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The Anomaly  By  cover art

The Anomaly

By: Hervé Le Tellier,Adriana Hunter - translator
Narrated by: Dominic Hoffman
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Publisher's Summary

Winner of the Prix Goncourt, this dizzying literary pause-resister ingeniously blends crime, fantasy, sci-fi, and thriller as it plumbs the mysteries surrounding a Paris-New York flight.

In June 2021, a senseless event upends the lives of hundreds of men and women, all passengers on a flight from Paris to New York. Among them: Blake, a respectable family man, though he works as a contract killer; Slimboy, a Nigerian pop star tired of living a lie; Joanna, a formidable lawyer whose flaws have caught up with her; and Victor Miesel, a critically acclaimed yet commercially unsuccessful writer who suddenly becomes a cult hit.

All of them believed they had double lives. None imagined just how true that was.

A virtuoso novel where logic confronts magic, The Anomaly explores the part of ourselves that eludes us. This witty variation on the doppelgänger theme, which takes us on a journey from Lagos and Mumbai to the White House, proves to be Hervé Le Tellier’s most ambitious work yet.

©2021 Hervé Le Tellier and Adriana Hunter (P)2021 Random House Audio

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What listeners say about The Anomaly

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Good sci-fi but myopic

First, the performance was excellent, but…

The premise is interesting and well developed. The experimental storytelling is no barrier. Unfortunately, the highly simplistic conceptualization of government action in response to a crisis as well as the contemporary references detract from the potential timelessness of the story.

Recommend for those fans of 21st century science fiction. A cautionary warning to those who venerate Herbert, Asimov, et al.

13 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Dont Believe The Hype ;(

Wow, this book is profoundly OVERRATED.

Moderate Spoilers - I will not ruin this lame book for you, but might reveal a few elements from this sad underwhelming book.

PROS: Fun thought experiments about the uncertainty of existence + fun to reflect on how one would engage their doppelgänger

CONS: So many...

- THE MOST INFURIATING THING - The narrator kept pronouncing Boeing as Boing... Ugh, this one got to me. Other wise the narrator was great, a little mixing on his French and African accents, but still a nice performance.

- UNORIGINAL - There is a mediocre Netflix series called Manifest and this book poorly rips off the theme of the show Manifest, Same plot with minor differences, e.g. a plane flies into a sudden terrible thunderstorm storm and unbeknown to the passengers flies into a wormhole / gets lost in time, the plane emerges years later and the surviving passengers have to make sense of the situation and deal with societies uncertainty towards them as well as gov / deep state cronies. Manifest debuted in 2018 so it must have been written or concocted in 2017 or 2016. The book The Anomaly was first published in 2018, two years after the show debuted. This did not turn me off, but I was disappointed at the sophomoric execution and overly simplistic elements of the book.

- The book cruely opens with the superfluously vivid suffering a poor dying dog. Truly unnecessary and depraved to dive so deeply in the slow torment of a dying animal. The gory scene depicting the languishing creature is purely gratuitous and asynchronistic with the rest of the book. My life is forever diminished by the first three minutes of the book

- The most interesting character is a psychopath named Blake, a clever hitman who methodically and brilliantly deploys his craft. . Blake is the character who was transfixed by the suffering of the dying dog. After this gratuitous scene, the author develops him into an interesting hitman. Dont get too interested, because you only see him three of four times again in small parts. His character is sidelined by less interesting and forgettable characters

- The other characters include an annoying, unlikeable, female video editor with zero redeeming arch, A powerful, older, stately career architect who turns into a worm of a man for the selfish video editor. A sullen translator who kills himself and is the genesis for an underwhelming driving force a book called The Anomaly. How do we know the book the Anomaly is a driving force? Because the author says so. All the tidbits are lame faux intellectualism. I imagine the author mirrored this character after himself, a man misunderstood, too smart for his contemporaries and people only realized how amazing he was after he was dead and gone, BUT the super awesome, unappreciated writer comes back to life and everyone gets to really fellate him this time. Eye roll.

The other characters = unmemorable, lame put-upon people. And a little abused girl.

- The book has a sophomoric feel because 1) the U.S. government, according to this book, has this weird daddy complex where everyone gets, a new id (that part is believable), money for a new life and resources with fake degrees from prestigious institutions. The gov is just super invested in the wellfare of everyone, including foreign nationals. Sorry but that is not how the U.S. rolls. 2) everything gets wrapped up nicely in the end

- Piss poor attempt at world building. In the Anomaly, a reality shattering global phenomenon publicly unfolds, but it is ultimately a collective yawn and shoulder shrug but the entire world community (aside from a few religious zealots, but that does not take much imagination to contrive a superstitious nut job willing to commit violence for scripture)

- The program 42 that the gov initiated to deal with the anomaly is oddly canceled in the end, not sure why because it was actually very successful and did exactly what it was supposed to do. The president of the U.S., in the book, is supposed to be a mirror of the bellicose and dimwitted Donnie Trump (the book failed because it did not represent him dumb enough, lol). Anyway, the president decides to deal with future plane appearances in a more grim, and decisive capacity. That does not mean the program 42 should be terminated, what about other similar occurrences, e.g. a ghost train, an anomalous trolly, a phantom cruise ship, etc.

CONCLUSION: For amazing fiction and world building - Claire North's First Fifteen lives of Harry August and The Games House, and Touch are awesome. So creative and unique.

I will not apologize for the length of this review or grammatical errors. You are welcome. Hope I saved one or two from getting this book

11 people found this helpful

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Fantastique!

No spoiler alert! Fantastic! An Audible review requires (for no discernible reason) at least 15 words so I am writing this extra non-meaningful sentence.

9 people found this helpful

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Sci-fi premise in a non-sci-fi novel

Well drawn characters, an event that challenges religious, political, scientific and individual worlds. Fascinating, sobering

5 people found this helpful

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Clever Idea

I thought that the plot idea was clever, and I enjoyed the multicultural aspects. It was a bit hard to follow all the characters, but overall I found it well worth listening to.

4 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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This narrator’s French accent is distracting

This is a captivating story, with a very very powerful message. My problem is with the narrator and by the end of the book I found myself having to rewind the dialogue with anyone with a French accent over and over because he was so hard to understand and his French accent is truly terrible

3 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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too odd

confused by the ending. Premise a bit too hypothetically bizarre with characters that never totally jelled for me.

3 people found this helpful

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A most unusual and fantastic book

Really enjoyed this most unusual novel that I listened to based on a review in the Washington Post. They said it was a cross between Lost and Manifest. While that’s true to a degree, it’s also much more. Part thriller, Sci-fi, fantasy, romance, it’s got something for everyone. I’ll recommend it to my wife’s book club.

3 people found this helpful

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Strange but Compelling

I am glad I was persistent and got through to the end. Surprise ending! Glad I was listening and not reading, I might have given up.

3 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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I enjoyed this book

I enjoyed this book but could done without the theological chapters- those felt a little more contrived. Overall good. Without giving spoilers, when it was over I had to google a French Wikipedia since the English Wikipedia didn’t write a thorough synopsis. I love the way this narrator reads - he narrated one of my favorite audible books- homegoing by Yaa Gyasi- it’s a complete different genre, but I knew I would like the narration as I’ve enjoyed listening to him previously. I’d give this book an 8/10. I enjoyed the beginning a lot- and lost interest by the end. It was good, but not mind blowing. A strong good, and worth the credit.

2 people found this helpful