The Curiosity-Stephen P. Kiernan

The Curiosity
Stephen P. Kiernan
Morrow, Jul 9 2013, $25.99
ISBN: 9780062221063

Funded by brilliant lunatic Erastus Carthage, molecular biologist Dr. Kate Philo has successfully reanimated dead crustaceans and plankton. When the perfectly preserved frozen body of Judge Jeremiah Rice, who fell off an Arctic research vessel in 1906, is found, Carthage sees an opportunity to skip several tests on bringing back to life the dead.

Philo succeeds in bringing back the Harvard graduate causing a fire and brimstone religious fervor enhanced by the media. Carthage’s superego glows in glory while others see an abomination or greedy monetary awards. That is except Philo who wants to help the beleaguered Rice adapt to a foreign crude world he finds lacking in family values as even the National pastime has gone crass and avaricious.

Putting aside the plausibility (or lack of) of the pseudoscience, The Curiosity is an entertaining morality tale in which Stephen P. Kiernan finds the twenty-first century lacking as he fondly compares today to the Gaslight Era. The key cast lacks development as each represents a metaphor of what is wrong with society today or in the case of Rice what was right in society back then (sort of a Happy Days nostalgic look at the Gaslight Era). Still readers will enjoy 1900 sensibilities meeting 2000 insensibilities.

Harriet Klausner

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