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The Lost Book of Adana Moreau

3.83  ·  Rating details ·  483 ratings  ·  155 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
Published February 4th 2020 by Hanover Square Press
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☘Misericordia☘ ~ The Serendipity Aegis ~  ✺❂❤❣
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)
Maxwells mother, who had started reading the letters of
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 ...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.
Im an avid reader but horrible reviewer. I either like a book or I dont. I recommend it to others or I dont.
Sometime a book is good right up to a bad ending and Im left shaking my head, rolling my eyes.
Other times Im 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 Ive read recently in tone and story.
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 Zapatas 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. Its such an impressive debut and I cant wait to read what Zapata writes next.
Well done!
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 youll 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: 2019, edelweissplus
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 engaginga 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
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.
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
Nov 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Wow. Just wow. I was given an ARC of this book, and I dont think I understood just how incredibly lucky I was. This book is phenomenal. It is about so many themes and ideas, but by far its 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 ...more
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 Zapatas 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
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 Moreaus 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 in ...more
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 ...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 couldnt 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 the ...more
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
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!
Dec 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Ill 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 ...more
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
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 1920s or early 1930s 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 ...more
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.
Frank Tempone
Jan 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is the first book Ive 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. ...more
Jan 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing
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
Jan 23, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not sure how to describe this book. I don't think I've read a book quite like this. It's written beautifully, but more in a stream-of-consciousness manner than the traditional divided-into-distinct-chapters way.
It's a story spanning decades and we see the life of Adana Moreau and her journey from illiterate woman to science-fiction author. We follow their son, Maxwell, as he grew up through the Great Depression. There is also the thread of Saul Drower, who finds the lost manuscript of Adana
Geonn Cannon
Feb 07, 2020 rated it liked it
Put damn quotes around your damn dialogue.
Feb 29, 2020 rated it really liked it
I started out loving it, but to be honest I did not finish, I was working outside listening to the audio with my husband, the task needed concentration and suddenly I would wonder away... it is beautifully written, very creative, but I needed to quit the more I found my concentration lacking, safe to say this book got away from me and expires before I could try again.
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.
Jan 27, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I tried to describe this to a coworker and muttered many things like science fiction, literary, poetic, Chile, New Orleans, Russia, fascinating characters, parallel universes, obscure science and philosophy.....It is all that and more in less than 300 pages.

I'm usually a fast page turner, but I stopped and looked up so many things - people (especially science fiction authors), places, events. Amazing
Paul Ataua
Feb 10, 2020 rated it liked it
I can understand why so many people are raving about this, but it really didnt do it for me. I liked the idea of books lost in time, of parallel universes, and commentaries on life and politics, but I found it difficult to get into the story and difficult to feel affinity for the characters. The fault is mine, and maybe I just got around to reading it at the wrong time. Maybe I will try again sometime in the future. ...more
Feb 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"Rich in imagination, The Lost Book of Adana Moreau is a gorgeous, heartbreaking examination of exile, diaspora, and family that spans multiple narratives across space and time."

My interview with the author:
Nov 16, 2019 added it
Did not finish at 25% - just couldnt get into this one. ...more
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Michael Zapata is the author of The Lost Book of Adana Moreau. He is a founding editor of the award-winning MAKE Literary Magazine. He is the recipient of an Illinois Arts Council Award for Fiction; the City of Chicago DCASE Individual Artist Program award; and a Pushcart Nomination. As an educator, he taught literature and writing in high schools servicing drop out students. He is a graduate of ...more

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