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Percival's Planet A Novel (Paperback)

Author:  Michael Byers
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Product Details:

Format: Paperback
ISBN-10: 0312573561
ISBN-13: 9780312573560
Sku: 218755256
Publish Date: 8/16/2011
Pages:  414
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A tale inspired by the true story of Plutos discoverer finds a wealthy heir seeking dinosaurs in the 1920s West while a beautiful girl gradually succumbs to mental illness and a Kansas farm boy painstakingly grinds his own telescope lens. By the PEN/Hemingway Award finalist of The Coast of Good Intentions. Reprint. 35,000 first printing. *Author: Byers, Michael *Publication Date: 2011/08/16 *Number of Pages: 414 *Binding Type: Paperback *Language: English *Depth: 0.75 *Width: 5.75 *Height: 8.50
From the Publisher:

A novel of ambition and obsession centered on the race to discover Pluto in 1930, pitting an untrained Kansas farm boy against the greatest minds of Harvard at the run-down Lowell Observatory in Arizona

In 1928, the boy who will discover Pluto, Clyde Tombaugh, is on the family farm, grinding a lens for his own telescope under the immense Kansas sky. In Flagstaff, Arizona, the staff of Lowell Observatory is about to resume the late Percival Lowell's interrupted search for Planet X. Meanwhile, the immensely rich heir to a chemical fortune has decided to go west to hunt for dinosaurs and in Cambridge, Massachussetts, the most beautiful girl in America is going slowly insane while her ex-heavyweight champion boyfriend stands by helplessly, desperate to do anything to keep her. Inspired by the true story of Tombaugh and set in the last gin-soaked months of the flapper era, Percival's Planet tells the story of the intertwining lives of half a dozen dreamers, schemers, and madmen. Following Tombaugh's unlikely path from son of a farmer to discoverer of a planet, the novel touches on insanity, mathematics, music, astrophysics, boxing, dinosaur hunting, shipwrecks—and what happens when the greatest romance of your life is also the source of your life's greatest sorrow.

Annotation:
Michael Byers (LONG FOR THIS WORLD) shows how earthly habits and desires can impact the heavens with this ambitious and expansive novel, which focuses on the fascinating true story of Kansas farm boy Clyde Tombaugh, who discovered the planet Pluto and trumped a highly-trained staff of Harvard-educated astronomers in the process. In addition to Tombaugh and his rival stargazers at the Lowell Observatory in Arizona, Byers's fictional galaxy encompasses a wealthy scion named Felix DuPrie who uses his inheritance to pursue his dream of becoming a paleontologist and an ex-boxer named Edward Howe who alternates between denial and despair as the woman he loves succumbs to insanity. Like Tombaugh, Byers seems set to ascend into eternity with this, his most accomplished novel yet.

Praise

"Byers offers a gloriously expansive view of Depression-era America....Between the faultless storytelling and the juicy historical hook, it looks like a hit." (starred review) 04/19/2010

"[W]armly intelligent....PERCIVAL'S PLANET...is a deeply generous attempt to explore the forces that make us restless, that make us want to wander the desert or peer into the sky or pace along our own fence lines, dreaming of finding something that might not be out there. The process of discovery is never tidy or elegant; often it's absurd, full of blunders, miscalculations and moments of terrible blindness." - Suzanne Berne 08/22/2010

Product Attributes
Product attributeeBooks:   Kobo
Product attributeBook Format:   Paperback
Product attributeNumber of Pages:   0414
Product attributePublisher:   St. Martin's Griffin
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