Strange Bodies: A Novel

Strange Bodies A Novel 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

  • Title: Strange Bodies: A Novel
  • Author: Marcel Theroux
  • ISBN: 9780374270650
  • Page: 182
  • Format: Hardcover
  • 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 foA dizzying novel of deception and metempsychosis by the author of the National Book Award finalist Far NorthWhatever 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.
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      Published :2020-02-01T07:24:50+00:00

    367 Comment

    • Jenny (Reading Envy) says:

      I have been circling this novel since I saw it listed on The Millions Great 2014 Book Preview. Without a lot of books I had to read at home, it found its way into my pile from the library.I think the author has attempted to combine some of the topics he is deeply interested in into one novel, when really they may have been better served divided at least into two. The thread following all the way through is a discussion on what makes a person human, through a scenario that puts a person's ideas ( [...]

    • Marvin says:

      Strange Bodies is science fiction. But it is the kind of science fiction that is a springboard for larger conceits. In this way, it is similar to the novels of Margaret Atwood and Doris Lessing in that it is much more interested in philosophical examination than future speculation. The author Marcel Theroux has written a novel about identity and the state of reality. That put him in the company of a definitive sci-fi author, Philip K. Dick. Yet Theroux throws another philosophical log on the fir [...]

    • Joanne Sheppard says:

      In an age when our written words are more publicly available than ever, thanks to blogging, social networking, self-published e-books and internet message boards, Marcel Theroux’s Strange Bodies presents us with a prospect that seems even more sinister than it otherwise might: the notion that our personalities, our consciousness, our very being, could be reproduced solely from our written output.Told through a combination of written forms including a psychiatrist’s case notes and the memoir [...]

    • Leah says:

      ‘What makes me, me? What makes you, you?’ Cat StevensWhen Nicholas Slopen turns up at the shop of an old friend, she is stunned. He looks completely different, his voice is different but, most surprisingly of all, she’d heard he’d died the year before. And yet once they start talking, she is soon convinced that it is indeed he.This intelligent and very well written book poses the question – what makes us, us? Can we be defined, summed up, by the words we speak? What if we are sundered [...]

    • Liviu says:

      (FBC rv, all links and related stuff there):After Far North (FBC short rv), the wonderfully written but pretty banal in content as a run of the mill post-apocalyptic story that could have been so much more, I kept an eye on any new offerings from Marcel Theroux, so Strange Bodies went my "wanted list" the moment I found about it. The blurb above strongly reminded me of 9 Tail Fox, the second of a loose trilogy by J.C. Grimwood which imho is arguably the best recent series of near-future literary [...]

    • Tamsen says:

      Whoa. Compelling. A modern retelling of (view spoiler)[Dr. Frankenstein's experiment (hide spoiler)]. I'm adding spoiler tags, simply because I am a firm believer that you shouldn't spoil books by reading too much about them (or films by watching the trailers, or men by googling their names). Half the fun of anything is letting an author/a director/your new hot date reveal themselves to you.And wow, I think that's why I liked this. Theroux reveals the novel piece by piece to you. I felt like I k [...]

    • Gerhard says:

      This is a perfunctory and dour thriller that attempts to update the Frankenstein story, with mixed results. The ending is elegant and rather sad, but is a case of too little, too late. The big problem here is that the main protagonist, Nicholas, is so unlikeable that not even his doppelganger likes himself; which poses a bit of a problem for the reader.I got the feeling reading this that Marcel Theroux himself failed to believe sufficiently in his hypothesis of using language to ‘code’ human [...]

    • Cathi Davis says:

      Nick Slopen aka "victor" a "reincarnated" Russian peasant. The Common Purpose sneaks in around mid book, after an opening that is mysterious and, yes, strange. One who is but does not appear to be. I didn't realize this was SCience Fiction,,,it is so very firmly rooted in today, mundanely detailed in Facebbok, the internet, the minutiae of everyday life, and yet collides with the question of what is identity? The SF conceptat personality can be transferred to another's living self.pplanting the [...]

    • Emme says:

      If I could give this 2.5 stars, I would. Strange bodies, strange read. My god, it was a trudge to get through. The most annoying part was that it was JUST interesting enough to force me to keep reading it through to the end, but getting there was such a damn headache. There was just too much philosophy forced into the plot in such a heavy-handed way. Also, the main character, Nicholas Slopen, is a Samuel Johnson scholar. Who the hell is Samuel Johnson?!? Is this just a UK or maybe English major [...]

    • Kaita says:

      5/5 I love this book. The characters are fantastic, as are the perspectives. There is a twist later on that I adore, and it really opens up the world. This is set in pretty modern times, and deals with science fiction themes, but has a feel of the Girl With The Dragon Tattoo. It is complex and beautifully written. My favourite characters were "Jack" and another that will spoil everything if I give the name As an added bonus, the ending is just perfect. Also, if you're looking for a book with a t [...]

    • James Harris says:

      Strange Bodies is clever book, with a clever protagonist and a clever central conceit. Sadly it's almost too clever: while I think the style is deliberately quite dry and formal, evoking as it does 19th century works like Frankenstein, the effect is a bit distancing on an emotional level. So I kept turning the pages to see what happened next, but I wouldn't say I particularly cared. Clever though. Very clever.

    • Laurie Notaro says:

      A modern day Frankenstein story that challenges what we believe about identity, experience and individuality. Masterfully suspenseful, subtlety written. Mind bender. I ate this book up. Gobbled it. Highly recc.

    • L.A. Starks says:

      Without revealing much this is a good twist to the mystery-thriller format, although it takes a while for the action to unfold.

    • Coral Davies says:

      If I could I would give this 3.5 stars out of 5 but I can't, and it's just not good enough for 4 stars. So the premise is that one man's consciousness (Nicky Slopen) has been "transplanted" from one body to another following his assumed demise. Nicky then attempts to communicate this transference with little success; he finds himself in a mental institute. Eventually he manages to escape, tracking down a former lover and dying (for a second time) in her living room, hiding under a chair a USB ke [...]

    • Sluggish Neko says:

      I read a lot of sci-fi, so I easily guessed the true nature of the asylum patient who claims to be Dr. Nicholas Slopen, a Samuel Johnson academic who is already dead, and how it was related to the strange forger of Samuel Johnson letters who Dr. Slopen befriends. The science of it all isn't satisfying, but the novel's exploration of the nature of consciousness and identity is intriguing in a philosophical way. As a bonus, because Slopen is a well-read narrator, the various poems referenced compl [...]

    • Sarah says:

      Despite the 3 star rating I have given this book, I quite enjoyed it and would like to say its closer to 3.5 - 3.75 stars.The story captivated me from the beginning, presenting an interesting narrative and several ideas that I will admit are too big for my brain to comprehend. Due to the questions I found myself pondering relating to the self, consciousness and being, I would probably categorise Strange Bodies as philosophical fiction, rather than sci-fi as some reviews suggest. I look forward t [...]

    • Stacia says:

      Enjoyable -- seemed like a smart, fast-paced thriller (I guess that's the category it might be in?). It had some serious overtones of Frankenstein throughout, including the same melancholic tone pervading the story, imo. It raised some interesting philosophical questions about the nature of self & what makes a person. A smart beach read, if you don't mind a little melancholy with your day in the sand.

    • Rachel says:

      I really struggled to get into this book and I can honestly say that I didn't begin to enjoy reading it until 70% in! I almost gave up and marked it as 'Did not finish' on three occasions but something compelled me to keep reading; I don't know what because I found it boring and slow. I didn't understand a lot of what was happening and found it to be almost non fictional/autobiographical with it's complicated writing. I don't know, maybe I am not intellectual enough for this book.

    • Xavi says:

      una novela con un punto de partida interesante, pero demasiado densa para mi gusto porque alarga la historia innecesariamente pasando de puntillas sobre la parte de la trama que más me interesaba. dreamsofelvex/201

    • Amanda says:

      I love literary fiction and a good literary murder mystery and this book certainly covers those requirements, but the unexpected (to me) science fiction twist was not to my taste so I gave up on this one. Just not my thing.

    • Anne Goodwin says:

      An engaging novel about identity, madness and the relationship between mind and body.More at annegoodwin.weebly/1/post/

    • Debbie says:

      This would have been even better if I understood the mechanics of this particular brand of Frankenstienism but what I got and the fascinating characters and relationships between them were different and kept me reading.

    • Tudor Ciocarlie says:

      Wonderful, intelligent and well written book, that uses the science-fiction tools to talk about what makes us who we are. It reminded me very much of Dying Inside by Robert Silverberg.

    • Laura says:

      nytimes/2014/02/14/booAvailable at NetGalley.

    • Erin Britton says:

      When Susanna Laidlaw-Robinson receives an unexpected visit from her ex-boyfriend Nicky Slopen she’s more than a little surprised – she had, after all, heard that Nicky had died in a road accident about a year earlier. Still, despite that initial alive/dead hiccup, the visit goes pretty well and so when Nicky turns up again, more bedraggled and incoherent this time, Susanna does take pains to help him although everything takes a quick turn for the weird when Nicky dies later that evening in t [...]

    • David Cain says:

      This is the second of Marcel Theroux's books that I've read. The first (Far North) was excellent, and this one is not too far behind. The major themes in this literary novel are what it means to be a unique individual as well as the nature of the human soul. The story seems to split into three sections: the first is a literary mystery, the second is an action thriller, and the third (the weakest portion, in my opinion) attempts to wrap things up in a relatively contemplative way, although many p [...]

    • Jasmin Mohd-zain says:

      This story has an intriguing premise and had me curious enough to read it to the end.But ok i cheated by speed reading and just gaze through some heavy worded and philosophical chunks of paragraph, full of classical reference that me as an Asian probably heard or read little of.A "heavy" read more suitable to erudite readers who will enjoy the lucious language and classic literary reference by Mr Theroux.Nonetheless consider this storyline : if your personality, memories and learning/education/ [...]

    • Ed Terrell says:

      Well paced and well written story with an intriguing perspective into the mind of someone who is no longer who they used to be. Or maybe, better put, an intriguing perspective into the mind of someone who no longer has the same body he used to have. Or maybe, better, an intriguing perspective into the same mind which now inhabits two bodies.Good twist on how to live forever.

    • Tom Dawn says:

      Best novel that I read during 2015. Engaging ideas and a good ending.

    • Joe says:

      Was just too hard to suspend disbelief as the story progressed. Sparks of genius with regard to the writing. Phenomenal sentence structure and descriptions at times.

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