Gods Without Men

Hari Kunzru, Author
Hari Kunzru. Knopf, $26.95 (384p) ISBN 978-0-307-95711-5
Ebook - 320 pages - 978-0-14-196949-7
Paperback - 480 pages - 978-0-307-94697-3
Paperback - 978-0-241-14556-2
Open Ebook - 270 pages - 978-0-307-95749-8
Open Ebook - 1 pages - 978-1-299-08574-9
Paperback - 383 pages - 978-0-241-14311-7
Hardcover - 667 pages - 978-1-4104-4872-9
Downloadable Audio - 978-1-4640-4078-8
Hardcover - 13 pages - 978-1-4074-8908-7
Hardcover - 13 pages - 978-1-4074-9010-6
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As characters in acclaimed British novelist Kunzru’s pitch-perfect masterwork tinker with machines for communicating with an interplanetary craft circling the Earth, their desperate quest for meaning is interrupted by a nonlinear mélange of other strange endeavors that span centuries and cross the Mojave Desert: British rocker Nicky Capaldi’s escape from L.A. in a convertible with a gold-plated Israeli handgun stowed in the glove box; beleaguered parents Jaz and Lisa Matharu’s disastrous vacation with their autistic four-year-old, Raj; former hippie commune “Guide” Judy’s return to the desert, strung out on meth; and traumatized Iraqi teen Laila’s participation as an actor in U.S. army war game facsimiles of Iraq. Presiding over it all are the Pinnacles, three fingers of rock that bear mute witness to Raj’s disappearance and the ensuing frantic search. Also on board are Fray Francisco Hermenegildo Tomás Garcés, a half-mad Jesuit missionary intent on converting Native Americans at the close of the 18th century; Deighton, a disfigured ethnologist, annoyed by the young, “half-educated” Eliza’s failure to recognize “the distinction he’d conferred on her by asking her to be his wife”; an aircraft mechanic named Schmidt working in the ’40s who feels betrayed by what the Enola Gay unleashed over Hiroshima; a working-class mother seduced by the possibility of fellowship with benevolent otherworldly beings; and a local girl who once lived with the hippies and who—even though she returns years later to run the motel where Nicky, Jaz, Lisa, and Raj briefly stay—suspects she has never quite returned. Kunzru’s (My Revolutions) ear for colloquial speech creates a cacophony that overlays his affectionate descriptions of the desolate landscape, creating a powerful effect akin to the distant cry of urgent voices crackling up and down the dial on a lonely drive through an American wasteland. Agent: Melissa Pimentel, Curtis Brown. (Mar. 9)
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