A Field Guide to Reality by Joanna Kavenna

No critic rating

Waiting for minimum critic reviews

See 1 Critic Review

It is refreshing as well as disconcerting to read a novel that sets aside convention so resolutely, and to encounter a heroine who is so quirky, curious and clever on her quest through the quantum Wonderland.
-Guardian

Synopsis

'Extraordinary, wise, funny, adventurous' A. L. Kennedy
'So utterly startling and inventive, it's almost an act of resistance' Miriam Toews
'I couldn't put it down. A cult following seems certain' Literary Review
'Refreshing as well as disconcerting to read a novel that sets aside convention so resolutely' Guardian
'Opts to push the boundaries of what the novel is' Telegraph
'A comic metaphysical thriller' Scotland on Sunday

Eliade Jencks knows the only reason people call at midnight is to tell you someone has died. Professor Solete was one of her few friends. Perhaps her only friend. But his friends don't think much of her - a vague, scruffy waitress, impatient with philosophical onanism at parties. Naturally, they're horrified to find out that Solete has left her his Field Guide to Reality.

The Guide has taken on legendary proportions among the celebrated minds of Oxford. The work of a lifetime, it purportedly advances Solete's great philosophical Theory of Everything and even defines the very nature of reality. A big, important book. Only, they can't find it.

So, baffled, grieving, and slightly annoyed, Eliade sets out on a quest for the missing manuscript, and falls down a rabbit-hole of metaphysical possibility. From a psychotropic tea party to the Priests of the Quantum Realm, she trips her way through Solete's wonderland reality and, without quite meaning to, bursts open the boundaries of her own.

In this clever, darkly ironic and moving novel, Granta Best of Young British author Joanna Kavenna displays fearless originality and dread wit in confronting the strangeness of reality and how we contend with the disappearance of those we love.

Beautiful original drawings by Oly Ralfe illustrate this haunting tale of bringing light to an empty room.

 

About Joanna Kavenna

See more books from this Author
 
Published July 7, 2016 by riverrun. 256 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense. Fiction
Add Critic Review

Critic reviews for A Field Guide to Reality
All: 1 | Positive: 1 | Negative: 0

Guardian

Good
Reviewed by Suzi Feay on Jul 07 2016

It is refreshing as well as disconcerting to read a novel that sets aside convention so resolutely, and to encounter a heroine who is so quirky, curious and clever on her quest through the quantum Wonderland.

Read Full Review of A Field Guide to Reality | See more reviews from Guardian