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The Book of Strange New Things > November's book

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message 1: by Chris (new)

Chris (chris83) The Book of Strange New Things by Michel Faber is our book for November. I hope we all like it! It looks promising. Anyone who wants to start on it right away is welcome to do so. Enjoy!


message 2: by Nadine (new)

Nadine Brandes (nadinebrandes) | 36 comments I'm very curious about this book. I hope it's a good read! Will probably start it early. :)


message 3: by Fredhopke (new)

Fredhopke | 5 comments I have had this one on my list, it looks interesting. I'll probably start sooner too. I finished Wool last week, it was much better then I anticipated, the characters were well developed and the story moved along. I had not heard of it before joining this group. So thanks for the good referral.


message 4: by Natasha (new)

Natasha | 3 comments I just finished this book and I think it was amazing. I won't spoil it for anyone, but if I were a science fiction fan - I would be annoyed by all of the scientific holes in this book. There are so many things left unexplained, or under explained that I'm not sure this could even be called science fiction. In spite of these holes, the plot - the thesis behind this book is so original, its genius really.


message 5: by Chris (new)

Chris (chris83) I'm curious about the scientific holes if you mean scientifically inaccurate. I know what you mean by things just going unexplained though. I'm not done with the book yet but close.


message 6: by Natasha (new)

Natasha | 3 comments There is no explanation about what is actually happening on Earth and why Earth's destruction has suddenly escalated. The planets location, distance from Earth and the process of traveling there is never fully explained. The book glosses over the atmosphere on Oasis. I also find it curious how Peter could travel all they way across the Solar System (or beyond) and has no idea what he is getting into. He has no knowledge of the creatures he is supposed to be ministering to. Maybe it is just his personality, but he asks no questions about why he is there (or why everyone else is there). That's not really scientific, just an observation. The settler's on Oasis have little scientific interest in the planet or the species that live there. The book also doesn't explain why they haven't tried to cultivate seeds brought from Earth (like in a greenhouse). These are just my personal observations, but I loved the book nonetheless.


message 7: by Chris (new)

Chris (chris83) All good points. I do think that the writer was using those omissions to give the feel of something being somewhat off about USICs settlement. (view spoiler)


message 8: by Natasha (new)

Natasha Beaulieu | 1 comments Michel Faber's novels are in an interesting variety of style. I like this author for that reason. He writes about what he wants. He could have been classified as an historical author for The Crimson Petal and the Rose. But then, you also have Under The Skin which is science-fiction. I haven't seen the movie but the novel left me a strong impression forever. So I am looking forward to read The Book f Strange New Things. Thank you all for you comments which makes me think I will enjoy Michel Faber's last novel.


message 9: by Jane (last edited Nov 14, 2014 08:12AM) (new)

Jane (janeinri) | 420 comments Mod
Wow - totally missed the book of the month announcement (no polls anymore?) and this sounds like an interesting one!

Just went looking and found the poll - oh, well. Had a LOAD of family stuff and I guess I missed it. I may put on my "to be read" list from reading these comments.


message 10: by Nadine (new)

Nadine Brandes (nadinebrandes) | 36 comments Jane wrote: "Wow - totally missed the book of the month announcement (no polls anymore?) and this sounds like an interesting one!...."

I still haven't even started it. I'm so behind!!! :( So you and I can have it on our to-read list for later. I am excited to read it, though.


message 11: by Chris (new)

Chris (chris83) Jane wrote: "Wow - totally missed the book of the month announcement (no polls anymore?) and this sounds like an interesting one!

Just went looking and found the poll - oh, well. Had a LOAD of family stuff an..."


Hey I'm sorry you missed the poll! You're one of the best members of this little group! :) I did the poll early in the month because I had a wedding to prepare for and go to. I hope I didn't mess something up because I was preoccupied but I know I always select to notify all members when I make them. Anyway, it is a good book and I would recommend it if you can squeeze it in! :)


message 12: by Jane (new)

Jane (janeinri) | 420 comments Mod
Thanks - I had a wedding (AND a baptism, AND a death in the family...which probably explains how I missed it LOL) (My eldest daughter got married on Halloween). I have put the book on "hold" on my E-Zone library.


message 13: by Matthew (last edited Nov 17, 2014 01:12AM) (new)

Matthew Henderson (breakfastbutty) I finished the book last night, it’s the first book I have read by Michel Faber. I found it really interesting and enjoyable. The sci-fi facts/ holes didn’t bother me at all - I can understand that those used to reading more sci fi could find it a bit light on the details though. I really enjoyed the characters and their connections, particularly how the Oasans became more individualised, and how the observations of their society left lots to the imagination and alluded to more than they defined.

I loved the simplicity of the book and how it illustrated Peter’s journey and growth, and to an extent the journey of the people around him. A couple of bits grated on me – the mixture of American and British English in a couple of places in the narrative - it wouldn't have bothered me but it seemed to be rooted firmly in England, and the behaviour of Bea seemed too erratic towards the end - as though her story line was in danger of fizzling out, although on reflection I think that may have been affected by his reactions to each of the shoots.

I’d have preferred a better ending – it seemed like a bit of a flop compared to the quality of the rest of the book. Thanks for nominating the book, I found it a really rewarding read.


message 14: by Chris (new)

Chris (chris83) I noticed those little things that an American wouldn't say too. It seems like something easily avoided by simply running all the dialogue spoken by an American by an American.

The ending was a bit blah but I didn't feel disappointed by it. I just wanted more. Which is why I hope the author goes on with the story in another book.


message 15: by Fredhopke (new)

Fredhopke | 5 comments I just finished the book and liked it. I did not think it was science fiction, it was much more a study of the characters and relationships. Peter's relationship with himself, with Bea, with God with what he believes. I did not miss the hard scientific explanations which we often find in SciFi. Why the social structure was failing on Earth, was purposely left out by the author so we could experience the loss along with Peter. I felt like I was on Oasis with Peter, out of the contact with Earth having to guess what was happening. It made the story more real for me.

I agree that most people would ask more questions about a company that was sending them across the universe, and would ask much more details about the Aliens they were being sent to live with and preach to. I accepted Peter as an innocent (not pejorative) who at that moment just wanted to do "gods work" and buying into that I enjoyed the story.

Thanks for recommending this one.


message 16: by Jane (new)

Jane (janeinri) | 420 comments Mod
Well, my library e-zone finally came through and I got this book a week or so ago. I couldn't remember who had recommended it, then while on Goodreads I found that it was our November book! Better late than never!

I am 92% done. I have been enjoying the book - but again, I don't find it particularly dystopian or even strictly sci-fi. The premise is fascinating - a missionary to alien life forms. I do have to say I want to slap both Peter and Bea at times. Peter is SO naive and clueless as to be almost unbelievable. Yes, he provides a kind of answer to that later in the book, stating he had to become naive, trusting, and child-like to leave his past life behind and live a life of faith in God. But God helps those who help themselves - and he can't even be trusted to eat & drink enough to stay healthy! And the way he answers every problem Bea presents with a pat Bible verse...argh! Bea, on the other hand, changes almost TOO much. Yes, chalk some up to hormones and the changes in the world, but she becomes a nasty, bitter, whiny shrew. And how does the government/society fall apart so quickly? I know there are a series of natural and economic disasters, but one would think that England would be able to stand a bit longer.

A very interesting read - thanks for recommending it. But I do wish we would go back to reading dystopian fare!


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