The Book of Strange New Things

The Book of Strange New Things

3.66 (29,732 ratings by Goodreads)
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'I am with you always, even unto the end of the world . . .'

Peter Leigh is a missionary called to go on the journey of a lifetime. Leaving behind his beloved wife, Bea, he boards a flight for a remote and unfamiliar land, a place where the locals are hungry for the teachings of the Bible - his 'book of strange new things'. It is a quest that will challenge Peter's beliefs, his understanding of the limits of the human body and, most of all, his love for Bea.

The Book of Strange New Things is a wildly original tale of adventure, faith and the ties that might hold two people together when they are worlds apart. This momentous novel, Faber's first since The Crimson Petal and the White, sees him at his expectation-defying best.

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Product details

  • Hardback | 592 pages
  • 162 x 240 x 48mm | 899g
  • Edinburgh, United Kingdom
  • English
  • Main
  • 1782114068
  • 9781782114062
  • 91,411

Review quote

Michel Faber's second masterpiece, quite different to The Crimson Petal and The White but every bit as luminescent and memorable. It is a portrait of a living, breathing relationship, frayed by distance. It is an enquiry into the mountains faith can move and the mountains faith can't move. It is maniacally gripping -- DAVID MITCHELL As gripping as any thriller . . . A work of originality and insight -- Andrew Billen * * The Times * * There are some novels that come along, when writing a review seems superfluous and all one wants to do is to grab someone by the shoulders and say: "Look, just read the damn thing!". This is one of them . . . In this thoughtful, deeply moving page-turner, Faber excels himself * * Scotsman * * Magnificently bold and addictive . . . a book quite unlike any other I've read -- Edmund Gordon * * Sunday Times * * I can't remember being so continually and unfailingly surprised by any book for a long time. I found it completely compelling and believable, and admired it enormously -- PHILIP PULLMAN Highly imaginative, unusual and thought-provoking -- Katherine Whitbourn * * Daily Mail * * Michel Faber is a truly gifted writer, an addictive storyteller with an nuanced command of language. One of the best things I have read this year * * Literary Review * * The very notion of what it means to be human is grappled with in unusually direct terms . . . richly suggestive -- Hannah McGill * * Independent * * Spellbinding, heartbreaking and mind-bending . . . Faber's strongest, most plangent and most intellectually gleeful novel. It is affecting as much as it is challenging. It not only made me want to read his next book, but re-read his backlist immediately * * Scottish Review of Books * * At the heart of The Book of Strange New Things is one question: Whom - or what - do you love, and what are you willing to do for that love (or not willing)? The result is a novel of marvel and wonderment with a narrative engine like a locomotive -- YANN MARTEL Weird and disturbing, like any work of genius, this novel haunted me for the seven nights I spent reading it, and haunts me still. A story of faith that will mesmerize believers and non-believers alike, a story of love in the face of the Apocalypse, a story of humanity set in an alien world -The Book of Strange New Things is desperately beautiful, sad, and unforgettable. -- DAVID BENIOFF, author of City of Thieves and co-creator HBO series, Game of Thrones The Book of Strange New Things is indeed strange: a page-turner which manages to subvert every narrative expectation; a book about the future that forces you to reconsider the role of religion; a book about aliens that is mostly concerned with human love. It left me in a state of wonder and devastation -- KEVIN MacDONALD, director of One Day in September, Touching the Void and The Last King of Scotland This is a man who could give Conrad a run at writing the perfect sentence * * Guardian * * You are unlikely to regret a single hour/day/month spent in Faber's diverting, exuberant and intelligent company * * Financial Times * * A novel of big ideas by a writer of unusual intelligence and lucidity * * Independent on Sunday * * Faber is a metaphysical author who writes with a wide-eyed sense of compassion and a simple, glassy beauty. Ultimately, his book stakes its own bold faith in our unique human capacity for love * * Metro * * So adroit is the storytelling, so slick is the cavalcade of vivid minor characters, from sinister doctors to fervent Bible-bashers, that you find yourself drawn into this eerily unfamiliar world, in which Christian and post-Christian values collide * * Mail on Sunday * * Faber eases ahead [of David Mitchell and Philip Pullman] as the apostle of our moment in and out of time * * Herald * * A great performance, and a mature one * * Daily Telegraph * * With its unadorned language and eerie, sincere sense of the power (and powerlessness) of faith, this is a haunting skin-crawl of a read * * New Statesman * * A creepingly claustrophobic story set in an apocalyptic future * * Shortlist * * A stellar achievement * * The Australian * * A novel about the limits of human emotion and the nature of faith. It questions what binds us together and is at times deeply unsettling, but also an astonishing book that resonated with me for weeks * * Stylist * * This is a rewarding novel, which engages with big ideas and serves up mysteries while keeping human relationships front and centre * * SFX * * Refreshing, strange and new * * Curious Animal Magazine * * What Michel Faber has done triumphantly is to write a lucid, unaffected novel about love, morals and faith (not just religious faith) which carries the reader through every one of its 600 pages * * Spectator * * [The Book of Strange New Things] is an examination of humanity. Startlingly tender and bold in conception, it offers a bleak vision of our future that also holds fast to the hope that, in Larkin's phrase, "what will survive of us is love" * * Observer * * Astonishing and deeply affecting * * Guardian * * Epic and disquieting . . . sucks you in a lingers for a while after you finish reading * * Emerald Street * * The Book of Strange New Things is unshowy and philosophical; the kind of science fiction where the sense of jeopardy comes from the battle maintain love, faith and understanding in crisis conditions, rather than showdowns between diverse life forms, and is all the more thought-provoking because of it * * Sunday Express * * Seeps under the skin like the windy, wet atmosphere on Oasis . . . Written with almost unbearable restraint, [this] is a loving, very sad piece of work * * Financial Times * * Wondrous * * Bookmunch * * Highly recommended * * The Lady * * Utterly captivating * * Irish Independent * * A brilliantly original and quite gripping tale of love, humanity and faith * * Connaught Telegraph * * Faber examines the ways in which physical distance can irreparably alter even our closest relationships
His astute observations make this novel a worthwhile read * * Totally Dublin * *
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About Michel Faber

Michel Faber has written nine books. In addition to the Whitbread-shortlisted Under the Skin, he is the author of the highly acclaimed The Crimson Petal and the White and Undying, his first poetry collection. The Book of Strange New Things was shortlisted for the Arthur C. Clarke Award and won the 2015 Saltire Book of the Year. He has also written two novellas, The Hundred and Ninety-Nine Steps and The Courage Consort, and has won several short-story awards, including the Neil Gunn, Ian St James and Macallan. Born in Holland, brought up in Australia, he now lives in the UK.
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Rating details

29,732 ratings
3.66 out of 5 stars
5 24% (7,005)
4 37% (10,930)
3 26% (7,746)
2 10% (2,930)
1 4% (1,121)
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