Strange Bodies: A Novel (Paperback)
Want to be be torn between following a taught plot and diving for your reference books to check an obscure word or concept from metaphysics? This is the book for you. This speculative romp explores the old idea of transplanting a consciousness into a replacement body with a fresh and convincing approach in which a very dead Samuel Johnson scholar seems to be alive in the body of a Russian prisoner.— Chris
AN AMBITIOUS AND WHOLLY ORIGINAL NOVEL OF DECEPTION AND PSYCHOSIS BY THE AUTHOR OF THE NATIONAL BOOK AWARD FINALIST FAR NORTH
Whatever this is, it started when Nicholas Slopen came back from the dead.
In a locked ward of a notorious psychiatric hospital sits a man who insists that he is Dr. Nicholas Slopen, failed husband and impoverished Samuel Johnson scholar. Slopen has been dead for months. Yet nothing can make this man change his story. What begins as a tale of apparent forgery, involving unseen letters by the great Dr. Johnson, grows to encompass a conspiracy between a Silicon Valley mogul and his Russian allies to exploit the darkest secret of Soviet technology: the Malevin Procedure.
Marcel Theroux's Strange Bodies takes the reader on a dizzying speculative journey that poses questions about identity, authenticity, and what it means to be truly human.
About the Author
Marcel Theroux is the author of A Blow to the Heart, A Stranger in the Earth, and The Confessions of Mycroft Holmes: A Paper Chase, which won a Somerset Maugham Award. He lives in London.
“A page-turning, thought-provoking, exhilarating novel … ‘Thriller' may be a somewhat misleading label to fasten on a modern fable that also has elements of science fiction, dystopia, and domestic comedy. But without a doubt, Strange Bodies is a thrill to read.” —The Wall Street Journal
“[Theroux] is a superb writer . . . There are beautiful things, real things, tucked in this novel.” —Dwight Garner, The New York Times
“[Strange Bodies is] a literary science fiction novel as entertaining as it is thought-provoking and disturbing . . . Theroux masterfully braids horror and ontology, Nabokovian doppelgangers and Orwellian satire into a tragicomic narrative that pulls tight as a noose . . . A brilliant, troubling thriller.” —Los Angeles Times
“This is a superb technological fantasy, a tense thriller and a brilliantly imagined debate about the relationship between body and soul. Wonderful.” —Kate Saunders, The Times (London)
“An eerily plausible modern Frankenstein . . . It's not often you read a book as clever as this that is also emotionally charged and moving.” —Doug Johnstone, The Independent
“Strange Bodies is an examination of contemporary consciousness. But from its robust hook, through its comic set-up, to its dark if hopeful conclusions, it is also a kindly, intelligently entertaining thriller.” —M. John Harrison, The Times Literary Supplement
“The perfect literary thriller for the internet age.” —Red Online
“The unfolding of the narrative is genuinely eerie, but the richness of allusion and elegance of design make Strange Bodies as much an inquiry into language and identity as a high-concept literary thriller . . . Its exploration of human vulnerability, the notion that consciousness may be no more than ‘a trick of the light,' is moving as well as thought-provoking, as elegiac as it is gripping.” —Justine Jordan, The Guardian
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