[PDF/EBOOK] The Book of Strange New Things BY Michel Faber

Michel Faber Ä 0 characters

Lcanzar años luz Con una ambición tan vasta como el espacio en el ue ambienta su relato Michel Faber vuelve a la larga distancia de su obra mayor Pétalo carmesí flor blanca para enhebrar una reflexión acerca de nosotros mismos de los demás y del modo en ue nos acercamos y alejamos de ellos; de la identidad la alteridad la empatía y sus retos; de amor a la fe y de fe en el amor Sensible adictiva y alérgica a las respuestas fáciles; intrigante magnética y multiforme El Libro de las cosas nunca vistas aborda con sabiduría y compasión algunas ue por verlas todos los días nos uedan bien cerca y así sentimos su lectura como algo ue nos atañe y nos apela de una vibrante humanida. At the end of the Gospel of Mark Jesus tells his disciples Go ye into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature For a while now evangelicals have had to restrict their preaching to creatures on this planet but someday who knows Will the heathens of Andromeda embrace the good news about a man who was nailed to a cross a long time ago in a galaxy far far awayI can remember debating that essential uestion late at night as an undergrad at my little Christian college in Illinois We were a wild bunch The issue of extraterrestrial proselytizing has attracted some attention from notable science fiction writers too Captain Kirk was interested in spreading his seed than the Gospel but Trekkies will remember Episode 54 when the intrepid crew of the Starship Enterprise stumbled upon Son worshipers on a distant planet And far powerfully Mary Doria Russell wrote her first novel The Sparrow about a Jesuit priest who travels four light years away for the glory of GodThe latest story to boldly go into this final frontier of theological speculation comes from Michel Faber a Dutch born writer who lives in Scotland Best known for The Crimson Petal and the White 2002 which took place in the Victorian era Faber now launches us into the future when interplanetary travel is almost routineFor all its galactic wonders The Book of Strange New Things is a subtle meditative novel that winds familiar space alien tropes around terrestrial reflections on faith and devotion The story opens with Peter Leigh s last night on Earth He has already completed the difficult steps from drug addict to man of God Now he s ready for one giant leap The pastor of a small church in England he has been chosen from thousands of applicants to pursue the most important missionary calling since the Apostles had ventured forth to conuer Rome His job classified as urgent is to serve as Minister Christian to Indigenous Population of a planet called OasisFaber seems largely uninterested in the technical apparatus of science fiction The spaceship the physics of the Jump the physiology of inanimate suspension along with the scientific breakthroughs that would be necessary to support such a voyage he constructs all these details from an old refrigerator box with some tempera paint like the special effects in an early episode of Dr Who But that spottiness gradually comes to reflect Peter s own lack of attention to the fallen world His sponsor is USIC a shadowy multinational corporation about which Peter shows little interest I don t really follow politics he confesses I don t have access to social media None of those temporal distractions are relevant to his eternal vocation God will guide me he tells his nervous wife before shooting into the heavensOnce the good pastor arrives in the new world the novel sinks into its setting in fascinating ways most cleverly by resisting our expectations of this impossibly alien place Oasis appears almost without form and void It s a dark moist tundra marked by searing temperatures and ferocious magical rainstorms The earthlings headuarters too are suspiciously bland There was something weird about the USIC personnel Peter thinks but they treat him with cheery deference and give him a sparse room from which he can exchange e mail but no photos with his wife As she describes Earth falling into environmental and political ruin he responds sporadically with perfunctory expressions of concern More than a poignant demonstration of why long distance relationships never work their correspondence suggests the dark side of Peter s ministry No matter what calamities his wife outlines the crisis that interests him is always the one in which he gets to play the saviorStrikingly The Book of Strange New Things isn t a story of first contact Peter s new colleagues have been trading drugs and food with the aliens for years Indeed he s the replacement for an earlier minister who went native and vanished Yet as Peter heads off wearing his Pauline sandals and robe he knows nothing about the creatures he s meant to serve This world s indigenous inhabitants thriving or otherwise were scarcely mentioned in USIC s literature Faber writes except for fastidious assurances that nothing was planned or implemented without their full and informed consent Of course we read that bland corporate assurance with the dismal history of exploration and Christian mission work crying in our minds Columbus brought salvation and smallpox the first Thanksgiving feast began with grace but eventually gave way to war and a trail of tears Despite raising these concerns about exploitation though the novel remains focused on Peter s sweet interaction with the beings of Oasis They re a delicate private race mostly humanoid except for their faces which look like a pile of entrails They don t like to be touched No problemFaber s most remarkable creation is not just the aliens physiology but their whole unearthly culture with aspirations concerns and customs that we can t possibly fathom Their murmuring voices sound like wet bracken being crushed underfoot Their language which has no consonants is transcribed throughout the book in a kind of Cyrillic scriptExpecting skepticism and doubt or at least monolithic barriers of foreignness Peter finds instead scores of faithful Oasans eagerly waiting for him These gentle souls can t get enough stories about the techniue of Jesus They insist Peter read from the Bible which they call the book of strange new things The gold edged pages of this novel are a clever sanctifying touch by the publisherWhat could be seductive for a minister than to be embraced by a community of such loving congregants The Oasans thirst for the Word exceeds anything Peter has experienced perhaps it even exceeds his own enthusiasm Peter had a good feeling about his ministry here Faber writes God was taking a special interest in the way things were panning out Classic sci fi puts us on guard in pleasant situations like this Soylent Green is people but Faber has something subtle and mournful in mind It takes a while to realize that despite its bizarre setting and all the elements of an interplanetary opera this is a novel of profound spiritual intimacy Peter knows the Bible well and if you do too you ll see that he experiences everything through the fabric of its metaphors and parables He prays like someone who actually believes which in literary fiction is far exotic than a space alien with a hamburger face But there s something naive and self centered about his devotion The purity of the Oasans belief in the Gospel that he preaches will test his faith in a way he never expectedAs someone who harbors a fondness for science fiction and thirsts for complex treatment of religion in contemporary novels I relished every chance to cloister myself away with The Book of Strange New Things If it feels contemplative than propulsive if Faber repeatedly thwarts his own dramatic premises he also offers exactly what I crave a state of mingled familiarity and alienness that leaves us with uestions we can t answer or forget This review first appeared in The Washington Posthttpwwwwashingtonpostcomenterta

Summary The Book of Strange New Things

The Book of Strange New Things

Prendido a dejar todo auello ue los hace débiles –humanos– atrás Poco a poco Peter aprende a comunicarse con los oasianos; les lee la Biblia el Libro de las cosas nunca vistas y construye una iglesia con ellos Y a medida ue descubre ue su misión es más sencilla de lo ue preveía los problemas empiezan a surgir de rincones inesperados; en la base no todo el mundo es tan impasible y los correos de su esposa Bea hablan de una Tierra ue va de mal en peor se hunde azotada por desastres naturales carestía y conflictividad social y Bea se hunde con ella Y cuando Peter abstraído no logra darle el consuelo ue necesita el matrimonio tendrá ue enfrentarse a una brecha ue se abre hasta a. This book is mesmerizing I couldn t stop reading it And when it was over I felt like I d just finished something amazing but I also felt like I wasn t sure if I understood what I experienced I even re read it a couple months later and enjoyed it even I am deeply impressed by Faber s book and the fact that it centers around a man of faith As someone who has lived with and without religion in my life I do find it odd that it does not play a greater role in art and literature Faber lets his protagonist have strengths and flaws than that Peter has a consistent philosophy of religion and morality The flaws are perhaps obvious to the reader than to Peter himself especially when it comes to his relationship with his wife but that s part of what makes the book interesting It s also a book with a great deal about religion that is unlikely to offend or annoy people who are religious or people who are not It is Peter s character that is this way not any statement the author is making pro or conThis is also a great example of how good literary fiction can combine a variety of genres Yes there is a good element of science fiction here Peter is to be the pastor to an alien community on another planet some time in the not too distant future The alien race are mysterious and fascinating and their full nature is never completely explained Of course not That would be too pat for a book that concerns itself with deeper uestionsEven though there are science fiction elements here like the best sci fi it is not about space travel or aliens It is about morality relationships innocence and so much It s very possible that you ll finish this book feeling the same mix of confusion and wonder that I did which had me thinking initially this would be a 4 star review But it s not a book I ll forget any time soon and the I thought about how the book impressed me the I realized it was something truly uniue and worthy of a full 5 stars

Download ✓ PDF, DOC, TXT or eBook Ä Michel Faber

Cuando este libro arranca el devoto pastor cristiano Peter Leigh está a punto de soltar la mano de su mujer Bea ue lo rescató de una existencia errática de drogas y alcohol y embarcarse en un reto evangelizador a la altura del siglo XXI El destino ue le aguarda Oasis no está en esta Tierra para llegar hasta él tiene ue subirse a una nave y dar el Salto Uno ue le lleva a un lugar donde el aire se siente incluso cuando está uieto donde todos los alimentos salen de una sola raíz y donde el día y la noche no son como los ue conocemos Un lugar ue se reparten unos nativos bondadosos y henchidos de fe y unos colonizadores perfectamente entrenados ue en el ejercicio de sus labores han a. Sometime in the future humanity has discovered they are not alone in the universe on a distant planet named Oasis dwells a race of supremely ugly aliens their faces are described as two foetuses fused together and they LOVE Jeebus So much so that they re withholding food from the handful of human colonists on their planet until they get a replacement missionary Enter Peter Leigh a former homeless junkie thief turned born again Christian minister selected by the USIC Corporation to be sent to Oasis and preach from the Bible which the Oasans refer to as The Book of Strange New Things But why are the Oasans so enamoured with Christianity And what happened to their last minister That s the setup for Michel Faber s latest doorstopper sized novel and it s actually uite enticing and original seeming at first Except that summary is misleading because this book is actually about how long distance relationships don t work I know pick your jaw up off the floor because that s revelatory information right But that is essentially the whole book which wouldn t be so bad if I cared a bit about either Peter or his wife Bea but I didn t Peter heads to Oasis while Bea remains on Earth Things go well for Peter the Oasans are receptive and he enjoys his time on the planet things for badly for Bea as the world around her falls apart China invades the Middle East and ends up controlling their oil supply global supermarket chains go bankrupt freak weather decimates countries wars erupt governments topple it s the complete and total collapse of Western civilisation Make no mistake though The Book of Strange New Things is an utterly tedious read Beyond the novelty of meeting the Oasans there s nothing much to them They re around five feet tall they re ugly they re a very simple agrarian based culture and many of them believe the word of God completely Little is added to this knowledge as the novel progresses The only conflict Peter encounters is trying to make the Bible stories work for his new flock as they have trouble pronouncing s and t in their tongue as well as understanding some of the imagery they don t have sheep or fish so wouldn t know what stories involving them would mean so he rewrites them to make it easier for them to speak and grasp He doesn t have to try to convert them as a large number are already devout Christians and he doesn t encounter the ones who aren t Easier and easier He gets on with his fellow humans on the USIC base for the most part They re a gentle but soulless bunch consumed with work they are the best in the professions engineering geology biology medicine etc A giant read evil corporation behind this space endeavour Never seen that in a sci fi alien story The only thing missing was the meat head soldier archetype but there are no weapons or fighting in the book so they re absent Wondering where the dramastory here is There isn t any Maybe you re thinking Oasis is some wonderful vista paradise like Pandora in Avatar Think again It s a completely flat landscape with no discernible features The Oasans are completely isolated besides some weird duck creatures who appear a couple times so how did they evolve exactly their simple huts and their fields of whiteflower which they grow to trade for medicine with the humans I don t need the landscape to be extraordinary I just wish Faber would give me something anything than nothing This is barely genre writing Because it s set on an alien planet doesn t make it sci fi or at least it s not a good representation of that genre s heights despite the way some readers look down upon sci fi as a lesser genre Good sci fi is imaginative The Book of Strange Things is not Peter s wife Bea though extremely whiny and annoying tells Peter and the reader through her emails sent via the Shoot why did they rename a computer a Shoot What was wrong with computer of troubles on Earth which I mentioned earlier These emails are the only real conflict in the book by the wayIt seems that her story would ve been much interesting to read than Peter s Instead we re subjected to the most monotonous non story ever Peter telling the Oasans some Bible stories Peter helping them harvest the whiteflower crop Peter trying to learn their language Peter having trouble sleeping and looking at the stars Peter walking across a flat landscape drinking melon flavoured water Peter staring blankly at nothing This book is nearly 600 pages long Cut out the tedious crap and you ll have a mediocre 100 150 page novel instead of an awful 600 page one And speaking of Bea s increasingly difficult life on doomed Earth USIC do their best to censor their off world staff from news of Earth s collapse by ripping out pages of magazinesnewspapers arriving at the base but they don t censor Bea s emails even though they have the capability to do so Her emails contain the most damning information I will say that Faber s prose is for the most part clear and accessible He may not be able to tell a tight fast moving story any but he can still write uite well And I did like some scenes in the book particularly with the former minister who went native and Grainger the USIC pharmacist as she fell apart on Oasis I had her and Peter pegged to have a rushed embarrassing affair though Faber thankfully steered clear of that though he did everything he could to hint at its possibilityAnd I liked how many of the USIC characters were named after Marvel Comics writers from the Silver Age in particular Jakob Kurtzberg the missing former minister who mirrors the real name of Jack Kirby technically a Golden Age creator Who was Jack Kirby non comics reader Creator of much of the Marvel Universe Captain America Thor Hulk Fantastic Four and the X Men to name a few and a preacher of a kind himself who lived in the stars Faber s look at Christianity is just not insightful What do we learn That Bea converted Peter when he was a troubled criminal He bought into the religion and became a personable minister Away from his wife her troubles overwhelm her and she loses her faith And Also how easy is it to write a devout Christian character Jesus saves God has a plan for everything Trust in the Bible and our Lord he shall provide etc This isn t great writing or characterisationThe Christian overtones to the story were too on the nose and weren t enough to redeem it The book has 28 chapters like the Gospel of Matthew which is repeatedly referenced Peter is bitten by an animal seeming to die in the eyes of the Oasans and return a la Christ after the crucifixion not really but to the Oasans perhaps the walking through the wilderness with Grainger temptation Does Peter become like Christ to them Is this how Christ was to us an alien Is this how religions start Maybe some people will be blown away by these aspects of the book but I could not care less I was beaten into apathy at this point by the slug like pacing As there s no real story the book doesn t build to a big finish or any kind of finish at all really and simply ends It couldn t be dissatisfying or anticlimactic Faber s Strange New Things is a deeply unimaginative novel The sci fi element is poorly conceived and uninteresting Oasis and the Oasans could not be dull The book drags on for hundreds of pages without a plot with barely any character development and with hardly a thing happening to break up the boredom The whole Earth s collapse felt forced done because Bea s life needed to get worse so that she and Peter could fight via email not because it was convincing on any level I mean China invading the Middle East what I ve enjoyed Faber s work over the years from Under the Skin to The Fire Gospel to his short stories in Some Rain Must Fall but The Book of Strange New Things is gimmicky and horribly boring It s far too long with much too little substance Arguably this is his worst novel I can see why he s saying he s giving up on writing any of them seeing how uninspired this one turned out Unlike the Oasans and the Bible most people will have than enough of this book long before its end It was a real struggle to get there and not really worth it Side note there s some uestion among some reviewers as to why the Oasans would so readily accept Christianity though Faber does explain this in the book Here s why and it s actually one of the few parts of the novel I likedview spoilerIf humans are cut the wound stops bleeding scabs over the platelets in our blood do their work maybe some pus follows but we soon heal If an Oasan is cut and the cut becomes infected they die Their bodies are completely defenceless Christianity preaches healing and rebirth The Oasans are a race who cannot heal naturally and take everything literally so they would embrace Christianity s message of healing as a solution to their plight hide spoiler


10 thoughts on “The Book of Strange New Things

  1. says:

    Sometime in the future humanity has discovered they are not alone in the universe on a distant planet named Oasis dwells a race of

  2. says:

    Of course everybody on earth had the power to reshape reality It was one of the things Peter and Beatrice talked about a lot The challenge of getting people to grasp that life was only as grim and confining as you perceived it to be The challenge of getting people to see that all the immutable facts of existence were not

  3. says:

    An adult sci fi novel with an intriguing premise Mankind has reached its first extraterrestrial world Oasis and the giant corporation USIC is working hard to build a colony there while economic and climatic conditions on earth continue to de

  4. says:

    This book is mesmerizing I couldn't stop reading it And when it was over I felt like I'd just finished something amazing but I also felt like I wasn't sure if I understood what I experienced I even re read it a

  5. says:

    Alienation“ We’re the aliens here”This book can easily be mistaken as generic sci fi exploring the impact of colonialism on the existing inhabitants as well as the newcomers in the near future a Christian minister leaves his beloved wife and travels through hyperspace to a human colony on another planet where his role is to evangelise to alien beingsThat is the medium but it’s not the message The message isn’t

  6. says:

    I made a note at the 200 page mark I wouldn’t say the story so far is implausible just like the captain of the Titanic didn’t say that the thing directly ahead was a bloody gigantic iceberg But I have so many uestions about what’s going on here which Mr Faber is straight facedly refusing to either acknowledge or answer that I

  7. says:

    At the end of the Gospel of Mark Jesus tells his disciples “Go ye into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature”For a while now evangelicals have had to restrict their preaching to creatures on this planet but someday who knows? Will the heathens of Andromeda embrace the good news about a man who was na

  8. says:

    The Book of Strange New Things the 2014 science fiction novel by Michel Faber is one of those books that sealed me in a barrel rolled me down a hill off a cliff into rapids and over a waterfall I feel dizzy having

  9. says:

    UghI hated this I absolutely loved Under the Skin but this was a huge disappointment It was endlessly tedious the protagonist was not very likable and the plot itself just never really came together It's amazing because the reviews on GR have been largely glowing but this was just a huge bust The Book of Strange New Things? More like The Endless Book of Tedious Plot and Lame Characters

  10. says:

    No surprise this gets an endorsement from David Mitchell because it’s a fabulous feat of wiring exuberant entertainment into intelligent storytelling a bit like the literary euivalent of Stephen Spielberg The sec

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