Percival's Planet

Michael Byers, Author . Holt $27 (414p) ISBN 978-0-8050-9218-9

Byers (Long for This World ) offers a gloriously expansive view of Depression-era America, from the easy extravagance of the Boston Brahmins to hardscrabble rural life. At its core, this is the story of Clyde Tombaugh, an unassuming Kansas farm kid who achieves international fame for his discovery of Pluto. In addition to Clyde, there is the Harvard crowd that precedes him at the Lowell Observatory in Arizona: Alan Barber, a man of modest background who aspires to the effortless grace of his wealthy colleague, Dick Morrow, and has a crush on Dick's scholarly and daring girlfriend, Florence. Byers connects Clyde's story with a number of riveting and eventually interlinking subplots, among them an archeological dig run by the wealthy Felix DuPrie, who has turned his back on the family business to try his hand at unearthing dinosaur bones, and the touching tale of Edward Howe, a former professional boxer who pines after his gorgeous and troubled secretary, whose delusions are portrayed with an amazing sensitivity and realism. Between the faultless storytelling and the juicy historical hook, it looks like a hit. (Aug.)

Reviewed on: 04/19/2010
Release date: 08/01/2010
Genre: Fiction
Compact Disc - 978-1-4001-1841-0
Pre-Recorded Audio Player - 978-1-61637-359-7
Compact Disc - 978-1-4001-4841-7
MP3 CD - 978-1-4001-6841-5
Paperback - 413 pages - 978-0-330-51394-4
Hardcover - 978-0-330-51340-1
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