James Flint Habitus

ISBN 13: 9781857028324

Habitus

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9781857028324: Habitus
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An epic adventure, entwining twentieth-century science and technology into the bizarrely linked stories of three characters and a space dog. Funny, complex, readable, moving -- Habitus is a first novel of extraordinary scope and achievement. With lightly worn erudtion and a natural gift for storytelling, James Flint entwines the troubled lives of Joel, Hasidic Jew and mathematical genius; Judd, misfit Hollywood gambler and victim of psychoanalysis; and Jennifer, precocious schoolgirl. Through their bizarrely linked searches for meaning in a cacophonous late twentieth-century universe, Flint shows the development of the 'digital revolution' over the past 50 years and its effect on humanity. Ultimately, Habitus offers a philosophical vision of our relationship with the machines we create as well as with the history which created us. 'Alongside perhaps only Richard Powers, Flint has managed to find an enthralling fictional world in the contemporary technological maze.' Time Out

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Review:

In 1973, affection-starved Jennifer Several takes two lovers: Judd Axelrod, shy prepubescent son of a Hollywood starlet, and Joel Kluge, an ex-Hasidic math genius. As Judd becomes a supernaturally gifted gambler, escaping the bungling of his psychoanalyst, Joel's search for meaning leads him to create a computerized golem, to repair the world of evil. Meanwhile, in Jennifer's womb a genetic anomaly takes root--a child bearing the DNA of its two fathers. Above them all circles the serenely conscious figure of Laika, first dog in space, feeding on the outpourings of the digital age.

Habitus teems with ideas. As if in mimicry of the global village, we spark from one location to another, as the author boldly captures their essence: L.A., Cambridge, Stratford-upon-Avon, even Dachau and Sobibor. The prose leads stimulating forays into a wealth of disparate subjects, deftly illuminating their connections. There's a smattering of kabbalah, some advanced mathematics, even a tract on gambling. Unfortunately, this often occurs at the expense of story. Complex scientific segues frequently force us to disengage and switch drives from "audience" to "student," just as we begin to care about Flint's characters. A book with humor and heart, certainly, but one slightly too concerned about proving its cleverness. --Matthew Baylis, Amazon.co.uk

From the Publisher:

This astonishingly inventive first novel is in part a satire on the digital age, in part a surreal comedy iwth a fantastical cast of absurd characters and some brilliant writing." The Observer (London)

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Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9780312245450: Habitus: A Novel

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ISBN 10:  0312245459 ISBN 13:  9780312245450
Publisher: St Martins Pr, 2000
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9781857028249: Habitus

Fourth..., 1998
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9781857028683: Habitus

Fourth..., 1998
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James Flint
Published by Fourth Estate Classic House (2000)
ISBN 10: 1857028325 ISBN 13: 9781857028324
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