x Abu Dhabi, UAE Friday 21 July 2017

Book review: A look at life by a man reborn a century later

In Stephen Kiernan's The Curiosity, an early 20th century iceman is reanimated by scientists and brought back to the present day.

The Curiosity
Stephen Kiernan
William Morrow

This debut novel by American journalist Stephen Kiernan is a believable enough story about the discovery of an iceman who is "reanimated" by scientists and brought back from the early 20th century to the present day, where he is hounded by the media and scorned by religious protesters.

On a larger scale, it's about the curiosity that drives science, journalism and love. The chapters alternate between the voices of Erastus Carthage, the meglomaniacal head of the Lazarus Project; Kate Philo, the scientist who befriends her subject; Daniel Dixon, the sceptical hack; and the iceman Jeremiah Rice, whose perspective is the most compelling. It unspools like a somewhat predictable but enjoyable Hugh Jackman movie, a little heavy on boilerplate similes but not lacking some emotional depth. Would you want your life back if the people that once animated it were no longer in it? Read this if you're curious about the answer.

mgannon@thenational.ae