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Publisher's Summary

From the National Book Award finalist and "one of our most gifted writers" (Chicago Tribune) - a timely and unsettling new novel about the people drawn to and unmoored by a local activist group more dangerous than it appears.

Once a promising actor, Tim Brettigan has gone missing. His father thinks he may have seen him among some homeless people. And though she knows he left on purpose, his mother has been searching for him all over the city. She checks the usual places - churches, storefronts, benches - and stumbles upon a local community group with lofty goals and an enigmatic leader who will alter all of their lives. 

Christina, a young woman rapidly becoming addicted to a boutique drug that gives her a feeling of blessedness, is inexplicably drawn to the same collective by a man who's convinced he may start a revolution. As the lives of these four characters intertwine, a story of guilt, anxiety, and feverish hope unfolds in the city of Minneapolis.  

A vision of modern American society and the specters of the consumerism, fanaticism, and fear that haunt it, The Sun Collective captures both the mystery and the violence that punctuate our daily lives.

©2020 Charles Baxter (P)2020 Random House Audio

Critic Reviews

“Fans may be surprised at the dark tenor of his latest novel, but Baxter - poet, essayist, and National Book Award finalist for The Feast of Love - masterfully captures the zeitgeist of our country as we navigate multiple crises, some he could never have predicted. This is truly a compelling book for our times.” (Library Journal, starred)

"What a spectacular book this is. A parable for our ominous times, it has revolution, murder, young love, magic, and marital squabbling in its pages - a novel of ideas in sly and modest Baxter form. Quite amazing." (Joan Silber, author of Improvement

"Fiction virtuoso Baxter's artistry and merciless insights are in full, intoxicating flower in this sinuous, dark, and dramatic tale...He has brilliantly choreographed a wholly unnerving plunge into alarming aberrations private and public, festering political catastrophe, and woefully warped love." (Booklist

What listeners say about The Sun Collective

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Story that goes nowhere

I really tried to like this book. At least I tried to find meaning in it. But I did not like or relate to a single character and it was hard to even squeeze out any theme either as a superficial story or as allegory for our fractured country. It truly left me feeling as if I had missed the point and wasted my time.

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Quirky in Minneapolis

“The Sun Collective” is a quirky, sometimes surreal and often lovable novel. The plot focuses on Harold and Alma Brettigan, an older couple who show their affection through bickering, and Ludlow and Christine, a younger pair involved with the mysterious Sun Collective. In the background are animals that communicate with humans, murderers of the homeless and the wealthy, a missing actor son and a malevolent United States president. All this happens in a geographically detailed Minneapolis. The narration by Bronson Pinchot is excellent, soft-spoken and kind of wondering. I especially liked his ability to capture a character speaking with hamburger in his mouth and another speaking while running. Nicely done!