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The Beautiful Miscellaneous
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0743271238, Hardcover)Dominic Smith's beautifully written new novel explores genius and loss, failure and redemption, in this portrait of a son trying to make peace with the crushing weight of his father's expectations. Nathan Nelson is above average in everything he does, but his father, a renowned quark physicist, will not give up his quest to uncover his son's latent gifts. Consequently, Nathan has spent his formative years in whiz-kid summer camps, learning college algebra and visiting the Stanford Linear Accelerator. By the time Nathan is seventeen, hopes for a late-blooming prodigy seem dashed, but a tragic accident and ensuing coma leave Nathan with an altered mind that allows him to memorize vast amounts of information. Nathan's father, looking for an application for the new talent, sends him to a research institute where, amid neurological misfits and savants, Nathan tries to find a purpose for the altered way he sees and hears the world.
(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:24:08 -0400)
"Nathan Nelson is the average son of a genius. His father, a physicist of small renown, has prodded him toward greatness from an early age - enrolling him in whiz kid summer camps, taking him to the icy tundra of Canada to track a solar eclipse, and teaching him college algebra. But despite Samuel Nelson's efforts, Nathan remains ordinary." "Then, in the summer of 1987, everything changes. While visiting his small-town grandfather in Michigan, Nathan is involved in a terrible accident. After a brief clinical death - which he later recalls as a lackluster affair lasting less than the length of a Top 40 pop song - he falls into a coma. When he awakens, Nathan finds that everyday life is radically different. His perceptions of sight, sound, and memory have been irrevocably changed. The doctors and his parents fear permanent brain damage. But the truth of his condition is more unexpected and leads to a renewed chance for Nathan to find his place in the world."Thinking that his son's altered brain is worthy of serious inquiry, Samuel arranges for Nathan to attend the Brooks-Mills Institute, a Midwestern research center where savants, prodigies, and neurological misfits are studied and their specialities applied. Immersed in this strange atmosphere - where an autistic boy can tell you what day Christmas falls on in 3026 but can't tie his shoelaces, where a medical intuitive can diagnose cancer during a long-distance phone call with a patient - Nathan begins to unravel the mysteries of his new mind. He also tries to make peace with the crushing weight of his father's expectations."--BOOK JACKET.
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