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And Again: A Novel by Jessica Chiarella

And Again: A Novel (2016)

by Jessica Chiarella

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  activelearning | Dec 31, 2016 |
Really excellent and quite surprising. This book is not at all science fictiony despite its premise. It is at its heart a character study and a darn fine one at that. Chiarella manages to give each of the four main characters their own distinct voice. Masterfully done and a great read.

ARC from publisher. ( )
  Maureen_McCombs | Aug 19, 2016 |
one of the best books I've read this year! lots of social commentary. if you love sci fi and dystopian, read! ( )
  blackwoodsupafly | Jul 10, 2016 |
Four terminally ill patients are chosen by lottery (more or less) to participate in a secret medical research project: They are cloned and surgery is done to transfer their memories and personality to their new bodies. They are given new bodies and sent back to pick up the pieces of their former lives. The four patients are very different from each other: A tattooed and wildly talented painter who was stricken with an aggressive form of lung cancer; a Chinese-American woman who has spent the past eight years in a waking coma, paralyzed from the nose down and unable to speak; a beautiful soap-opera actress who picked up a drug-resistant strain of AIDS from injecting heroin; and a slimy Republican politician with an inoperable brain tumor. They have nothing in common but the mode of their saving, and they each deal with the stresses of being "born again" in different ways. Author Chiarella does a great job making us understand and empathize with each character, and even though she shifts the viewpoint among the four of them it is never confusing or hard to follow. I found it impossible not to try to imagine how I would react to being in their shoes, and it wasn't an entirely comfortable thing to do. I'm glad I read it, and I expect I'll be thinking about it for a while. ( )
  rosalita | May 12, 2016 |
This was a debut novel that really feels like a debut novel - Chiarella's writing style is interesting but she's playing with ideas that have been explored often enough already to feel predictable and a bit tired. I'll look for her future work, as I think she has better things coming, but wouldn't tell friends to rush out and pick up this novel.

Premise: 4 terminally ill people participate in a medical trial where their consciousnesses are implanted in healthy clone versions of themselves. Typically, there's an artist who loses her "muse" after transfer and who has a journalist boyfriend who betrays her confidence and reports on the study; there's a philandering republican politician who pulled strings to be included in the trial and who has a conniving villain for a wife; there's a failed actress who uses her sex appeal for money because she was abused as a child...nothing is particularly insightful, it's all cliche theater. ( )
  KLmesoftly | Mar 7, 2016 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 150111610X, Hardcover)

In the spirit of Station Eleven and The Age of Miracles, this exciting literary debut novel imagines the consequences when four ordinary individuals are granted a chance to continue their lives in genetically perfect versions of their former bodies.

Would you live your life differently if you were given a second chance? Hannah, David, Connie, and Linda—four terminally ill patients—have been selected for the SUBlife pilot program, which will grant them brand-new, genetically perfect bodies that are exact copies of their former selves—without a single imperfection. Blemishes, scars, freckles, and wrinkles have all disappeared, their fingerprints are different, their vision is impeccable, and most importantly, their illnesses have been cured.

But the fresh start they’ve been given is anything but perfect. Without their old bodies, their new physical identities have been lost. Hannah, an artistic prodigy, has to relearn how to hold a brush; David, a Congressman, grapples with his old habits; Connie, an actress whose stunning looks are restored after a protracted illness, tries to navigate an industry obsessed with physical beauty; and Linda, who spent eight years paralyzed after a car accident, now struggles to reconnect with a family that seems to have built a new life without her. As each tries to re-enter their previous lives and relationships they are faced with the question: how much of your identity rests not just in your mind, but in your heart, your body?

(retrieved from Amazon Tue, 25 Aug 2015 11:13:34 -0400)

"A debut novel about four previously terminally ill people who must grapple with the reality of reentering their lives after being granted genetically perfect copies of their former bodies, and the unimaginable consequences and entanglements that follow.."--… (more)

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