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The Testament Paperback – September 27, 2005
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"Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress"
Is the world really falling apart? Is the ideal of progress obsolete? Cognitive scientist and public intellectual Steven Pinker urges us to step back from the gory headlines and prophecies of doom, and instead, follow the data: In seventy-five jaw-dropping graphs, Pinker shows that life, health, prosperity, safety, peace, knowledge, and happiness are on the rise. Learn more
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"An entertaining page-turner...his best novel in years."—USA Today
"A compulsory page-turner."—Newsweek
"Entertaining."—The New York Times Book Review
"Absorbing...the pages fly by."—Chicago Tribune
From the Paperback edition.
From the Inside Flap
Troy Phelan is a self-made billionaire, one of the richest men in the United States. He is also eccentric, reclusive, confined to a wheelchair, and looking for a way to die. His heirs, to no one's surprise--especially Troy's--are circling like vultures.
Nate O'Riley is a high-octane Washington litigator who's lived too hard, too fast, for too long. His second marriage in a shambles, and he is emerging from his fourth stay in rehab armed with little more than his fragile sobriety, good intentions, and resilient sense of humor. Returning to the real world is always difficult, but this time it's going to be murder.
Rachel Lane is a young woman who chose to give her life to God, who walked away from the modern world with all its strivings and trappings and encumbrances, and went to live and work with a primitive tribe of Indians in the deepest jungles of Brazil.
In a story that mixes legal suspense with a remarkable adventure, their lives are forever altered by the startling secret of The Testament.
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The only problem I had was the fact that there was nobody to really like in this book. The old geezer who died was a schmuck. His kids are morons. His Grandchildrens are ingrates and slugs. His attorney is a decent guy but he's… An attorney.
The hero of the story, if that's what he is, is a drunk. Two wives two divorces four kids and not many redeeming qualities.
The woman in the jungle was a good person but she turns it down $11 billion.
The book dragged a bit in the first sequence in the jungle. More information than I needed. But the pace picked up nicely in the final third of the book.
A lawyer who is a recovering alcoholic makes a perilous journey through the Amazon jungle to find a woman. She's a missionary doctor and sole heir to huge fortune courtesy of her father, someone she barely knew. Unaware of her existence and their disinheritance, her half siblings squabble over who gets the most. I can't say that I cared much about any of these characters. The lawyer is perhaps the most sympathetic, but not nearly as appealing as The Client, where Reggie, the alcoholic attorney, protects a young boy witness in hiding. Mourning the loss of her children, Reggie's resourcefulness and warmth made me invested in the outcome.
As to The Testament, I did like learning more about the Amazon--its geography, history and about the people who call it home. The strategies employed and money charged by lawyers who do battle in courts dealing with the dispersals of large fortunes was beside the point for me. Nate's religious turn was too quick. I'm not saying people don't have life-changing epiphanies, but I wasn't convinced.
detail without interest. I plodded along hoping to be inspired but it didn't happen. He's such an intelligent human and writer but this novel fell
way short for me.
For me the contrasts between greed and the way it can make lives ugly and pointless, and how a simple life can bring a person forgiveness and purpose was the meaning of this book. The parts of the book that take place in South America are wonderful. The trip up rivers in The Pantenal, which is part of the Amazon river basin to find an American woman Missionary, were both scary and beautiful. I am a armchair traveler and this book took me to another place in the world that I can only go to in books. I loved it.