Summary

'I am with you always, even unto the end of the world . . .'
Peter Leigh is a missionary called to go on the journey of a lifetime. Leaving behind his beloved wife, Bea, he boards a flight for a remote and unfamiliar land, a place where the locals are hungry for the teachings of the Bible - his 'book of strange new things'. It is a quest that will challenge Peter's beliefs, his understanding of the limits of the human body and, most of all, his love for Bea.
The Book of Strange New Things is a wildly original tale of adventure, faith and the ties that might hold two people together when they are worlds apart. This momentous novel, Faber's first since The Crimson Petal and the White, sees him at his expectation-defying best.
©2014 Michel Faber (P)2014 Canongate Books Ltd
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Anne on 26-10-14

Not just for sci-fi fans, a compelling human story

I bought this audiobook having previously enjoyed The Crimson Petal and the White by the same author. This book could not be more different but was also a compelling listen.

The book is set in the near future but, although staged in sci fi territory, the story is concerned with human themes: relationships, the nature of faith, belonging.

The imagined world is detailed, fascinating and convincing and will satisfy sci fi fans . The underlying human themes develop slowly and the book is a thought provoking commentary on the nature of modern human relationships and connectedness.

Credit must go to the narrator who manages the challenge of an entirely new language with great skill.

I really enjoyed this book and the issues raised remained with me long afterwards. A thought provoking and intelligent listen.

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15 of 15 people found this review helpful

4 out of 5 stars
By rebecca ward on 28-04-15

The Book of Ssssstrange New Things

Really interesting ideas, and engaging story.

Was originally only going to give it 3 stars, as I felt quite a few things were unresolved and some of those big ideas were left high and dry. However, I've been reflecting on the story, and the characters for a few days - I really cared about what would happen to them, and the book and the strange environment have stayed with me. Surely the sign of a clever and involving piece of work.

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11 of 11 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
4 out of 5 stars
By Julie on 15-03-15

Not sure Michel Faber does resolution...

If you are familiar with Michel Faber's works you won't be too surprised by the ambling nature of the novel. An evangelistic pastor is recruited by a mysterious corporation to bring the gospel to an alien race on a planet they wish to colonise. It's less about a plot than an exploration of a set of possibilities and human nature in extreme circumstances. I think I enjoyed it even though the pronunciation of the "alien" speech was absolutely tortuous and made me glad the narrator wasn't with me in person to cover me in spit.
Thought provoking and given the recent extreme weather in Vanuatu possibly prescient.

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

3 out of 5 stars
By Julia on 10-09-16

Bad story, good narrator.

Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

It was okay, but not mind-blowing.

What was most disappointing about Michel Faber’s story?

It had a lot of potential that remained unexplored. The way I understand it, the author took on a very limited point of view of emphasise that it was Peter's outlook and priorities that counted, but then a first-person narrative would have suited this novel much better. As it is, the reader is left with the feeling that many important issues have remained unexplored.

What does Josh Cohen bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

He brings an boyish enthusiasm to Peter that fits his personality, and the way he reads the Oasans is also good (and not easy to pull off).

If this book were a movie would you go see it?

No, unless they fixed the plot holes in the novel.

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