Our Tragic Universe
By Scarlett Thomas
(Canongate Books, Paperback, 9781847671295)
Publication Date: April 2011
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Can a story save your life?
Meg Carpenter is broke. Her novel is years overdue. Her cell phone is out of minutes. And her moody boyfriend's only contribution to the household is his sour attitude. So she jumps at the chance to review a pseudoscientific book that promises life everlasting.
But who wants to live forever?
Consulting cosmology and physics, tarot cards, koans (and riddles and jokes), new-age theories of everything, narrative theory, Nietzsche, Baudrillard, and knitting patterns, Meg wends her way through "Our Tragic Universe," asking this and many other questions. Does she believe in fairies? In magic? Is she a superbeing? Is she living a storyless story? And what's the connection between her off-hand suggestion to push a car into a river, a ship in a bottle, a mysterious beast loose on the moor, and the controversial author of "The Science of Living Forever"?
Smart, entrancing, and boiling over with Thomas's trademark big ideas, "Our Tragic Universe" is a book about how relationships are created and destroyed, how we can rewrite our futures (if not our histories), and how stories just might save our lives.