetime, one that takes him galaxies away from his wife, Bea. Peter is immersed in the mysteries of an astonishing new environment, overseen by a corporation known only as USIC. But Peter is rattled when Bea's letters from home become increasingly desperate: typhoons and earthquakes are devastating whole countries and governments are crumbling. Bea's faith, once the guiding light of their lives, begins to falter.
General Note:
Title from container.

Compact disc.
Language:
English
Geographic Term:
Genre:
Added Author:
ISBN:
9780553546217
Format :
Audiobook on CD

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Summary

Summary

A monumental, genre-defying novel that David Mitchell calls "Michel Faber's second masterpiece," The Book of Strange New Things is a masterwork from a writer in full command of his many talents.

It begins with Peter, a devoted man of faith, as he is called to the mission of a lifetime, one that takes him galaxies away from his wife, Bea. Peter becomes immersed in the mysteries of an astonishing new environment, overseen by an enigmatic corporation known only as USIC. His work introduces him to a seemingly friendly native population struggling with a dangerous illness and hungry for Peter's teachings--his Bible is their "book of strange new things." But Peter is rattled when Bea's letters from home become increasingly desperate: typhoons and earthquakes are devastating whole countries, and governments are crumbling. Bea's faith, once the guiding light of their lives, begins to falter.

Suddenly, a separation measured by an otherworldly distance, and defined both by one newly discovered world and another in a state of collapse, is threatened by an ever-widening gulf that is much less quantifiable. While Peter is reconciling the needs of his congregation with the desires of his strange employer, Bea is struggling for survival. Their trials lay bare a profound meditation on faith, love tested beyond endurance, and our responsibility to those closest to us.

Marked by the same bravura storytelling and precise language that made The Crimson Petal and the White such an international success, The Book of Strange New Things is extraordinary, mesmerizing, and replete with emotional complexity and genuine pathos.

From the Hardcover edition.


Author Notes

Michel Faber was born in The Hague, Netherlands on April 13, 1960. He was educated at the University of Melbourne. His books include The Crimson Petal and the White, The Fahrenheit Twins, Under the Skin, The Apple, and The Book of Strange New Things. He is also the author of two novellas, The Hundred and Ninety-Nine Steps and The Courage Consort. He won several short-story awards, including the Neil Gunn, Ian St James and Macallan. He made The New York Times Best Seller List with his title The Book of Strange New Things. This title also made the shortlist for the Arthur C Clarke Award for science-fiction in 2015.

(Bowker Author Biography)


Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Peter Leigh has been hired by the mysterious USIC corporation to travel to a newly colonized planet, Oasis, light years away. His job will be to minister to the indigenous population and establish a rapport. He leaves his beloved wife, Bea, behind, their only link a kind of interstellar e-mail. He finds the Oasins eagerly awaiting his arrival and singing Amazing Grace. (A previous missionary had disappeared.) The Oasins beg for readings from the Bible, or, as they call it, the book of strange new things. Peter becomes more and more immersed in his mission and building his church, to the detriment of his health and his connection with Bea. Meanwhile, word from home becomes more and more worrisome. Tidal waves, earthquakes, toppling economies, and violence wreak havoc with lives and faith. And finally, the true reason for the Oasis colony comes into question, and Peter must make a decision to stay or go. Like Maria Doria Russell's The Sparrow, this is a marvelously creative and intricate novel, thought-provoking and arresting.--Dickie, Elizabeth Copyright 2014 Booklist


Publisher's Weekly Review

Faber's (The Crimson Petal and the White) novel could at first be mistaken for another period piece, as a Christian missionary named Peter bids farewell to his devoted wife, Beatrice, and departs on a mission in foreign lands. Only gradually does the reader discover that the book is set in the far future, where half of what survives is owned by a shadowy company called USIC and that it is not the inhabitants of a mere continent whose souls Peter aims to save, but those of a whole new planet, known as Oasis. He finds willing converts in the alien Oasans-they are eager to learn each new lesson from the Bible, which they call The Book of Strange New Things-but his relations with his fellow human colonists are far rockier. What's worse, Beatrice writes to Peter with grim reports of life back on Earth, where a series of calamities seems to signal the coming apocalypse; more devastating is her confession that she is pregnant with their child in an environment suddenly less hospitable to life than Oasis. Peter will come to question both the finer points of Scripture and his faith as he chooses between the old world and the new. Faber's story isn't eventful enough to support its length, and Beatice and Peter's correspondence grows tiresome. But the book wears its strong premise and mixture of Biblical and SF tropes extremely well. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.


Library Journal Review

This latest book from Faber (The Crimson Petal and the White) begins as a pedestrian story about a missionary and then gets really interesting. After an emotional leave-taking from his wife, Bea, protagonist Peter is strapped into a hyperspace vehicle bound for a distant planet. Under the auspices of USIC, a corporation secretly colonizing the planet Oasis, Peter is tasked with serving the planet's indigenous population. A group of these cloaked humanoid beings has a hunger for the teachings of Jesus and the Bible, which they call "The Book of Strange New Things," and cultivating them is a priority because USIC needs the food they provide for a barren Oasis. Peter rapidly goes native and bonds with the aliens, though at the expense of his long-distance relationship with Bea. He learns the secret behind the aliens' love of Jesus and nearly dies in the process. VERDICT The grim plight of these enigmatic beings' lives explains their attachment to the Christian message, which puts it in a different light. Maria Doria Russell's The Sparrow meets the loneliness of Stanislaw Lem's Solaris; recommended for lovers of thought-provoking sf. [See Prepub Alert, 4/14/14.]-Henry Bankhead, Los Gatos Lib., CA (c) Copyright 2014. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.