A Box Of Birds

By Charles Fernyhough

Does neuroscience change our understanding of ourselves?

Saturday, 31 March 2012

New puffs from Andrew Crumey, Sara Maitland

"It’s rare these days to read a writer who cares about ideas in the way that the great nineteenth-century novelists did. With A Box of Birds, Charles Fernyhough creates a thrilling plot and wonderfully constructed characters who are never overwhelmed by the twists of the story. The clash of philosophies at the heart of the novel—in which the certainties of neuroscience are unpicked by the mind’s need to tell a coherent story—is presented in such plausible terms that I should think any reader would instinctively align themselves and then be challenged by the other side of the question. This is both a serious novel and a great read." SARA MAITLAND

"We have been waiting a long time for Charles Fernyhough to follow up his fine first novel The Auctioneer, and he has now done it in brilliant style with A Box Of Birds. Taking its title from Plato's metaphor for memory, this is both a novel of ideas and a pacey thriller. The idea is a profound philosophical one: how can cells and chemicals produce our sense of consciousness? Fernyhough's feisty heroine, neuroscientist Yvonne Churcher, takes us on a rollercoaster plot involving animal rights' activists, lovers, geeks, entrepreneurs and a senile chimp. Exhilarating, thought-provoking and well worth the wait." ANDREW CRUMEY

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