Saturday, June 15, 2013

The Curiosity: A Novel by Stephen Kiernan

The Curiosity: A NovelThe Curiosity: A Novel by Stephen Kiernan
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Description: Michael Crichton meets The Time Traveler's Wife in this powerful debut novel in which a man, frozen in the Arctic ice for more than a century, awakens in the present day.

"A true page-turner . . . one of the most assured debuts in years, a book that will stop your heart and start it again." - Justin Cronin, author of The Passage and The Twelve

"As thought-provoking and powerful as Flowers for Algernon and the writing is breathtakingly beautiful." -Chris Bohjalian, author of The Sandcastle Girls and Midwives 

Dr. Kate Philo and her scientific exploration team make a breathtaking discovery in the Arctic: the body of a man buried deep in the ice. As a scientist in a groundbreaking project run by the egocentric and paranoid Erastus Carthage, Kate has brought small creatures-plankton, krill, shrimp-"back to life." Never have the team's methods been attempted on a large life form.

Heedless of the consequences, Carthage orders that the frozen man be brought back to the lab in Boston, and reanimated. As the man begins to regain his memories, the team learns that he was-is-a judge, Jeremiah Rice, and the last thing he remembers is falling overboard into the Arctic Ocean in 1906. When news of the Lazarus Project and Jeremiah Rice breaks, it ignites a media firestorm and massive protests by religious fundamentalists.

Thrown together by circumstances beyond their control, Kate and Jeremiah grow closer. But the clock is ticking and Jeremiah's new life is slipping away. With Carthage planning to exploit Jeremiah while he can, Kate must decide how far she is willing to go to protect the man she has come to love.

A gripping, poignant, and thoroughly original thriller, Stephen Kiernan's provocative debut novel raises disturbing questions about the very nature of life and humanity-man as a scientific subject, as a tabloid plaything, as a living being: A curiosity.

My thoughts: The book is brilliantly written. Part sci-fi, part historical fiction, part literary fiction, all pieces put together make a delightful and entrancing read. Dr. Kate is rather boring, really. She perks up at the end and Erastus Carthage's point of view is simply hilarious. You know him. He's the Donald Trump of science. He makes money with money. He's short on social graces but very powerful. He fires on a whim. Naturally, my favorite character is Jeremiah. His character is consistent throughout the novel. He's the kind of man you'd want to meet. Maybe even keep. And that's all I'll say.

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