A Doubter’s Almanac: A Novel

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Milo Andret was always gifted. But his potential wasn’t realized until his acceptance to Berkeley, where his genius was consumed in a determined pursuit for a mathematical achievement worthy of a lifetime, much in the same way that the rest of his life became consumed by his alcoholism and ambition.

Ethan Canin takes us through the blessings and the burdens that come with the brilliant Andret mind, and its effects on Milo’s legacy. Spanning three generations of Andret family genes, this is a novel that is as resilient as the family whose story it tells.

Initially, the story I cared most about was Milo’s days as a student and later as a professor at Princeton. However, it turned out that what I loved more was the story of Milo’s family during his post-Princeton days. As the novel’s focus shifted from Milo to his son, the initial disappointment quickly switched to a new level of immersion. It was a bit slow moving as I got caught up in trying to understand the math. But A Doubter’s Almanac is not only about mathematics and staggering genius – it is also a powerful story about unrelenting support in a most dysfunctional family.

Chris Hayden been working at City Book Review since 2012, so that makes him the keeper of knowledge. He manages the office and book reviewers (all 200 of them!), which is no small feat. If you’re looking at the book reviews here, you’re seeing them because he sent the books out for review. Without him, this place would fall apart, because no one else in the office knows how to use the postage machine. Two words: job security.


Reviewed By:

Author Ethan Canin
Star Count 4/5
Format Hard
Page Count 576 pages
Publisher Random House
Publish Date 16-Feb-2016
ISBN 9781400068265
Amazon Buy this Book
Issue March 2016
Category Modern Literature
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