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Book Review: The New World: A Novel by Chris Adrian & Eli Horowitz

By Ryan Monahan, Connections Intern

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The New World: A Novel by Chris Adrian & Eli Horowitz

Farrar, Strauss and Giroux

May 2015

Chris Adrian (Gob’s Grief, The Children’s Hospital, and The Great Night), and Eli Horowitz (a contributor to The Silent History), have collaborated to co-author The New World, a science-fiction novel about everlasting life, love, and promises. What happens when two talented writers with literary sensibilities take to the page together? They produce a cerebral thrill-ride of a novel that pushes the limits of reality.

The novel opens with Dr. Jane Cotton, a pediatric surgeon, receiving tragic news: her husband Jim, an atheistic chaplain, has suddenly died. According to his wishes, an ominous cryogenics company called Polaris removed his head after death and stored it, frozen, to be revived in the distant future. Jane, distraught and abandoned, fights and rages against Polaris to return Jim’s head to her so he might die as nature intended. The narrative jumps back and forth between Jane in the present and Jim, hundreds of years into the future. After what feels like a brief sleep, he awakens in a halfway-home for similarly frozen people. He learns that to move on to the new world, everybody must completely abandon their past lives and memories. Both Jim and Jane face identical challenges to forget and move on from one another, but their deep history together restrains them. With centuries now dividing them, they both grapple with the challenges of eternal faithfulness and the importance of promises, an almost universal human challenge.

Chris Adrian and Eli Horowitz’s intriguing new novel captivates the reader with their intricately detailed vision of the future of human consciousness. Despite the scientific fantasy of cryogenics and eternal life, the two authors touch on many contemporary and timeless topics: intimacy; true love; grief; promises; and faithfulness. Together, the two authors have created a masterpiece of life and loss; of happiness and despair. The New World is worth a read for any with an open mind and open heart.