The Curiosity


Chris Bohjalian, author of Midwives and The Light in the Ruins, has this to say:

I absolutely loved The Curiosity. It’s thought-provoking and powerful … and the writing is breathtakingly beautiful. And that ending? Poignant, luminescent, and absolutely perfect.

More kind words from Justin Cronin, author of the Twelve and the The Passage…

The Curiosity is a true page-turner, mixing cutting-edge science with an all-too-human love story, while simultaneously taking on the Big Questions: What is the true measure of a human life? Where does the line fall between legitimate science and playing God? If death could be undone, what would it mean to live? I’m green with envy for this writer’s bold imagination. It’s one of the most assured debuts in years, a book that will stop your heart and start it again.

The story

Dr. Kate Philo and her scientific expedition team make a breathtaking discovery in the Arctic: the body of a man buried deep in ice. A scientist in the groundbreaking project run by the egocentric Erastus Carthage, Kate has brought small creatures – plankton, krill, shrimp – “back to life.” Never before have the team’€™s methods been attempted on a large life form.

Heedless of the consequences, Carthage orders that the frozen man be brought back to the lab in Boston, and reanimated. As the man begins to regain his memories, the team learns that he was – is – a judge, Jeremiah Rice, and the last thing he remembers is falling overboard into the Arctic Ocean in 1906. When news of the project and Jeremiah Rice’s awakening breaks, it ignites a media firestorm and massive protests by religious fundamentalists.

Thrown together by circumstances beyond their control, Kate and Jeremiah grow closer. But the clock is ticking and his new life is slipping away. With Carthage planning to exploit Jeremiah while he can, Kate must decide how far she is willing to go to protect the man she has come to love.

This gripping, poignant, and thoroughly original thriller raises disturbing questions about the very nature of life and humanity –man as a scientific subject, as a tabloid plaything, as a living being: A curiosity.

Critics agree:

“Smart, heady and irresistible. … Kiernan gets every element right in this breakneck, entertaining and thought-provoking tale about time, mortality, the ethics of science and the meaning of life.” — Booklist (starred review)

“One of the year’s great delights. … (A) beautifully made first work of fiction.” Alan Cheuse, National Public Radio

“A compelling, thought-provoking, literary thriller that will call to mind Daniel Keyes’ classic ‘Flowers for Algernon.'” — Library Journal (starred review

“A marvelous blend of sci-fi, romance, and the tug-of-war between science and ethics.” — Parade

“Kiernan’s fiction debut is an impressively complex and engaging work that handles challenging subject matter with clever and haunting prose. … Heartbreaking and inspiring, this is a suspenseful and addictive reading experience that will not soon be forgotten.” — Romantic Times (four and a half stars out of five)

“Summer is dominated with thrilling books, but if you prefer yours more measured, more touching and decidedly more thought-provoking, this one may satisfy your curiosity.” — Carole E. Barrowman, Minneapolis Star-Tribune

“Ambitious. … Kiernan has crafted an emotionally satisfying and brisk narrative. … This is a gripping novel with a clever conceit.” — Publisher’s Weekly

“Suspenseful, touching … unmistakably engaging.” — Kirkus Reviews

“I didn’t want to put it down.” —Diane Grenkow, The Galaxy Bookshop, Hardwick, VT (on IndieBound)


To order THE CURIOSITY, please click here.

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Also by Stephen Kiernan

The Curiosity

"... a true page-turner, mixing cutting edge science with an all-too-human love story. I’m green with envy for this writer’s bold imagination. It’s one of the most assured debuts in years, a book that will stop your heart and start it again. "

– Justin Cronin, author of The Passage and The Twelve.

Last Rights

"...what Nader's Unsafe at Any Speed was to car safety in the 1960s. This is one book that America must read!"

— Ira Byock, M.D., author of Dying Well and The Four Things That Matter

Authentic Patriotism

"From retiree Jack McConnell in South Carolina to Majora Carter in the Bronx, Americans who brought real change to their communities have maintained a great nation while our institutions have failed us. Authentic Patriotism is the story of those people whom you have never heard of, but who are most responsible for the greatness of America."

- Gov. Howard Dean, M.D.

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