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The Girl in the Road: A Novel Paperback – February 17, 2015
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“Dizzying. . . . Primal and indelible. . . . Delivered with all the vivid, haunting poignancy of a vision quest.”— NPR.org
“Vividly imagined.” —Los Angeles Times
“[A] sci-fi smash hit. . . . Byrne crafts a gorgeous future world. . . . Elaborate and beguiling.”—Duke Chronicle
“It’s transfixing to watch Monica Byrne become a major player in sci-fi with her debut novel: so sharp, so focused and so human. Beautifully drawn people in a future that feels so close you can touch it, blended with the lush language and concerns of myth. It builds a bridge from past to future, from East to West. Glorious stuff.” —Neil Gaiman, author of The Ocean at the End of the Lane
“Relentlessly kinetic. . . . [The narrative] captures the sheer surface speed and exhilaration of living in the changing contemporary world. . . . A ceaseless storm of matter and energy.” —Los Angeles Review of Books
“The Girl in the Road brims with ambition...Inventive… Fearless …[A] wild, hallucinatory ride.”—San Francisco Chronicle
“In unadorned, clearly descriptive prose, Byrne moves briskly from scene to scene. . . . A deeply felt, troubling and memorable story.” —Indy Week (Durham, NC)
“Engrossing, thought-provoking. . . . [Byrne] weaves the elements of science fiction and speculative fiction with myth, spirituality and philosophical speculation, all while creating a page-turning story. The Girl in the Road is meant to be enjoyed, pondered, and re-read.” —Durham Herald-Sun
“Impressive. . . . The one thing no reader will doubt is Byrne’s place as a strong new voice in science fiction.” —Shelf Awareness
“This science fiction tale of future Africa and Asia has all the escape you could want — new technology, a murder mystery, two interwoven narratives — plus the cultural commentary inherent in the best of speculative fiction. Byrne’s characters are complicated, a little lost, and well worth rooting for. With a debut like this, you’ll want to keep an eye on her.” —Brooklyn Daily
“Byrne, whose creative life is clearly churning, has earned broad exposure for her debut novel, and with support from mentors such as author Neil Gaiman, she’s on her own journey – as a writer, defying literary convention and shaping worlds out of uncomfortable truths.” –Raleigh News & Observer
“Gripping. . . . Easily one of my favorite books I’ve read this year.” —Bookish.com
“Stunning. . . . More than a few surprises await Meena and Mariama and the reader as story lines converge in a surprising, gratifying climax.” —Booklist
“Spectacular and intriguing. . . . Enthralling on many levels. . . . The incorporation of evolving views of gender . . . propel this novel into the stratosphere of artistic brilliance.” —Library Journal (starred)
“The most inventive tale to come along in years. . . . The writing is often brilliant, as Byrne paints wholly believable pictures of worlds and cultures most Westerners will never know. . . . Engrossing and enjoyable.” —Kirkus
“Byrne is a science writer and graduate of MIT, but her insight into our near future is as much informed by her extensive travels as her grasp of science. . . . A book you will certainly be hearing a lot about in 2014.” —Guardian (UK)
“Monica Byrne’s vision of India and Africa as an ever-changing maelstrom of language and culture, technology and sexuality is utterly captivating. As Meena and Mariama chase each other’s echoes, Byrne strips away their preconceptions (and ours as well) through that most dangerous of human impulses: our need to understand the past, and to decide our own future. An electrifying debut.” —Helene Wecker, author of The Golem and the Jinni
“Monica Byrne has written the road trip novel you didn't know you were waiting for. A genuine and extraordinary journey. Take it.” —John Scalzi, author of Redshirts
“The Girl in the Road is a brilliant novel, vivid, intense, and fearless with a kind of savage joy. These journeys—Meena’s across the Arabian Sea and Mariama’s across Africa—are utterly unforgettable.” —Kim Stanley Robinson, author of 2312 and Red Mars
About the Author
MONICA BYRNE studied at Wellesley College and MIT. She's a writer and playwright based in Durham, North Carolina.
@monicabyrne · monicabyrne.org
- Item Weight : 9.6 ounces
- Paperback : 352 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0804138869
- ISBN-13 : 978-0804138864
- Product Dimensions : 5.16 x 0.77 x 8.02 inches
- Publisher : Broadway Books; Reissue Edition (February 17, 2015)
- Language: : English
- Best Sellers Rank: #1,039,568 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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This book made me realize just how starved i've been for sci-fi-ish books featuring protagonists that aren't the same old, same old (namely: straight white men). to have all three of those categories become the Other for once is extremely refreshing. immediately after i finished this book i went and searched for the sequel which, unfortunately, does not exist; this is apparently Byrne's only book thus far.
The title warns you this will be a "journey tale", and so it is. The journeys are experienced (by narrators and reader alike) at multiple levels, and when the primary narrator finally resurfaced I experienced quite a sense of relief myself. This is an ambiguous story, in many ways. Not everything is laid out concretely, even at the end (though many things are). I typically prefer my stories pretty concrete, and with a satisfying resolution at the end. This one didn't match either criterion, but I'm still rating it highly because I think the experience was worth the time I put into it.
Top reviews from other countries
Puzzling in parts, due to a highly unreliable narrator, but still resonates with this reader months later. Some incredibly effective descriptions of materials and substances; I'd love to have one of those water-tight pods one can slit open with just a finger and then close again as easily.
Very well edited, too. One of the rare books in which I've found not a single typo.