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Fat Man and Little Boy by Mike Meginnis

Fat Man and Little Boy

by Mike Meginnis

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This novel posits the personification of the two atomic bombs dropped on Japan at the end of World War II and sends them on their way through the world in what begins as a picaresque set in the devastation they have wrought and ends in a domestic comedy when they settle down to family life in a community of oddballs. Our protagonists are hardly sympathetic figures; they are stubborn, quarrelsome, and rather dim, though I suppose that one can make the case that those are the characteristics that a bomb would exhibit if it became a human. At the start of the story our heroes possess several powers, extraordinary if not supernatural; some of these are somewhat trivial, but others are destructive, and, trivial or not, none of their effects are good. At some point these powers (along with the story's undertones of musings on the deeper meanings of atomic devastation) seem to disappear, unremarked, never to be mentioned again, which is puzzling. Since this, along with the novel's structure, which is episodic, especially at first, gives the book a disjointed quality, and the book is far too long, it's an enjoyable read only occasionally and thus qualifies as something of a waste of an enormously pregnant premise. ( )
  Big_Bang_Gorilla | Oct 27, 2015 |
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Winner of the 2013 Horatio Nelson Fiction Prize. In this striking debut novel, the atomic bombs dropped on Japan are personified as Fat Man and Little Boy. This small measure of humanity is a cruelty the bombs must suffer. Given life from death, the brothers' journey is one of surreal and unsettling discovery, transforming these symbols of mass destruction into beacons of longing and hope.… (more)

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