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Thursday, October 30, 2008

Life After Genius by M. Ann Jacoby reviewed

I finished Life After Genius this afternoon while waiting for the freshman football game to start. Thank goodness for mandatory time spent sitting in the car, it allows me reading time!!

As I said during the blog tour for this novel, I think we've all known some people that are just a bit..well...different. In fact, I think that there is a little bit of Mead in all of us. We all feel like we're just a little peculiar sometimes. It's been very easy to empathize with Mead, and as the book drew to the conclusion, I found a deeper understanding of Mead's family as well.

I'll admit to being a little confounded by the ending. It seemed almost abrupt, and as a rule, I don't like endings that are somewhat inconclusive. I guess could be considered a good type of ending, as the reader can draw their own conclusions and pretty much write the ending they'd prefer in their minds. However, I always feel a little bit let down by novels with endings like this one. Since I've been told I live in my own little happy world too often, I've decided to give the novel a "They all lived happily ever after" ending for my purposes. But I would have much rather the author had shared with us what her ending would have been for the characters.

Life After Genius is a pretty good book nonetheless, and well worth your time to read.

From the Publisher:

Theodore Mead Fegley has always been the smartest person he knows. By age 12, he was in high school, and by 15 he was attending a top-ranking university. And now, at the tender age of 18, he's on the verge of proving the Riemann Hypothesis, a mathematical equation that has mystified academics for almost 150 years. But only days before graduation, Mead suddenly packs his bags and flees home to rural Illinois. What has caused him to flee remains a mystery to all but Mead and a classmate whose quest for success has turned into a dangerous obession.

At home, Mead finds little solace. His past ghosts haunt him; his parents don't understand the agony his genius has caused him, nor his desire to be a normal kid, and his dreams seem crushed forever. He embarks on a new life's journey -- learning the family business of selling furniture and embalming the dead--that disappoints and surprises all who knew him as "the young Fegley genius."

Equal parts academic thriller and poignant coming-of-age story, LIFE AFTER GENIUS follows the remarkable journey of a young man who must discover that the heart may know what the head hasn't yet learned.

You can read an excerpt from the book here, Life After Genius


Anonymous said...

Mead went back to school, gave his presentation and graduated in my little world. :)

Thoughts of Joy said...

I was curious about this one when I first saw it, but can't remember why I decided against it. Glad you like it, but wish it had a better ending for you. :)

MySharonAnne said...

You're more optimistic than me. I think that they both drowned.

Shooting Stars Mag said...

I finally reviewed this and I definitely agree with you. I wanted a conclusive ending, but i did love the book.

And I can definitely relate to Mead in a lot of ways...