Gavin Extence, the celebrated author of The Universe Versus Alex Woods, joins Robin Morgan in the Audible Studios to talk about his latest novel, The Empathy Problem.
A rare meteorite struck Alex Woods when he was 10 years old, leaving scars and marking him for an extraordinary future. The son of a fortune teller, bookish, and an easy target for bullies, Alex hasn't had the easiest childhood. But when he meets curmudgeonly widower Mr. Peterson, he finds an unlikely friend. Someone who teaches him that that you only get one shot at life. That you have to make it count. So when, aged 17, Alex is stopped at customs with 113 grams of marijuana, an urn full of ashes on the front seat, and an entire nation in uproar, he's fairly sure he's done the right thing....
"expertly written coming of age novel."
A tale of an unexpected friendship, an unlikely hero, and an improbable journey, Alex's story treads the fine line between light and dark, laughter and tears. And it might just strike you as one of the funniest, most heartbreaking novels you've ever heard. Alex Woods knows that he hasn't had the most conventional start in life. He knows that growing up with a clairvoyant single mother won't endear him to the local bullies. He also knows that even the most improbable events can happen - he's got the scars to prove it. What he doesn't know yet is that when he meets ill-tempered, reclusive widower Mr Peterson, he'll make an unlikely friend.
Life has its ups and downs. From the author of The Universe Versus Alex Woods comes a dark, painful, and witty novel about a woman whose life is spiralling out of control. You're going to find some of my actions frustrating. I'm hard to live with, maddening, uneven - I get that. But I can't stand around listing my faults, or we'll be here for ever. All I ask right now is that you indulge me. For as long as it lasts, this is going to be one hell of a ride.
Driven by money, power and success, Gabriel has worked ruthlessly to get to the very top of the banking game. He's not going to let the inconvenience of a terminal brain tumour get in his way. But the tumour has other ideas. As it grows, it appears to be doing strange things to Gabriel's personality. Whether he likes it or not, he seems to be becoming less selfish, less mercenary, less unlikeable. Once he could dismiss the rest of humanity as irrelevant. Now he's not so sure.
Alex weiß, dass die unwahrscheinlichsten Dinge passieren können - seine Narben beweisen es. Was er noch nicht weiß: Er wird in dem übellaunigen Mr. Peterson einen ungleichen Freund finden, der ihn lehrt, dass es die richtigen Entscheidungen zu treffen gilt. Als Alex Jahre später mit 113 Gramm Marihuana und einer Urne voll Asche an der Grenze in Dover gestoppt wird, ist er ziemlich sicher, das Richtige getan zu haben.