A Doubter's Almanac

A Doubter's Almanac

eBook - 2016
Average Rating:
Rate this:
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER * In this mesmerizing novel, Ethan Canin, the author of America America and The Palace Thief, explores the nature of genius, rivalry, ambition, and love among multiple generations of a gifted family.

Milo Andret is born with an unusual mind. A lonely child growing up in the woods of northern Michigan in the 1950s, he gives little thought to his own talent. But with his acceptance at U.C. Berkeley he realizes the extent, and the risks, of his singular gifts. California in the seventies is a seduction, opening Milo's eyes to the allure of both ambition and indulgence. The research he begins there will make him a legend; the woman he meets there--and the rival he meets alongside her--will haunt him for the rest of his life. For Milo's brilliance is entwined with a dark need that soon grows to threaten his work, his family, even his existence.

Spanning seven decades as it moves from California to Princeton to the Midwest to New York, A Doubter's Almanac tells the story of a family as it explores the way ambition lives alongside destructiveness, obsession alongside torment, love alongside grief. It is a story of how the flame of genius both lights and scorches every generation it touches. Graced by stunning prose and brilliant storytelling, A Doubter's Almanac is a surprising, suspenseful, and deeply moving novel, a major work by a writer who has been hailed as "the most mature and accomplished novelist of his generation."

Praise for A Doubter's Almanac

"551 pages of bliss . . . devastating and wonderful . . . dazzling . . . You come away from the book wanting to reevaluate your choices and your relationships. It's a rare book that can do that, and it's a rare joy to discover such a book." -- Esquire

"[Canin] is at the top of his form, fluent, immersive, confident. You might not know where he's taking you, but the characters are so vivid, Hans's voice rendered so precisely, that it's impossible not to trust in the story. . . . The delicate networks of emotion and connection that make up a family are illuminated, as if by magic, via his prose." -- Slate

"Alternately explosive and deeply interior." -- New York ("Eight Books You Need to Read")

"A blazingly intelligent novel." --Los Angeles Times

"[A] beautifully written novel." -- The New York Times Book Review (Editors' Choice)
Publisher: New York : Random House, 2016
ISBN: 9780812996784
Characteristics: 1 online resource (xi, 558 pages)


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment
Sep 07, 2017

Dreadfully boring, inconsistently paced, needlessly long. The story could be conveyed in less than half the length and save the reader a lot of agony. The protagonist is intensely unlikable, and reading about his foibles is painful. The rest of the characters are flat and, because of the protagonist's personality, utterly extraneous. When I finally managed to slog to the end, I felt like the time I spent reading this could have been better spent watching grass grow.

JCLCherylMY Mar 26, 2016

What does it mean to be a mathematical genius? Gifted so beyond the average person that navigating the everyday world takes on monumental proportions? Milo Andret is one such person and his journey and that of his family and his children's subsequent families are the focus of this lengthy literary novel. It left me contemplating how to balance the light and dark sides of our human gifts, genius or not. Well worth reading.


Add Age Suitability

There are no ages for this title yet.


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.


Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further


Subject Headings


Find it at PLYMC

To Top