Strange Bodies by Marcel Theroux

72%

6 Critic Reviews

Mr. Theroux’s novel is a techno-thriller with echoes of both “Frankenstein” and a Sherlock Holmes whodunit. It’s the kind of book in which people fall and bonk their heads on doorknobs at inopportune moments.
-NY Times

Synopsis

A dizzying novel of deception and metempsychosis by the author of the National Book Award finalist Far North

Whatever this is, it started when Nicholas Slopen came back from the dead.

In a locked ward of a notorious psychiatric hospital sits a man who insists that he is Dr. Nicholas Slopen, failed husband and impoverished Samuel Johnson scholar. Slopen has been dead for months, yet nothing can make this man change his story. What begins as a tale of apparent forgery involving unknown letters by the great Dr. Johnson grows to encompass a conspiracy between a Silicon Valley mogul and his Russian allies to exploit the darkest secret of Soviet technology: the Malevin Procedure.
Marcel Theroux's Strange Bodies takes the reader on a dizzying speculative journey that poses questions about identity, authenticity, and what it means to be truly human.

 

About Marcel Theroux

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Marcel Theroux is the author of several novels, including Far North, which was a finalist for the National Book Award and the Arthur C. Clarke Award for science fiction. He lives in London, where he also works as a documentary filmmaker and television presenter.
 
Published February 4, 2014 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux. 384 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction, History, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Science Fiction & Fantasy. Fiction
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Critic reviews for Strange Bodies
All: 6 | Positive: 3 | Negative: 3

Kirkus

Excellent
on Dec 08 2013

As one of the more literary-minded of science-fiction novelists (or vice versa), Theroux (Far North, 2009, etc.) challenges summary in a novel that encompasses literary criticism...Often enthralling and occasionally maddening, the novel expands the reader’s sense of possibility even as it strains credulity.

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NY Times

Above average
Reviewed by STEVE ALMOND on Feb 28 2014

But what makes Shelley’s novel enduring is the fraught relationship between the creator and his creation...For all its laudable aims, Theroux’s novel never made me feel deeply for Nicholas Slopen, or his experimental twin.

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NY Times

Above average
Reviewed by Dwight Garner on Feb 13 2014

Mr. Theroux’s novel is a techno-thriller with echoes of both “Frankenstein” and a Sherlock Holmes whodunit. It’s the kind of book in which people fall and bonk their heads on doorknobs at inopportune moments.

Read Full Review of Strange Bodies | See more reviews from NY Times

Guardian

Above average
Reviewed by Alexander Larman on Mar 09 2014

If some of the plot developments occasionally feel contrived to fit in with his grand scheme...then it barely matters, such is the visionary glee with which Theroux creates a world in which man's identity is no longer restricted to physical form, but instead is as mutable as shifting a song between music devices.

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Toronto Star

Good
Reviewed by Emily Donaldson on Feb 21 2014

Metaphysical musings, shared consciousness, mad chases around London and a disturbing procedure in a remote Kazakh laboratory all figure in the ensuing plot-thickening. Endlessly gripping and fiercely intelligent, Strange Bodies posits...that an individual’s word output could function as a kind of reproducible DNA.

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LA Times

Above average
Reviewed by Elizabeth Hand on Feb 13 2014

"Strange Bodies" is a brilliant, troubling thriller that ends with a revelation that the melancholy Johnson himself might have expressed...

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Reader Rating for Strange Bodies
77%

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