Staff Pick: Rene’e Backus, Library Assistant

Review: When working at the Library I am often asked by patrons for a “good” book to read. The Curiosity by Stephen P. Kiernan is one I frequently recommend. I read it over 8 years ago and it remains the number one book that comes to mind when I am asked “What can I read?”

I read online reviews as I prepared to tell you about this book. It is described as a thriller. I would not have used that term but it was as one reviewer said a page turner. In retrospect it meets the criteria for that term. A thriller is a fast-paced novel full of conflict, tension, suspense, unexpected twists, and high stakes. Every single scene and element in a thriller is meant to propel the action forward, test the characters, and take the readers on a roller coaster ride that will leave them on the edge of their seats.

I liked that it compelled me to think about scientific curiosity, manipulation of life and death and the things we value in modern day contrasted with those society valued in the early 1900’s.

The story begins in the Artic where a scientific team is studying the ability to reanimate small creatures like shrimp and krill for short periods of time. The story begins its frantic pace when the body of a man is found frozen in the ice. 

The author describes it best as “A gripping thriller, this novel raises disturbing questions about the very nature of life and humanity — man as a scientific subject, as a tabloid novelty, as a curiosity.”

Rediscovering what I love about this book led me to research what Kiernan has written since writing The Curiosity. I plan to read Universe of Two which is described as “a novel of conscience, love and redemption Graduating from Harvard at the height of World War II, brilliant mathematician Charlie Fish is assigned to the Manhattan Project “. This is particularly appealing to me as my father’s sister Alice Buyere Jackson worked on the Manhattan project and I had the privilege of visiting the Trinity Bomb site where the first nuclear device was detonated.

Follow Us for Updates!