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The Universe versus Alex Woods (Paperback)
  • The Universe versus Alex Woods (Paperback)
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The Universe versus Alex Woods (Paperback)

(author)
£8.99
Paperback 432 Pages / Published: 09/05/2013
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*Perfect for fans of A BOY MADE OF BLOCKS*

**RICHARD AND JUDY summer bookclub read 2013, Amazon Rising star, and shortlisted for the Desmond Elliott Prize**

*** A funny and touching story of an unlikely friendship and an improbable journey***

Alex Woods knows that he hasn't had the most conventional start in life.

He knows that growing up with a clairvoyant single mother won't endear him to the local bullies.

He also knows that even the most improbable events can happen - he's got the scars to prove it.

What he doesn't know yet is that when he meets ill-tempered, reclusive widower Mr Peterson, he'll make an unlikely friend. Someone who tells him that you only get one shot at life. That you have to make the best possible choices.

So when, aged seventeen, Alex is stopped at Dover customs with 113 grams of marijuana, an urn full of ashes on the passenger seat, and an entire nation in uproar, he's fairly sure he's done the right thing.

A tale of an unexpected friendship, an unlikely hero and an improbable journey, Alex's story treads the fine line between light and dark, laughter and tears. And it might just strike you as one of the funniest, most heartbreaking novels you've ever read.

Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton General Division
ISBN: 9781444765892
Number of pages: 432
Weight: 291 g
Dimensions: 199 x 144 x 28 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
'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 naivete 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 naive - 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 *
'The Universe Versus Alex Woods is a great book that had me utterly charmed. I had read many positive reviews of this one, and noted that it made it onto this summer's Richard and Judy Book Club list, but had no idea just how much I would enjoy it...Extence makes absolutely sure that from the first page you are not going to want to put this book down.' * girlvsbookshelf.co.uk *
'Poignant and hilarious' * Daily Mirror *
'The Universe Versus Alex Woods is a great book that had me utterly charmed. I had read many positive reviews of this one, and noted that it made it onto this summer's Richard and Judy Book Club list, but had no idea just how much I would enjoy it...Extence makes absolutely sure that from the first page you are not going to want to put this book down.' * girlvsbookshelf.co.uk *

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Reviews

View all

“Absolutely love this book. Read it now!!!”

Read this for our reading group at Waterstones Wigan and was so so impressed! Gavin more than exceeded my expectations with this brilliant book which is full of accurate observations about life, and fascinating facts... More

Hardback edition
4th May 2013
Helpful? Upvote 56

“Utterly compelling!”

Gavin Extence opens this gem of a novel with a scene from the narrative's finale in order to introduce us to the varied and charming protagonist that is Alex Woods, who also serves as the first person narrator.... More

Hardback edition
12th February 2013
Helpful? Upvote 54

“The Universe Versus Alex Woods”

This book approaches a highly controversial subject with sensitivity,empathy, rationality and humour. I do not wish to dwell on comparisons with other authors, but fans of Mark Haddon may especially be interested in... More

Hardback edition
20th November 2012
Helpful? Upvote 53

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