Astonishing the Gods: A Novel
One of the BBC’s “100 Novels That Shaped Our World,” a much-needed fable that could change how we see ourselves and our reality, from the renowned Booker Prize–winning author.
A young man finds himself among invisible beings who have built a world based on one principle: that we must repeat every experience until we live it fully for the first time. “Only then can we find what we didn’t seek and go where we don’t intend to go.”
Ben Okri navigates the world at once as a writer, an artist, a musician, and a philosopher—in the process, he challenges our craving for the visual and the concrete. We read him not only with our eyes but also with our senses, our intuition. As his story unfolds we begin to inhabit the ineffable land that he creates, our imagination led to a place where what we once thought were fundamental truths are turned magically on their heads.
In the difficult times we live in, in an age decimated by injustice and inequality, Okri brings unexpected insights as meaningful as they are transformative.
“Maybe what seeks us is better than what we seek.”
Praise for Astonishing the Gods: A Novel
“Amazing. I think this is as close as you can get to reliving the experience of a bedtime story.” —The Guardian
“Illuminating…The episodic structure and beautiful poetic language perfectly complement the hero’s journey. The narrative’s kaleidoscopic nature has a transformative effect on the reader, making it deserving of a cult classic status.” —Publishers Weekly
“This slim but heady allegorical fable…will doubtless appeal to many of the readers who have made Paulo Coelho’s The Alchemist a perennial success…a sumptuous new wisdom text.” —Library Journal
“Colorful and detailed yet somehow ethereal…a pithy allegorical novel about the power of the unseen.” —Foreword Reviews
“A modern-day classic.” —Evening Standard
“Beautiful. A new creation myth.” —Daily Telegraph
“I just finished Ben Okri’s Astonishing the Gods and, quite frankly, I was awed. What a strange, unique, and enchanting book it is.” —Nick Cave, singer, songwriter, and coauthor of Faith, Hope and Carnage