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Publisher's Summary

A warm, inventive, and multilayered novel about two families - one made up largely of scientists, and the other of artists and mystics - whose worlds collide in pursuit of a lost daughter.

Mette, a 20-year old programmer of visual effects for video games, lives with her mother, Saskia, an aspiring playwright, in Brooklyn. Mette is a private and socially awkward young woman who finds something consoling in repetitive mathematical calculations. But she has been recently rejected in love, and feels stuck in an endless loop, no longer certain of her place in the world.

As Brian Hall's new novel opens, Mette has gone missing. Her disappearance forces Saskia to reunite with Mette's father, Mark, an emotionally distant astronomy professor in Ithaca, to embark on a journey together to find her. Mette's path will take her across America and then to a fateful visit with her charismatic grandfather, Thomas, who formerly ran the commune north of Ithaca where Saskia was raised, and who now lives as a hermit in a windmill on a remote Danish island.

Playing out over nine decades and three generations, and stitching together a dazzling array of subjects - from cosmology and classical music to number theory and  medieval mystery plays - The Stone Loves the World is a story of love, longing, and scientific wonder. It offers a moving reflection on the human search for truth, meaning, and connection in an often incomprehensible universe, and on the genuine surprises that the real world, and human society, can offer.

©2021 Brian Hall (P)2021 Penguin Audio

Critic Reviews

“[A] strikingly original take on science, uncertainty, and the longing for connection to others and to the world.... Hall takes a risk with sprawling, dense passages, and pulls it off by majestically drawing together the various threads of this consistently moving and entirely unconventional narrative. It’s a stellar achievement.” (Publishers Weekly, starred review)

“Expansive...Hall shows how the life of the mind offers a refuge from psychological distress and, in so doing, shapes our personalities.” (The New Yorker)

“Hall does an impressive job channeling his characters’ intensely idiosyncratic personal monologues and their interests...while the novel touches on an almost unwieldy array of themes, one constant throughout is the impossibility of exerting logic and control on a fundamentally unpredictable world. A valiant attempt to encapsulate life, the universe, and everything.” (Kirkus Reviews)

“A brilliant, brainy book about physics, astronomy, video games, and the American Century. Hall’s intricate family saga charts vast social shifts even as it maps the emotional ups and downs of vivid individual lives. His characters' considerable smarts can’t save them from the mess of their emotional mistakes, but how they deal, and how they heal, gives the novel its irresistible narrative power.” (Geraldine Brooks, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of March and Horse)

What listeners say about The Stone Loves the World

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Disappointing

The book is dragging forever with the plot going nowhere for ages. The audio is defective and the reader sounds sleepy. I could not move past dive minutes at a time without feeling bored.
Not recommended.