Dr. Kate Philo and her exploration team make a breathtaking discovery in the Arctic Ocean: the body of a man buried deep in ice. As a scientist in a groundbreaking project run by the egocentric and paranoid Erastus Carthage, Kate has brought small creatures -- plankton, krill, shrimp -- back to life for short periods of time. But the team's methods have never been attempted on larger life forms.
Heedless of the potential consequences, Carthage orders that the frozen man be brought back to the Boston lab 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 in 1906. When news of the project and Jeremiah Rice breaks, it ignites a media firestorm and protests by religious fundamentalists.
Thrown together by fate, Kate and Jeremiah grow closer. But the clock is ticking and Jeremiah's new life is slipping away. When Carthage plans 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.
A gripping thriller, this novel raises disturbing questions about the very nature of life and humanity -- man as a scientific subject, as a tabloid novelty, as a curiosity.
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“I absolutely loved THE CURIOSITY. It’s as thought-provoking and powerful as FLOWERS FOR ALGERNON and the writing is breathtakingly beautiful. And that ending? Poignant, luminescent, and absolutely perfect.”—Chris Bohjalian, bestselling author of The Light in the Ruins and Midwives
“Stephen Kiernan’s 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.”—Justin Cronin, bestselling author of The Passage
“A smart, heady, and irresistible science thriller...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)
“A compelling, thought-provoking, literary thriller that will call to mind Daniel Keyes’ classic FLOWERS FOR ALGERNON.”—Library Journal (starred review)
“Ambitious. … Kiernan has crafted an emotionally satisfying and brisk narrative. … This is a gripping novel with a clever conceit.”—Publishers Weekly
“Suspenseful, touching … unmistakably engaging.”—Kirkus Reviews
“One of the year’s great delights. … (A) beautifully made first work of fiction.”—Alan Cheuse, National Public Radio
“A marvelous blend of sci-fi, romance, and the tug-of-war between science and ethics.”—Parade