The Universe Versus Alex Woods will put you through the wringer. But oh, what a wringer!
With wit and warmth, Gavin Extence shines a light on one of the darkest, most difficult subjects of our times.
Sunday Express (UK)
When the material darkens towards the end, Extence skilfully manages to keep the narrative engaging and surprising. Mr Peterson, in particular, is a welcome antidote to those endless depictions of wise old men who know everything, being a spiky, contradictory figure raging against the dying of the light with impressive and stirring verve. After it finds its voice, this is a hugely enjoyable and even wise book, with plenty to say about life and death, and Vonnegut fans, in particular, will absolutely love it.
Perfectly crafted and beautifully written.... The Universe Versus Alex Woods may be a debut novel but it is an outstanding novel by any standards. Unforgettable.
(Starred review.) Seventeen-year-old Alex Woods was a household name even before authorities discovered 113g of marijuana and the ashes of an old man in the car he drove across the English border. At the age of 10 Alex became a national celebrity after being hit by a meteorite.... Extence’s engaging coming-of-age debut skillfully balances light and dark, laughter and tears.
Most teens think the universe is against them at some point. Seventeen-year-old Alex Woods has plenty of evidence for his case: a tarot-reading witch for a mother, his father a one-night Solstice stand long since forgotten, a chunk of meteorite crashing through the roof and smashing into him, the onset of epileptic seizures, and school bullies eager to target him.... Verdict: A bittersweet, cross-audience charmer, this debut novel will appeal to guys, YA readers, and Vonnegut and coming-of-age fiction fans. —Jan Blodgett, Davidson Coll. Lib., NC
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