The Infinities

The Infinities

Book - 2010
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Random House, Inc.
On a languid midsummer’s day in the countryside, old Adam Godley, a renowned theoretical mathematician, is dying. His family gathers at his bedside: his son, young Adam, struggling to maintain his marriage to a radiantly beautiful actress; his nineteen-year-old daughter, Petra, filled with voices and visions as she waits for the inevitable; their mother, Ursula, whose relations with the Godley children are strained at best; and Petra’s “young man”—very likely more interested in the father than the daughter—who has arrived for a superbly ill-timed visit.

But the Godley family is not alone in their vigil. Around them hovers a family of mischievous immortals—among them, Zeus, who has his eye on young Adam’s wife; Pan, who has taken the doughy, perspiring form of an old unwelcome acquaintance; and Hermes, who is the genial and omniscient narrator: “We too are petty and vindictive,” he tells us, “just like you, when we are put to it.” As old Adam’s days on earth run down, these unearthly beings start to stir up trouble, to sometimes wildly unintended effect. . . .

Blissfully inventive and playful, rich in psychological insight and sensual detail, The Infinities is at once a gloriously earthy romp and a wise look at the terrible, wonderful plight of being human—a dazzling novel from one of the most widely admired and acclaimed writers at work today.

Baker & Taylor
Attending the deathbed of a renowned mathematician, a second wife and his adult children reflect on their personal demons, including the son's pretty wife, who has caught the attention of the mischievous god Zeus. By the Booker Prize-winning author of The Sea.

Baker
& Taylor

Attending the deathbed of a renowned mathematician, his second wife and adult children reflect on their personal demons, including the son's pretty wife, who has caught the attention of the mischievous god Zeus.

Publisher: New York : Alfred A. Knopf, 2010
Edition: 1st American ed
ISBN: 9780307272799
0307272796
Branch Call Number: Fiction Ban
Characteristics: 273 p. ; 22 cm

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shapjul
Sep 11, 2010

I enjoyed this book, which is much more about character and writing than it is about action. There were touches that bothered me (why does this need to be in an age where there is cold fusion?) but for the most part, I read it eagerly, if at a leisurely pace. I wouldn't say it would be a good travel book--it's not engrossing that way. But for a few pages before bed, unlikely to keep you awake, I'd recommend it.

A truly trivial point: Both library journal and the book jacket have it wrong, I think. Ursula is not a step-mother. Someone here (it could be me?) didn't read carefully enough.

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