The Humanity Project

The Humanity Project

Book - 2013
Average Rating:
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From the New York Times bestselling author of The Year We Left Home , a dazzling new novel already being hailed as an "instantly addictive...tale of yearning, paradox, and hope." ( Booklist )

After surviving a shooting at her high school, Linnea is packed off to live with her estranged father, Art, who doesn't quite understand how he has suddenly become responsible for raising a sullen adolescent girl. Art's neighbor, Christie, is a nurse distracted by an eccentric patient, Mrs. Foster, who has given Christie the reins to her Humanity Project, a bizarre and well-endowed charity fund. Just as mysteriously, no one seems to know where Conner, the Fosters' handyman, goes after work, but he has become the one person Linnea can confide in, perhaps because his own home life is a war zone: his father has suffered an injury and become addicted to painkillers. As these characters and many more hurtle toward their fates, the Humanity Project is born: Can you indeed pay someone to be good? At what price?
Thompson proves herself at the height of her powers in The Humanity Project , crafting emotionally suspenseful and thoroughly entertaining characters, in which we inevitably see ourselves. Set against the backdrop of current events and cultural calamity, it is at once a multifaceted ensemble drama and a deftly observant story of our twenty-first-century society.
Publisher: New York : Blue Rider Press, c2013
ISBN: 9780399158711
Branch Call Number: F THO
Characteristics: 337 p. ; 24 cm

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sharonb122 Feb 13, 2014

I didn't care for this one as much as other Thompson's I have read. The teenage boy, Conner, I liked the best. I did not find there was much redemption in any of the characters through the "Humanity Project." The HP did not seem to do anything at all. Was that the point?

t
tdmenten1
Jul 30, 2013

This is one of those novels that relies heavily on a strong ending that makes you go, "Huh, I never thought of it that way before. Cool." I was ready for it but it ended more like, "Huh. That was disappointing." While some of the characters are developed unevenly, they all drive the novel forward toward answering (or at least addressing) the question of whether or not people are basically good. The Humanity Project of the novel is not as compelling as it could be, and this is when the book starts to fall flat.

clipshie175 Jul 17, 2013

Although the characters were well-drawn, ultimately they were not involving.

e
ealtreuter
Jul 08, 2013

I felt that I had read this book a dozen times before: there are a variety of mostly-irritating characters whose lives intersect, and as usual with this sort of thing, some of their stories are much more interesting than others. There are no great surprises in this book and the school-shooting trope is somewhat overdone. On the other hand, the writing itself was enjoyably precise and evocative - Jean Thompson's skills as a prose writer almost make up for the defects in characterization and plot.

a
acer
May 28, 2013

A good read. Interesting how all the characters are connected, even though they may not realize it. Reminds the reader that we are all connected somehow, like it or not...making the title more than just the name of the fictitious nonprofit.

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