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The Anomaly: The mind-bending thriller that has sold 1 million copies Kindle Edition
THE NO. 1 INTERNATIONAL BESTSELLER. WINNER OF THE 2020 PRIX GONCOURT. 1 MILLION COPIES SOLD.
'Just when you think you've worked it out . . . well, you probably haven't' DAILY MAIL
'Mind-bending. Written with page-turning conviction' THE TIMES
'A mind-bending, prize-winning speculative thriller' GUARDIAN
'An intoxicating mix of the magical and life's big questions' FINANCIAL TIMES
No one knows how it happened. But it'll change their lives forever...
During a terrifying storm, Air France flight 006 - inexplicably - duplicates.
For every passenger, there are now two: a double with the same mind, body and memories.
Only one thing sets them apart - while one plane lands in March, the other doesn't arrive until June.
But if there are two of them, which one will get to keep the life they've built?
As they prepare to meet, they must decide just how far they'll go to fight for what's theirs . . .
New York Times: Best Thriller of the Year
Publishers Weekly: Best Thriller of the Year
Lit Hub: Favorite Book of the Year
CrimeReads: Best International Crime Novel of the Year
PopSugar: Best Mystery/Thriller of the Month
Readers LOVE The Anomaly:
'I absolutely loved this thrilling, addictive book' 5 star reader review
'This book spun my head. Fascinating, fantastic and thought provoking' 5 star reader review
'I absolutely love this book. It's a one-of-a-kind story, with perfect pacing. I would highly recommend' 5 star reader review
'An incredible read - intriguing and original. Keeps you fascinated until the very last page' 5 star reader review
'A brilliant read...so cleverly written' 5 star reader review
Buckle your seatbelts, as Hervé le Tellier takes you on an extraordinary ride. You won't want to put this book down until the very last page!-- Leïla Slimani ― author of Lullaby, winner of the 2016 Prix Goncourt
Wow, what an exciting, original blend of theory and heart. It's astonishing. I can't describe it, except to say: read it, and prepare for a whole new perspective on your own existence - and plane travel -- Janice Hallett ― Sunday Times bestselling author of The Appeal
A mind-bending, prize-winning speculative thriller ― Guardian
A good idea, elegantly executed ― Daily Telegraph
A really intriguing novel -- John Boyne
The Anomaly is one and ten novels at once, brilliantly connecting every mystery of intimacy with the great mystery of humanity -- Michel Bussi
It's a phenomenal read. I loved how it tied together. So clever yet also so gripping -- Harriet Tyce ― Sunday Times bestselling author of Blood Orange
Amusing, affecting, effervescent ― Guardian
It is intricate, ingenious, propulsive - but it is also affecting ― Scotsman
An extraordinary mix of existential thriller and speculative fiction. Questions of philosophy, mathematics and astrophysics bend this novel far from the typical mold, andLe Tellier's characters must confront the deepest questions of existence. This thought-provoking literary work deserves a wide readership ― Publishers Weekly
A French literary phenomenon...The Anomaly captured a moment when the pandemic stopped the world and existence veered toward the virtual. It swerves between various genres - science fiction, a thriller, love stories, an introspective work - without being confined by any of them ― New York Times
Written with such page-turning conviction that readers are guaranteed a thoroughly enjoyable intellectual workout ― The Times
The buzz around this Goncourt prize-winner is richly deserved, and just when you think you've worked it out . . . well, you probably haven't ― Daily Mail
Intriguing ― SFX
A flight of imagination you'll be rolling over in your mind long after deplaning ― Washington Post
A striking thought experiment...Le Tellier delivers some sharp social comedy here. But behind the comedy are more profound psychological questions about individual freedom. The Anomaly is priceless ― Times Literary Supplement
A witty, erudite novel, teeming and minutely detailed, a treat throughout, with-at its centre-that head-spinning conceit that will leave you deep in thought for a long time after reading the final page. It is rare to have so much fun with something so intelligent -- Nicolas Mathieu ― author of And Their Children After Them, winner of the 2018 Prix Goncourt
The Anomaly is thought-provoking and philosophical yet thrilling too, with superbly drawn characters, a dynamic plot, and a fascinating question at its heart - what if the entire world as we know it is a lie? -- Andrew Hunter Murray
A speculative thriller from literary powerhouse Hervé le Tellier. Perfect for those who like their realities unstable ― Crime Reads
Mind-bending ― The Times
Humorous, captivating, thoughtful - existentialism has never been so thrilling ― Kirkus Reviews
Manifest meets Lost in The Anomaly...a puzzle box of a sci-fi thriller ― PopSugar
An extraordinary, fast-paced, disturbing novel, perfect for these extraordinary, fast-paced, disturbing times. Think Steven Spielberg meets Umberto Eco with a side order of black humour, generously sprinkled with genuine emotion -- Sam Taylor ― author of The Island At The End Of The World
A uniquely, gloriously, provocatively French contribution to the sci-fi thriller genre - it will keep you guessing, get your heart pounding, and make you feel and wonder and - above all - think -- Sam J. Miller ― Nebula-Award winning author of Blackfish City
In The Anomaly, Hervé Le Tellier has delivered a volatile and compelling thriller that has you hurtling toward the mystery at the heart of the novel from page one. The Anomaly is a gripping and moving blend of Blake Crouch's Dark Matter, the television show Lost, with a bit of The Philadelphia Experiment thrown in for good measure. I couldn't put it down. -- Terry Miles ― author of Rabbits
Exhilarating, thought-provoking, funny, and devastating. The Anomaly is unlike anything else I've read this year -- Laure Van Rensburg ― author of Nobody But Us
I was completely blown away by this genre-defying masterpiece. Part thriller, part philosophical rumination on what makes us human, and with a dash of theoretical physics; this is an absolute must-read -- Sarah Bonner ― author of Her Perfect Twin
The Anomaly is a brilliant balancing act of a novel, a fantastic rush and ride that works on myriad levels, at various depths, and in a multitude of styles. It's a precise and erudite literary treat, a comedic sociopolitical-religious skewering of these contemporary times, a philosophical-scientific-mathematical dive into the puzzles of possibility, space, and time, and an ingenious thought experiment that lends itself easily to ad infinitum analysis and dissection. It's also entirely grounded in human nature. Le Tellier's pointillistic characters are, like all of us, buffeted by desires, seeking love, striving, aging, making good and bad decisions, choosing the right or wrong paths, believing they know and understand themselves, utterly trusting in free will. Highly intelligent, ironic without cheap cynicism, The Anomaly is an immensely fun novel, an immersive experience that leaves the reader analysing everything anew -- Cherise Wolas ― author of The Resurrection of Joan Ashby and The Family Tabor
The year has only just begun but I will be surprised if I read something as astonishing as The Anomaly in the next 12 months ― Scotsman
It's dizzying, exhilarating, brilliant! -- Nicholas Carreau ― Europe 1
An intoxicating mix of the magical and life's big questions ― Financial Times
Hervé le Tellier's new novel is an exquisite, insane surprise. Quite simply astounding ― Le Journal du Dimanche
An addictive page-turner, The Anomalyflirts with thriller and science fiction, and mirrors the best televisions series in its very effective orchestration of suspense. Filled with fascination existential and metaphysical questions, this is an effective, funny and discreetly melancholy novel ― Le Monde
A brilliant, extremely inventive book. Like an astounding screenplay for an American blockbuster, written by a Frenchman who is having fun with it -- Olivia de Lamberterie ― France 2
Hervé le Tellier has written an impossible novel. It's a thriller but also a fantasy. A choral novel, which is also surrealist. An adventure, a page turner, a bestseller, but also an experimental, highly literary work -- Frederic Beigbeder ― Le Figaro Magazine
A delight. Intricate, ingenious, propulsive - but also affecting, with numerous moments that are terribly poignant along with its puzzles and winks ― i
How would society respond to the inexplicable? This is the question the author tries, with intelligence, elegance and humour, to answer. Hervé le Tellier has written a frank and gripping novel with complex, moving characters. You won't be able to put it down! -- Claire Bitaudeau ― Librairie Millepages
Effervescent playfulness . . . Hilariously deadpan ― Guardian
The novel is a tour de force which both dives into the personal lives of several characters and at the same time gives a group perspective on an international event which verges on science fiction. The taut rhythm of the investigation keeps the reader on tenterhooks ― Toute La Culture
The situations are mad, but the questions they raise, far less so. Such is the profundity of this astonishing book: it makes light of itself, lending an air of fantasy to the fates of its characters, while Hervé le Tellier holds a mirror up before us ― Le Figaro
A master of one-touch characterisation. Le Tellier's genius is in making the unimaginable feel authentic ― Metro
Le Tellier, throughout this flight, deposits on the tarmac his stunned reader, ready to applaud ― L'Opinion
Le Tellier is a masterful writer and his staggering story verges on thriller and science fiction ― Version Femina
Somewhere between fable and science fiction, it's a fascinating novel ― La Depeche du Midi
The novel weaves a surprising story out of several narrative threads which give Hervé le Tellier the opportunity to touch on as many literary genres as he does themes, in a biting and often funny critique of the start of the 21st century ― En Attendant Nadeau
Excellent...at once zeitgeisty, intelligent, and entertaining ― Charlie Hebdo
Fantastic...The Anomaly wears its name well: it's rare in France that a work combines the best of American TV series with an impeccable mastery of the French psychological novel ― Elle France
Dizzying, compelling ― RTE Guide
Mind-bending. Herve Le Tellier's emotional and intellectual rollercoaster is well worth the ride ― The Times Literary Supplement --This text refers to the paperback edition.
About the Author
Hervé Le Tellier is a writer, journalist, mathematician, food critic, and teacher. Since 1992, he has been a member of the prestigious and experimental Oulipo group of writers and mathematicians, who work to push against the boundaries of form and structure.
At the age of 64, with a decades-long career and several novels, essay and short story collections to his name, The Anomaly is his breakout hit. In 2020, it was awarded the prestigious Prix Goncourt, and has sold over a million copies.
Adriana Hunter has translated some eighty books, mostly works of literary fiction. She won the 2011 Scott-Moncrieff Prize for her translation of Véronique Olmi’s Beside the Sea, and was twice shortlisted for the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize. She lives in Kent, England. --This text refers to the paperback edition.
- ASIN : B093K7YBF9
- Publisher : Penguin (20 January 2022)
- Language : English
- File size : 2581 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Not Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 317 pages
- Page numbers source ISBN : 1405950803
- Best Sellers Rank: 35,125 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
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Overall it was disappointing. Very overhyped.... I dunno what the editors were thinking.... its clear the writer was thinking time to wrap up. it reads like he lost interest!
The story is okay - the central idea is a rehash of existing ideas rather than anything strikingly new, and was very nearly a disappointment after a lengthy build-up...but the combination was cleverly put together and the second act in particular made for an interesting read. I felt the third act lost all momentum and was a bit of an effort to get through. On balance, I wouldn't recommend it.
It starts with chapters dedicated to a series of characters with nothing in common except they experienced turbulence while on a transatlantic flight. They include a ruthless hitman who lives a double life as the owner of a vegetarian catering business, a troubled author, a hot shot lawyer working for a questionable business, a disturbed veteran of overseas wars, a gay rapper, a film editor in a decaying relationship with an older architect, a terminally ill pilot. We are also introduced to two geeky mathematicians, Adrian and Meredith, circling around each other on the edge of a relationship.
Author Hervé le Tellier has fun while setting up his characters, while also allowing some more serious and darker currents to flow. He uses the troubled author to show the ridiculous pretentious side of the French literary establishment. While geeky mathematicians might seem a relatively easy target, treats them with affection, and, indeed, Adrian and Meredith’s first reactions to each other are an absolute delight. I also have to say, I never though I’d care so much about the fate of a pet frog. On the dark side, there is the cold blooded assassin, questions about corporate morality, homophobia in the world of hip hop, and a disturbing section about child abuse.
All of the stories are brought together in the central concept of the book (pre-publicised in the blurb, so no spoilers here), when a plane carrying the characters (excluding our mathematicians) flies out of a storm on its way to land in the US. The problem is that the same plane, with the same crew and passengers landed 106 days previously and all on board have since carried on living their lives for three months.
The rest of the book is then concerned with the questions of what the authorities will do to deal with the situation, how the individuals will react to meeting themselves, and what caused the anomaly in the first place. The authorities range from a statesmen like Macron, to an unnamed but obviously second term Trump, who is portrayed as an idiot out of his depth rather than a malicious nationalist, and a predictably secretive Chinese government.
The greatest weight is given to the individual stories which explore a range of responses, how does a secretive killer react to having himself around? How do those in relationships deal with the inevitable jealousy? How do the extra three months of those on the original plane alter the situation? Can mistakes be corrected with the extra knowledge?
In terms of the wider picture, three possible explanations for the duplication of the plane are explored, although the “true one” is quickly evident. It is here that I had my one major quibble with the book. Le Tellier’s choice to concentrate mainly on the individual tales left me feeling slightly dissatisfied. Not fully exploring the wider implications (even though the explanation is fundamental to the denouement) leaves the book, to my mind, with a bit of an unfulfilling vacuum. Also while I am at it, I didn’t really see the point of the child abuse storyline, there is no depth to it, which makes it seem rather exploitative.
However, overall, if one accepts Le Tellier’s choices and takes the Anomaly for what it is, a flashy, fast paced thriller based on a highly original premise, it certainly delivers. Coming soon to a cinema near you (I would expect).