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The Lost Book of Adana Moreau

4.01  ·  Rating details ·  190 ratings  ·  74 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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  • The Lost Book of Adana Moreau by Michael Zapata
    The Lost Book of Adana Moreau
    Release date: Feb 04, 2020
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    In 1929 in New Orleans, a Dominican immigrant, Adana Moreau, writes a

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    Giveaway dates: Feb 15 - Mar 15, 2020

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    Average rating 4.01  · 
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     ·  190 ratings  ·  74 reviews

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    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.
    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
    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!
    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 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
    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
    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
    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 ...more
    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
    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 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 ...more
    Sep 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
    This is a hard one to describe but well worth the read.
    ☘Misericordia☘ ~ The Serendipity Aegis ~  ⚡ϟ⚡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
    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
    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 ...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 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
    Aaron S
    Feb 15, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
    Highly recommend!
    Paul Ataua
    Feb 10, 2020 rated it liked it
    I can understand why so many people are raving about this, but it really didn’t 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.
    Geonn Cannon
    Feb 07, 2020 rated it liked it
    Put damn quotes around your damn dialogue.
    When it is snowy and cold outside, superspeed readers like me can read 150 - 200+ pages/hour, so yes, I have read the book … and many more today. LOL

    I received a temporary digital Advance Reader Copy of this book from #NetGalley, the publisher and the author in exchange for an honest review.

    From the publisher, as I do not repeat the contents or story of books in reviews, I let them do it as they do it better than I do .

    The mesmerizing story of a Latin American science fiction writer and the
    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 ...more
    Sharon May
    Feb 13, 2020 rated it really liked it
    Thanks to NetGalley, Hanover Square Press, and Michael Zapata for the opportunity to read and review this book. This is a very different book - beautifully written but one of those books that makes me feel I'm not quite smart enough to read and enjoy it the way I should.

    The story is basically about a science fiction book that was written by a Latin American writer that was lost for decades. Saul, cleaning out his grandfather's home after his death finds the lost book and tries to reunite it
    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.
    Nov 16, 2019 added it
    Did not finish at 25% - just couldn’t get into this one.
    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.
    Edwin Howard
    Feb 03, 2020 rated it really liked it
    THE LOST BOOK OF ADANA MOREAU, by Michael Zapata, is about a search for a book, a man, and a past that can reveal the true connections between the two. Saul Drower recently lost his grandfather and with his friend, Javier, embarks on a journey to deliver an undeliverable package to a man who seems to have disappeared. As Saul's search gets closer and closer to the man in question, via flashback, the reader finds out who the man is, why he and his mother are important, and eventually Saul's ...more
    Dec 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
    Maxwell closed his eyes and thought of nothing and everything, all at once, just as Saul had taught him, as if he were walking through a dark labyrinth, the center of which was bathed in moonlight, or, like his missing father, sailing through an endless dark blue sea toward something unknown. Then he opened his eyes and began to read.

    This is one of the most unusual books I've read in a while. The whole time I was reading it, I wasn't sure if I liked it or not. I wasn't fully sure what was
    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
    Lisa Carter
    Jan 22, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
    Creative, complex, and layered: it’s no wonder this debut novel by Michael Zapata has already been touted as a Most Anticipated Book of 2020.

    The story interweaves the tales of Adana Moreau and her son Maxwell, Saul Drower, his Russian Jew grandfather, and his best friend Javier, plus the lost manuscript that ultimately connects them all.
    Spanning the globe and ninety years, the novel is part family saga and part mystery, with a pinch of adventure and a whole heap of literary prowess thrown in.
    "History casts itself across our existence like a shadow of another world."

    I really, REALLY liked this one. If you asked me to describe to you what it's about, I'd have a hard time doing so beyond the blurb: Dominican immigrant Adana Moreau writes a sci-fi book called "The Lost City" that becomes a cult favorite in sci-fi circles, and writes a sequel called "A Model Earth." Before the sequel can be published, Adana falls ill and dies, but not before burning the manuscript.

    Seventy-some years
    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 ...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
    “ghosts of the multiverse, trapped in a ghastly and suffocating image continually running on a loop:” 0 likes
    “So much of what we consider free will is subject to fleeting moments transmitted from one person to another like conduction.” 0 likes
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