Review of ‘The Universe Versus Alex Woods’ by Gavin Extence

ImageThis was another book that I have been meaning to read for ages after hearing it featured on Simon Mayo’s Radio 2 book club.

It is the story of Alex Woods an awkward but very clever epileptic teenager who is bullied at school and struggles to make friends. He meets Mr Peterson, a cantankerous American widower and they bond over a mutual love of Kurt Vonnegut and form an unlikely friendship.

I enjoyed this book, Alex’s voice is sweet, intelligent, believable and funny. Extence manages to balance the narration to demonstrate both the naïveté of the teenager and his intelligence and interest in physics and ‘big ideas’. The characters are very likeable and it is easy to empathise with the situations in which Alex finds himself.

My favourite part of the book was the section set in the Natural History Museum in London, which is probably my favourite place to visit in the world. It was lovely to read it described in such detail.

The conclusion to the book is very moving and I now have another book to add to my list of books which made me cry! I particularly liked Mr Peterson’s sentiment at the end of the book “As lives go, I think mine was mostly a good one. I enjoyed the uneventful parts especially”.

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4 thoughts on “Review of ‘The Universe Versus Alex Woods’ by Gavin Extence”

  1. I’ve had this book on my Kindle since last year — I’m glad I saw your review and was reminded that I’d really wanted to read it! It’s good to hear your thoughts; makes me realize that this sounds like something I’ll enjoy. Thanks!

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