Review: Michel Faber’s ‘The Book of Strange New Things’

October 31, 2014 4:52 PM

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Review: Michel Faber’s ‘The Book of Strange New Things’

How far would you go on faith? Peter Leigh, the protagonist of Michel Faber’s new novel, will go anywhere God asks. A Christian missionary, Peter has been hired by a company called USIC to serve as minister to the natives on a settlement known as C-2 or the Oasis. The Oasis is on “another world” a few galaxies away. Peter has little information about the planet or its inhabitants, but trusts it’s all part of “God’s plan.”

Faber has gone the sci-fi route before, with his 2001 debut novel Under the Skin, about predatory aliens on earth, now a film with Scarlett Johansson. The Book of Strange New Things offers none of that snark or spark. Written over the course of a decade, the novel suffers from sprawl in a way his al...

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