“Our Tragic Universe”

November 11, 2010 at 4:10 pm | Posted in Fiction | 3 Comments

This is my new favorite book.  I hesitate to put it just that way, because it sounds supercilious, but this IS my new favorite book.  I can’t tell you how much I love it.  I didn’t even want to finish it because I couldn’t bear for it to end.  For a brief moment, I almost decided never to read another book!

Product Details

Our Tragic Universe is one of those books in which virtually nothing happens, except for a series of fascinating conversations and insights.  If you can’t get into that sort of book, it’s your own darn fault, so don’t blame me if you read it and love it less than I did.

One of the many vibrantly interesting ideas that pops up in the story is “fictionless fiction,” the “storyless story.”  Fictionless fiction involves telling a story that seems so real and believable that we forget it’s fiction.  Thomas has achieved that with the characters in this book.  Each gets a moment to explain his or her life situation, why it is the way it is, and why it seems so difficult to make different choices or change anything.  I found all of them quite moving.

The upshot, since I refuse to ruin any of the magnificence of Our Tragic Universe by giving out spoilers, is that this book changed my life.  The back cover says something to that effect, and I found it preposterous and annoying when I first picked it up.  But, well, it did.



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  1. High praise indeed! And to think, I wanted to read it just for the cover. This is now ensconced firmly on my wishlist.

  2. I read this back in August and really loved it–so much so that I now have The Frogs downloaded on the Kindle.

    I’m hoping to read PopCo before the end of the year. Thomas is really something special.

  3. I loved The End of Mr Y and PopCo so bought this as soon as it came out; your review is leading it to climb nearer to the top of my TBR so thanks!

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