Thursday, December 11, 2014

The Book of Strange New Things by Michel Faber

It says it defy's the genre. Mesmerizing. Thought-provoking.

After finishing this book, I closed the cover and thought, "What did I just read???"

Faber is quite skilled with words and creating story. With The Book of Strange New Things he tells the story of Pastor Peter who travels to a distant planet in order to pastor the natives while leaving his wife on planet earth.

Peter and his wife, Bea, are able to communicate via e-mail and that is your only insight into her side of the story. In fact, society begins to crumble on earth and most of the impact is lost on Peter (and the reader) This is done intentionally I think.

You end up thinking Peter is this selfish lush who only cares about the alien beings due to his thoughtless replies to his wife's pleas.

I kept waiting for something to happen. Ultimately I was duped as there is no ending.

The Christian aspects were surprising as Peter behaves as you would expect a compassionate pastor to act. (Outside of his indirect callousness to his earthbound wife) But this is by no means a Christian book. The language and certain sexual content eliminates those thoughts.

But I was very off-center reading this book. I didn't know how to categorize it. I didn't know how to respond to it. So it's a story about faith and relationships. please write an epilogue so I know what happens next.

Seriously, the book just runs out of paper. The story doesn't end. Threads are left wide open. I suppose it's meant to be left open to your own imagination.

This was a strange book. And the title fits the bill.

This book was provided for review, at no cost, by Hogarth Publishing.

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