The Curiosity

Paperback | July 9, 2013

byStephen P. Kiernan

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The Time Traveler’s Wife meets Michael Crichton in a powerful debut novel about a man frozen in ice for more than a century, who reawakens in the present day

When Dr. Kate Philo and her exploration team discover what appears to be a seal frozen in an Arctic iceberg, they believe they have made a momentous breakthrough in their research. Kate is part of the Lazarus Project, run by the egocentric genius Erastus Carthage. To date they have brought small creatures like plankton and shrimp “back to life”—for one tenth of a creature’s natural lifespan. As the underwater excavation begins, Kate and her team realize it is not a seal they have found, but a man. Carthage orders that the man be brought back to the lab in Boston and reanimated. They learn that he was—is—Jeremiah Rice, a man born in 1868, whose last memory is of falling overboard into the Arctic Ocean in 1906. Kate befriends Jeremiah while the media hound him, religious conservatives accuse the Lazarus Project of blasphemy, and the world at large suspects the entire enterprise is a massive fraud. Meanwhile, Kate has fallen in love with Jeremiah, the clock is ticking, and Jeremiah’s new life is slipping away.

In this gripping, original thriller, the very nature of humanity is examined as it never has been before: man as a scientific subject, as the prey of tabloids, and as a living being—a curiosity.

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From the Publisher

The Time Traveler’s Wife meets Michael Crichton in a powerful debut novel about a man frozen in ice for more than a century, who reawakens in the present dayWhen Dr. Kate Philo and her exploration team discover what appears to be a seal frozen in an Arctic iceberg, they believe they have made a momentous breakthrough in their research....

Stephen P. Kiernan is a journalist and a graduate of Middlebury College, with an M.A. from the Writing Seminars at Johns Hopkins University and an M.F.A. in fiction from the Iowa Writers' Workshop. He has written two works of nonfiction—Last RightsandAuthentic Patriotism—that promote better end-of-life care and civic engagement, and hi...

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:448 pages, 8.75 × 6.35 × 1 inPublished:July 9, 2013Publisher:HarperCollinsLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1443416304

ISBN - 13:9781443416306

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Reviews

Rated 5 out of 5 by from The Curiosity. Neat book. A real thinker!
Date published: 2014-09-19
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Innovative and imaginative The perfect mix of realism and fiction. Conceptually this book was fantastic and it was interesting in many different ways. Not sure about the ending though...still deciding.
Date published: 2014-02-24
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Sci fi and romance 3.5/5 I'm always been fascinated by discoveries of the past such as Franklin's Expedition or Shackleton and the Endurance. My curiousity is piqued - what can we glean from artifacts found? Can we tell what happened on these ill fated journeys? Curiosity- definition: A strong desire to know or learn something. A strange or unusual object or fact. Stephen P. Kiernan's explores both of those definitions in his debut fiction novel The Curiosity. The Lazarus Project is working on 'reanimation' of life forms frozen and trapped in hard ice. They have so far managed to bring small creatures, such as krill and plankton, back to life. While on their latest search in the Arctic, Dr. Kate Philo and her team come across a fully frozen man - dressed in a suit. This is a staggering find - this reanimation will be the company's biggest triumph. (Much of this is based on fact - read the idea behind the book.) The Curiosity is told from four points of view - that of Dr. Kate, the frozen man - Judge Jeremiah Rice, the owner of Lazarus - Erastus Carthage and Daniel Dixon, a journalist. This wide variety of views allows Kiernan to explore all the avenues that such an event might open. Is Rice an experiment or a man? Who gets to direct his life? Is the company playing God? Is it real or an elaborate hoax? Where and what would such an event lead to next? The four main characters are all clearly drawn and elicited distinct reactions from this reader. Kate is the clam, cool, empathic lead who sees Rice as a man and not a lab rat. Her - I liked. Carthage is a caricature of a power hungry egomaniac who sees himself as brilliant and untouchable. He refers to himself in the third person. Him - didn't like. Dixon seems to be written in a foil for both camps - he rides the middle line, but is a distinctly unlikable character. Which brings us to Judge Jeremiah. I was quite interested in his reawakening and his views on the world 100 years later. Kiernan provides many well-thought observations, but this is not the main thrust of the book. There are many ideas and stories running through the novel. Ethical and moral considerations are presented, but the main storyline is the relationship between Dr. Kate and the Judge. Although we are aware of the outcome from the opening chapters, I was captured by 'what would happen next'. Indeed, you might say curious. "With this man's curiosity at my side, life possessed a newness, a richness. Jeremiah Rice gave me back the world." There were a few threads that I wish had been taken further - notably descendants of Jeremiah. This is touched on, but not explored as fully as I would have liked. Although The Curiosity raises some qood food for thought (there is a reading guide available), at it's heart, it is satisfying entertainment reading for the summer deck. Science fiction with a healthy dose of romance.
Date published: 2013-07-24

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Editorial Reviews

?Smart, heady, and irresistible?. Kiernan gets every element right in this breakneck, entertaining, and thought-provoking tale about time, mortality, the ethics of science, and the meaning of life.? ?Booklist (starred review)?A true page-turner, mixing cutting-edge science with an all-too-human love story?. One of the most assured debuts in years, a book that will stop your heart and start it again.? ?Justin Cronin, author of The Passage and The Twelve?Cinematic and moving?a delicious read.? ?Katrina Onstad, author of Everybody Has Everything and How Happy to Be?As thought-provoking and powerful as Flowers for Algernon, and the writing is breathtakingly beautiful. And that ending? Poignant, luminescent, and absolutely perfect.? ?Chris Bohjalian, author of Midwives, Secrets of Eden, and The Double Bind ()