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The Universe versus Alex Woods by Gavin Extence at Abbey's Bookshop,

The Universe versus Alex Woods

Gavin Extence


9781444765892

Hodder & Stoughton


Fiction & Literature;
Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)


Paperback

432 pages

$18.99
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ABBEY'S BOOKSELLER PICK -----  Loveable characters and serious issues, and one of quirkiest and best-intentioned narrators! Lindy

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A rare meteorite struck Alex Woods when he was ten years old, leaving scars and marking him for an extraordinary future. The son of a fortune teller, bookish, and an easy target for bullies, Alex hasn't had the easiest childhood. But when he meets curmudgeonly widower Mr. Peterson, he finds an unlikely friend.

Someone who teaches him that that you only get one shot at life. That you have to make it count. So when, aged seventeen, Alex is stopped at customs with 113 grams of marijuana, an urn full of ashes on the front seat, and an entire nation in uproar, he's fairly sure he's done the right thing...

Introducing a bright young voice destined to charm the world, The Universe Versus Alex Woods is a celebration of curious incidents, astronomy and astrology, the works of Kurt Vonnegut and the unexpected connections that form our world.

By:   Gavin Extence
Imprint:   Hodder & Stoughton
Country of Publication:   United Kingdom
Dimensions:   Height: 199mm,  Width: 144mm,  Spine: 28mm
Weight:   291g
ISBN:   9781444765892
ISBN 10:   1444765892
Pages:   432
Publication Date:   September 2013
Audience:   General/trade ,  ELT Advanced
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Active

Gavin Extence was born in 1982 and grew up in the interestingly named village of Swineshead, Lincolnshire. From the ages of 5-11, he enjoyed a brief but illustrious career as a chess player, winning numerous national championships and travelling to Moscow and St Petersburg to pit his wits against the finest young minds in Russia. He won only one game. Gavin is currently working on his second novel. When he is not writing, he enjoys cooking, amateur astronomy and going to Alton Towers.


'This is a story that will have you smiling through your tears, a story that touches on the most potentially devastating of human dilemmas, without an ounce of sentimentality. It is also enormously uplifting. Perfectly crafted and beautifully written, the voice of this novel is true and clear and brings to life the human condition with insight, tenderness and humour. Which is to say the quality of style matches the quality of content. The Universe versus Alex Woods may be a debut novel but it is an outstanding novel by any standards. Unforgettable.' -- Red 'It's Mark Haddon meets Kurt Vonnegut' -- Observer 'An eccentric young protagonist meets his match in a compelling comic debut' -- The Bookseller 'One of the year's most anticipated debuts' -- Time Out 'One of the funniest and most heartbreaking double acts in ages ... an exceptionally good debut novel 5*' -- Heat 'Fans of quirky tales will love this debut novel' -- Bella 'This is an extraordinary debut novel. For me, Gavin Extence has produced in his narrator and hero Alex one of the most intriguing literary young people since Mark Haddon's Christopher. He's reminiscent of a better behaved Just William as an 11-year-old, combining a hyper-intelligence with naivet? that's as quirky as his upbringing' -- The Bookbag 'The debate around assisted suicide is eternally controversial but, when it comes to an argument for allowing sick people of mind the right to die, The Universe Versus Alex Woods trumps any Dignitas spokesman ... Where this novel shines is in its characterisation: the brittle outer layers of socially awkward people are unpeeled to reveal big hearts and raw emotions. The sparring between Alex and Mr Peterson is a joy to read ... With wit and warmth, Gavin Extence shines a light on one of the darkest, most difficult subjects of our time.' -- Sunday Express 'Warm and funny and tragic and uplifting all in one. Extence should be on everyone's radar' -- Jasper Fforde 'Extence's plotting is astute, and he handles the theme of euthanasia with an affecting delicacy' -- Financial Times 'This funny, touching first novel... Extence unfolds his offbeat tale with skill but his real triumph lies in providing such a memorable voice' -- Sunday Times 'Extence masters the difficult combination of comedy and tragedy and his lovingly drawn central characters provoke deep-thought. Like his mother's colleague, emo-esque Ellie, readers will become increasingly fond of Alex, the na?ve - yet insightful - narrator. Here's hoping Extence plans a sequel' -- We Love This Book 'Sensitive, intelligent and articulate' -- Joe Thomas, from The Inbetweeners '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'. -- Obersver This is a genuinely hilarious read, but also a deeply moving story about childhood, neurology and mortality. -- Daily Telegraph


  • Short-listed for Desmond Elliott Prize 2013
  • Shortlisted for Desmond Elliott Prize 2013.
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