Universe Versus Alex Woods by Gavin Extence

83%

6 Critic Reviews

Extence’s engaging coming-of-age debut skillfully balances light and dark, laughter and tears.
-Publishers Weekly

Synopsis

A rare meteorite struck Alex Woods when he was ten years old, leaving scars and marking him for an extraordinary future. The son of a fortune teller, bookish, and an easy target for bullies, Alex hasn't had the easiest childhood.
But when he meets curmudgeonly widower Mr. Peterson, he finds an unlikely friend. Someone who teaches him that that you only get one shot at life. That you have to make it count.
So when, aged seventeen, Alex is stopped at customs with 113 grams of marijuana, an urn full of ashes on the front seat, and an entire nation in uproar, he's fairly sure he's done the right thing ...
Introducing a bright young voice destined to charm the world, The Universe Versus Alex Woods is a celebration of curious incidents, astronomy and astrology, the works of Kurt Vonnegut and the unexpected connections that form our world.
 

About Gavin Extence

See more books from this Author
Gavin Extence was born in 1982 and grew up in the interestingly named village of Swineshead, England. From the ages of 5-11, he enjoyed a brief but illustrious career as a chess player, winning numerous national championships and travelling to Moscow and St Petersburg to pit his wits against the finest young minds in Russia. He won only one game. Gavin now lives in Sheffield with his wife, baby daughter and cat. He is currently working on his second novel. When he is not writing, he enjoys cooking, amateur astronomy and going to Alton Towers.
 
Published May 21, 2013 by Redhook. 427 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Fiction
Add Critic Review

Critic reviews for Universe Versus Alex Woods
All: 6 | Positive: 5 | Negative: 1

Guardian

Good
Reviewed by Susanna Rustin on Mar 15 2013

But the novel won me over. Extence tells a great story that owes much to Vonnegut...The final section is humane and touching, and Extence deserves credit for the clever and timely idea of fictionalising a trip to the Swiss death clinic.

Read Full Review of Universe Versus Alex Woods | See more reviews from Guardian

Guardian

Good
Reviewed by Alexander Larman on Feb 17 2013

After it finds its voice, this is a hugely enjoyable and even wise book, with plenty to say about life and death, and Vonnegut fans, in particular, will absolutely love it.

Read Full Review of Universe Versus Alex Woods | See more reviews from Guardian

Publishers Weekly

Excellent
on Apr 22 2013

Extence’s engaging coming-of-age debut skillfully balances light and dark, laughter and tears.

Read Full Review of Universe Versus Alex Woods | See more reviews from Publishers Weekly

Blog Critics

Good
Reviewed by Leslie Wright on Jul 05 2013

The Universe Versus Alex Woods could be considered a young adult novel, yet there is a depth of meaning and perception that make it one step more.

Read Full Review of Universe Versus Alex Woods | See more reviews from Blog Critics

NY Journal of Books

Above average
Reviewed by Vinton Rafe McCabe on Jun 25 2013

References to the man and his work are to The Universe Versus Alex Woods what wild flowers are to the Texas highways—they are scattered nearly everywhere and provide what little color you are able to discern as you look out into the void.

Read Full Review of Universe Versus Alex Woods | See more reviews from NY Journal of Books

The Little Reader Library

Excellent
Reviewed by Lindsay on Aug 07 2013

This is such an involving, enjoyable tale, with a likeable, distinctive young man as the hero. Once I was drawn into the story, I was reluctant to stop reading until I had heard Alex’s entire tale. It’s one of those engaging books that you don’t want to end, and where the narrator is utterly convincing...

Read Full Review of Universe Versus Alex Woods

Reader Rating for Universe Versus Alex Woods
83%

An aggregated and normalized score based on 324 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes


Rate this book!

Add Review

Reader reviews & activity

User Review

Russell Stewart 7 Aug 2013

Rated the book as 5 out of 5