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The Lost Book of Adana Moreau

3.63  ·  Rating details ·  1,889 ratings  ·  417 reviews
The mesmerizing story of a Latin American science fiction writer and the lives her lost manuscript unites decades later in post-Katrina New Orleans

In 1929 in New Orleans, a Dominican immigrant named Adana Moreau writes a science fiction novel titled Lost City. It is a strange and beautiful novel, set in a near future where a sixteen-year-old Dominican girl, not all that un
ebook, 336 pages
Published February 4th 2020 by Hanover Square Press
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Average rating 3.63  · 
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☘Misericordia☘ ⚡ϟ⚡⛈⚡☁ ❇️❤❣
A book about books and twisting paths of life and whatnot.
A journey panoramic enough to give one just a teensy bit of agoraphobia (or maybe timephobia?).

At night, she slept on park benches and dreamed of future civilizations and an endless seabed full of strange luminescent creatures. (c)
She listened as he talked about war and mechanical soldiers and an eternal library that he would one day discover and never leave. (c)
Maxwell’s mother, who had started reading the letters of Rous
Natalie Jenner
Nov 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is one of the most stunningly imaginative books I have ever read. I could just sink into the worlds within worlds that Zapata creates: worlds of brothers-in-arms, extended families, beckoning landscapes, and marvellous books so magical-sounding that one feels the very pull to distant shores that lures so many of his characters. I won't give away any of the plot, because the level of creativity here should be experienced fully fresh, from the mesmerizing first chapter ("The Dominicana May 19 ...more
Carolyn Nelson
Jun 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I had the honor and privilege of reading the Lost Book Adana Moreau by Michael Zapata.
I’m an avid reader but horrible reviewer. I either like a book or I don’t. I recommend it to others or I don’t.
Sometime a book is good right up to a bad ending and I’m left shaking my head, rolling my eyes.
Other times I’m so engrossed in a book but wondering how is this ever going to pan out.
Well, the Lost Book of Adana Moreau did not disappoint. It was different from anything I’ve read recently in tone and s
The Lost Book Of Adana Moreau had potential, in the beginning, I was certain it was going to be right up my alley. For a little while, the writing had that magical Latin American atmosphere, a la Garcia-Marquez or Isabella Allende.

Zapata tried to do too many things, went on too many tangents, covered too much ground in too few pages. The omniscient third-person narration, the jumping around in time and space and too much telling without enough showing kept me at a distance and disengaged.

The b
Nov 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I was so lucky to receive an ARC of this book. Few books make me try to find time to sit in a chair and read but Michael Zapata’s “The Lost Book of Adana Moreau” was one of them. A time jumping literary mystery with wonderfully written characters and even a pirate or two. He kept me guessing how they would all connect. It’s such an impressive debut and I can’t wait to read what Zapata writes next.
Well done!
Dec 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
My review for the Chicago Tribune:

What reader would fail to be enticed by a book whose theme is the irresistible enticement of books? For Michael Zapata’s expansive, big-hearted, and time-hopping debut novel The Lost Book of Adana Moreau is about many things, but its overarching subject is the sensation one sometimes gets as a reader that one has “stumbled upon the presence of something extraordinary” (67).

The Adana Moreau of the title hails from the Dom
When I first picked up this book I thought it was going to be about an adventure where a young man searches for his grandmother's missing book. Surely when it opened up with The Last Black Pirate of the New World and love across parallel universes I thought I knew which direction this book was going. I was captivated by the story line and mesmerized by Zapata's writing. But I was oh so wrong.

This is not just a book about a book. It is not a mere journey for a long lost treasure. The Lost Book o
Kasa Cotugno
The description of The Lost Book of Adana Moreau piqued my interest despite being outside my usual choice for a novel. But I am so glad I gave it a chance. Totally immersive in style and content and spun out in gorgeous, almost poetic, prose, this is the tale of a manuscript lost for centuries, discovered and resulting in a present day road trip, with characters that breathe. Some of this writing is almost breathtaking ("Memory is a gravitational force. It is constantly attracting us to the past ...more
Katia N
Jun 22, 2020 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Oh, it is the hard one to write about sincerely. It is not a bad book probably. But! If i would be a curious American 10-grader somewhere at the beginning of my reading about the world, I might like it. But I am not unfortunately. I do not need a Borges diluted into 0.001% solution and a Bolano dumbed down significantly low and deprived of the poetic language. Also I know the mantra extremely popular in the English speaking fiction that "we need to tell ourselves stories in order to live" and "i ...more
Nov 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An immersive book where interwoven narratives connect families, friends, and strangers across space and time.

Its themes of displacement, connection, stories, and family all swirl together beautifully as we are asked to consider the potential for what else might have been. Plus, this is a book that likes books, and you’ll get some new recommendations for your TBR.

Pair with: Famous Men Who Never Lived
Sep 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: edelweissplus, 2019
Wow! Just... wow. The Lost Book of Adana Moreau is a complex, satisfying read, gradually building connections among narratives that initially feel disparate. The voice is engaging—a mix of whimsy, tangential thinking, and philosophy. While the entire novel takes place on our Earth, it explores the idea of multiverses, of the ways crucial events might have played out differently, and the ways individual characters might have been shaped differently. Reading this book requires thoughtful attention ...more
Renee Godding
DNF at 75%

I realize I should probably just finish this, as I'm already nearly done, but I can already tell that I'm not going to change my mind about how I feel. I'm not going to put a rating on this book, as that won't do justice to my conflicting thoughts. "Objectively" this is probably a very good book. The author has literary talent, is well-spoken and has an almost epic range of topics to contemplate and commentate on here.
Subjectively however, I didn't enjoy it at all. I need either one o
Jerrie (redwritinghood)
I loved this book! It is an ode to classic storytelling and a memorial to the great sci-fi writers. It is a dual timeline story, but it is also a classic story cycle like the Arabian Nights (which the author alludes to many times in the beginning of the book). It is enchanting and peopled with fascinating but realistic characters.
Nov 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Wow. Just wow. I was given an ARC of this book, and I don’t think I understood just how incredibly lucky I was. This book is phenomenal. It is about so many themes and ideas, but by far it’s most compelling is the power of storytelling. Michael Zapata has written a novel obsessed with stories, and it is full of them. From science fiction stories to war stories, and from the stories that people tell about themselves to the stories that influence their lives. This will undoubtedly resonate with th ...more
Margaret Kennedy
A little bit of sci-fi, a little bit of history, and a lot of love for stories is what makes The Lost Book of Adana Moreau a truly amazing novel. Zapata weaves a tale of intertwining lives, from New Orleans to Argentina to Israel to Russia and back, all centered around the people that brought Adana Moreau’s words to life. The narrative follows Maxwell Moreau, the son of a Dominican refugee and extremely talented science fiction writer in 1930s New Orleans, and Saul Dower, a driftless young man i ...more
Todd Stockslager
Feb 27, 2020 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
Review title: Reaching for significance

Debut novel by Michael Zapata dips deep into dreams, perhaps too deep for its own good. Reaching for lyrical prose, Zapata ends up reaching past significance for most readers.

Written entirely in omniscient third person past tense narrative with little quoted dialogue, the coldly remote observer style loses readers as the author moves omnisciently between time, place, and character. The style might have worked in a more controlled or limited application. He
Oct 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a beautifully written and crafted mystery, love story, homage to Latinx SFF and history, and a joy to read. Follow the stories of writers, pirates, parents, children, physicists, journalists, and the other rich and complex characters of this novel and learn about the glory of writing from the imagination, the past, and the hoped-for future. In the 1910s, Adana Moreau writes SFF with a decidedly personal twist, calling up her childhood in the Caribbean. In the aftermath of Hurricane Katri ...more
Oct 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Could. Not. Put. It. Down. Hooked from the start. I am typically a slow reader taking my time through a book. This book however reeled me right from the start and I couldn’t let go. Had to get to the end, life around me be damned. At the risk of spoilers and giving away the story, I will just say that the characters are well developed and their journeys interesting. The writing was concise and I felt like I was right there in the depression, Chicago and Katrina, New Orleans. The ending pulled th ...more
Geonn Cannon
Feb 07, 2020 rated it liked it
Put damn quotes around your damn dialogue.
Sep 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a hard one to describe but well worth the read.
Aaron S
Feb 15, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Highly recommend!
Deacon Tom F
Not really sure about this book that I finished a few days ago.

The book’s characters are very interesting and well developed. Descriptions are precise and accurate.

I loved what Zapata described about New Orleans. Especially, since NOLA and the French Quarter are one of my favorite cities. Whenever we can, we visit frequently.

They travel through time and across the oceans but I missed their reasoning. I even rescanned the beginning to figure it. Still a blank.

I know this book has won a number
Ararita (Okretačica stranica)
Feb 14, 2020 rated it really liked it
The Lost book of Adana Moreau is a story within a story within a story.. this is a book about characters' stories, history stories, SF stories and stories that affected characters.

This is not a SF story, but it is a love letter to all SF lovers.

Zapata kept me guessing how will all this tie up together and he did not dissapoint.
He has a realy unique way of writing, his sentences are so lyrical and each word is there with purpose.

Can't wait to read more of Zapata's work, I'll keep my eye on him
Dec 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I’ll admit that when I received this book I was only mildly interested. However, since a publisher made the effort to bring it to my attention, I thought I should consider it worth my time to give it some attention. I am so glad I did! An extraordinary and unexpected debut was gifted to me. Layered with subtle complexity, I was quickly pulled in. I was torn between wanting to savor the imaginative story and lyrical writing or reading as quickly as possible to see where I would be taken. The nest ...more
Dec 09, 2019 rated it liked it
The Lost Book of Adana Moreau by Michael Zapata is a story in a story in a story of sorts. About two science fiction novels written in the late 1920’s or early 1930’s by a young Dominican woman displaced by American imperialism, married to a Black American pirate disenfranchised by American exclusionism, this book follows the popularity of one book, and the destruction and rebirth of the other up into the time surrounding hurricane Katrina. The book had a lot of overarching themes of political u ...more
Frank Tempone
Jan 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is the first book I’ve read in 2020 and probably the best one I will read this year. It is absolutely beautiful. I will read everything this man writes from now on.
Mar 06, 2020 rated it really liked it
This is a story about an Science Fiction book, but it is no SF itself. It took me a moment to wire my brain accordingly, but then I let myself be captured by the skillful prose (this is a debut novel! Kudos!) and the often heartwrenching melancholic tale about people who are exiled, displaced.
Zapata tells of war and persecution as he weaves his narration about two young orphaned men in two times: One is the son of a Dominican SF-writer and the last pirat of the New World, the other born in Israe
Galen Strickland
Jan 04, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Woke very early and couldn't get back to sleep, instead I finished this remarkable novel. Now I need to decide if I treat it like any other book review, or put it in the newly created Non-SF section of my blog.

This will appeal to SF fans, but the speculative elements are restricted to books written by characters in the book. The novel itself is literary fiction, of the highest order. An incredible debut, highly recommended.
May 24, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I’m really impressed that Zapata covers so much ground in just 266 pages. No baggy first novel here. The characters felt fully alive, the places it took me to were enticingly varied in time and place. I loved the tantalizing dips into speculative concepts of multiple alternative universes that helped characters cope with loss. I especially liked the fact that it was a lost science fiction novel that opened the door to the speculative in an otherwise realistic story. And yet there were quite a fe ...more
Jan 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2020, arc
Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for the ARC.

Zapata has written an ode to stories - storytelling and story-listening. The Lost Book of Adana Moreau is a beautiful novel. It covers some dark events and heavy themes but ultimately feels hopeful and uplifting. Zapata wraps the reader in the comfort of a much-loved childhood memory, while igniting the fires of possibility and potential for the future. It was the (unintentionally) perfect book to start the new year.

A plot summary really can
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Michael Zapata is a founding editor of MAKE Literary Magazine and the author of the novel The Lost Book of Adana Moreau, winner of the 2020 Chicago Review of Books Award for Fiction, finalist for the 2020 Heartland Booksellers Award in Fiction, and a Best Book of the Year for NPR, the A.V. Club, Los Angeles Public Library, and BookPage, among others. He is the recipient of an Illinois Arts Council ...more

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“Memory is a gravitational force. It is constantly attracting us to the past, even if we shouldn’t stay there for too long. Those of us who have a memory are able to live in that fragile space between the past and the future. Those of us who have none are already dead.” 2 likes
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