DO YOU UNDERSTAND THAT SHE LOVES YOU?… ARE YOU WAITING FOR HER TO CHANGE?… DO YOU UNDERSTAND THAT I LOVE HER?… IF YOU TAKE HER, WILL SHE BE HAPPY?
Every reader has a book up their sleeve that’s their go-to recommendation when someone asks them, “What should I read?” As She Climbed Across the Table is that book for me. It’s the story of a physicist whose extraordinary discovery gives rise to the most bizarre love triangle in literary history.
Physicist Alice Coombs and her colleagues have just created… nothing. Literally. Their experiments have resulted in an actual hole in the Universe, a void where nothing exists. Naturally they name it Lack. At first, nobody knows what to do with Lack and the experiment is about to be shut down until, in a fit of desperation, Alice empties her pockets and throws the contents through Lack. Just about everything passes safely through and falls to the other side… except Alice’s keys. It seems that Lack has tastes! And if it has taste then perhaps it also has consciousness! As researchers from all over campus and from every discipline descend on Lack to try to make sense of it, Alice becomes increasingly obsessed, much to the chagrin of her boyfriend Philip. Philip, a professor who studies other professors, has just realized how much he loves Alice. As she starts going to greater and greater lengths to win Lack’s favor, Philip realizes he has a rival for Alice’s love… a rival who isn’t there at all.
This is a remarkable book that blends rich comedy, academic politics, and out-there meditations on the implications of quantum physics. It all sounds very postmodern, but author Jonathan Lethem writes in a sharp, wry voice that keeps everything light and engaging. Besides, the main focus here isn’t the science but rather the simple love story between Alice and Philip. The general chaos swirling around is just a backdrop to the very real emotions on display, and anyone who has ever come to the realization that the person they love might be moving on to someone (or something) else will be able to identify with Philip as he strives to regain his sense of the world. Author Jonathan Lethem is known for his quirky characters and this book is full of them. The messes that they make in both science and in love will fascinate adventurous readers.
Check the BPL catalog for this title: As She Climbed Across the Table