The novel’s central query is identical one posed in “The Overstory” by Douggie Pavlicek, a Vietnam War vet turned eco-warrior: “What the [Expletive] Went Wrong With Mankind?”

The dialogue distantly jogged my memory of that in my very own favourite novel from third grade, Richard Bach’s “Jonathan Livingston Seagull.”

Robbie speaks in italics all through, as if he had been an oracle or, just like the child in “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?,” imaginary. “Don’t worry, Dad. We might not figure it out. But Earth will,” he says. And: “Spring will keep coming back, whatever happens. Right, Dad?” And: “New planet, Dad. Please.” And: “There’s something wrong with us, Dad.”

Robin provides, M. Night Shyamalanishly: “Your wife loves you. You know that, right?”

Theo says to him, “People, Robbie. They’re a questionable species.” He thinks: “There was a planet that couldn’t figure out where everyone was. It died of loneliness.” And: “Oh, this planet was a good one.”

To be truthful to Powers, he retains a capability to alchemize the strangeness of on a regular basis international life — on paying a cabdriver, for instance: “I fed my card into the cab’s reader and credits poured out from a server farm nestled in the melting tundra of northern Sweden into the cabbie’s virtual hands.” But these moments are uncommon right here.

There are some books you need to give to your greatest buddy; that is one to present to your distant aunt, for her studying group. It’s a James Taylor music if you require a buzz-saw guitar. There’s no impudence, no wit, no fireplace and little fluttering understanding, regardless of the ostentatious science, of how human minds actually work.

It’s a guide about ecological salvation that in some way makes you need to flick an otter on the again of the pinnacle, for no good cause in any respect.


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