The Impossible Bird by Patrick O'Leary

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There is a place--a world--where famine and poverty do not exist.
Nor sickness nor misery nor unhappiness of any kind.

Is it Heaven?

As two brothers are about to discover,
it's more like Hell.

Michael Glynn is a hotshot director addicted to a there's-no-success-like-excess hedonism. Daniel Glynn is a professor of literature, devoted husband, and doting father with a quietly buttoned-down life. Brothers bound by blood. But brothers waging a private civil war--an emotional feud of lies and deceit and dark secrets buried but not forgotten.

But all that is about to change.

One day the brothers are visited simultaneously by gun-wielding strangers claiming to be agents of an elite government security agency. Each brother is questioned about the whereabouts of the other. What they want is "the code." The strangers are convinced one of the brothers possesses the code, but they aren't sure which. Having maintained only sporadic contact, Michael and Daniel can be of no assistance. Or so they think. The strangers will not take no for an answer. Their instructions are simple: find your brother or die.

But what begins as a cross-country manhunt--brother converging on brother--turns into an odyssey of discovery neither could have imagined. It is a journey that will take them to a world of perfect human happiness. A world purged of suffering. A world without death. A world where a life can be relived and mistakes corrected.

Both have been given a second chance. The question is, is a second chance what they really need?

For Michael and Daniel the answer to that question will be found by unraveling the mystery of the impossible bird.


About Patrick O'Leary

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Patrick O’Leary lives in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan.
Published October 4, 2002 by Tor Books. 368 pages
Genres: Science Fiction & Fantasy, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Impossible Bird

Kirkus Reviews

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Mike shoots the last survivor and escapes, only to be apprehended by agent Kyo Takahashi, who asks Mike about his bird (he doesn’t have one) and is impressed that Mike killed one of his captors.

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Publishers Weekly

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The Gift) alternates between the points of view of Daniel and Mike as they traverse an increasingly bizarre landscape and slowly come to realize the truth: they're pawns in a game, with two factions at odds with one another, each with its own agenda—to end the hideous, utopic "afterlife" they're ...

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SF Site

Patrick O'Leary has garnered a broad base of fans for his fiction based upon his novels Door Number Three, The Gift and The Impossible Bird plus his collection Other Voices, Other Doors.

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The Best Reviews

At the same time in Los Angeles, Daniel's brother Michael, a TV ad director, struggles with the recent death of a loved one.

Jan 10 2002 | Read Full Review of The Impossible Bird

Spinetingler Magazine

“You look like you want to kiss her, Mike.

Sep 29 2010 | Read Full Review of The Impossible Bird


The story of two brothers, the unexpected relationship between hummingbirds and aliens, the irony that life is precious because we die, the ending that goes back to the beginning.

Nov 28 2006 | Read Full Review of The Impossible Bird

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