The Lightest Object in the Universe

The Lightest Object in the Universe

If the grid went down, how would you find someone on the other side of the country? How would you find hope? After a global economic collapse and failure of the electrical grid, amid escalating chaos, Carson, a high school teacher of history who sees history bearing out its lessons all around him, heads west on foot toward Beatrix, a woman he met and fell hard for during a...

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Title:The Lightest Object in the Universe
Author:Kimi Eisele
Rating:

The Lightest Object in the Universe Reviews

  • Karen’s Library

    I'm not crying... YOU'RE crying! Ok... Maybe I'm crying just a little.

    I'm a huge fan of apocalyptic stories. There aren't many out there that are actually kind of hopeful. But folks, this one is just that! Very hopeful! Most of the book is about how the goodness of people come through rather than the dregs of society taking over.

    The Lightest Object in the Universe is the story of Carson on the east coast, and Beatrix on the west coast. Shortly after a soft apocalypse caused by a flu, Carson hea

    I'm not crying... YOU'RE crying! Ok... Maybe I'm crying just a little.

    I'm a huge fan of apocalyptic stories. There aren't many out there that are actually kind of hopeful. But folks, this one is just that! Very hopeful! Most of the book is about how the goodness of people come through rather than the dregs of society taking over.

    The Lightest Object in the Universe is the story of Carson on the east coast, and Beatrix on the west coast. Shortly after a soft apocalypse caused by a flu, Carson heads out on a journey from coast to coast to reunite with Beatrix, whom he loves.

    While Carson travels, Beatrix helps form a new community as the survivors begin anew in the world that's left.

    This is a love story and I couldn't get enough. This is the kind of world I hope to find if there ever is some kind of worldwide disaster.

    *Thank you so much to NetGalley and Algonquin Books for the advance copy!*

  • Chris

    Absolutely and thoroughly enjoyed this!

    My childhood neighbor and friend wrote this book and I could not be more proud of her!

    I happy bought this at our local indie bookstore and started reading immediately and had no idea what to expect. The extra best thing about this is that this is exactly the sort of book that I would have devoured even if I didn't know the author.

    The grid goes down, society collapses, and the characters we follow are trying to survive and sustain themselves post-apocalypse

    Absolutely and thoroughly enjoyed this!

    My childhood neighbor and friend wrote this book and I could not be more proud of her!

    I happy bought this at our local indie bookstore and started reading immediately and had no idea what to expect. The extra best thing about this is that this is exactly the sort of book that I would have devoured even if I didn't know the author.

    The grid goes down, society collapses, and the characters we follow are trying to survive and sustain themselves post-apocalypse style. The story focuses on two people on opposite coasts who are trying to find each other and reconnect yet without the technology that we have become so used to communicating with -- it's a difficult task and near impossible to hope that they will indeed see each other again.

    Beatrix has been an activist for years, traveling in and out of South America helping establish free-trade and worker empowerment. Carson is a History professor on the East Coast. I really enjoyed the little bits that I know of Kimi in this -- the South American and the Pennsylvania bits. (smile).

    What I also really loved was how familiar these characters felt, how easy it was to love them and feel like I know them -- both in the book and in the real world. This story could be taken right out of my life and that was all the more exciting.

    Beatrix is working with her neighborhood on a sustainable collective lifestyle. Carson meanwhile is walking across the country. Both of them are hearing Blue's radio broadcasts -- encouraging everyone to come to "The Center". His preaching ways are enticing and it sounds like a perfect solution. Yet it's hard to walk hundreds of miles and many don't make it. Like any post-apocalptic world there are marauders and bandits and you never know quite who you can trust. Fortunately this is a story of hope and has a very positive spin on humanity working together for the greater good.

    I loved it right up until the very last sentence. It held me in it's grip the whole way through. A new spin on a common theme, all the more pertinent and believable in our near future.

    Love Love Love this book!

  • Rainey

    I was gifted this book by a bookseller friend along with a recommendation based on how lovely the author is and a pitch of the book as an "uplifting post-apocalyptic novel." Who can resist that?

    Not only did The Lightest Object deliver on its promo pitch, the graceful, careful, utter humanity of the writing blew me away from the very first page. Eisele handles our grief, our flaws, and our very hearts with such delicacy as is rarely encountered. I cannot recommend this enough.

  • Lissa

    Well-written and full of haunting scenes of post-apocalyptic America, I devoured this book and it grew on me the more that I read it. It follows two adult characters who had a brief romance and are now trying to connect with each other even thought they live on opposite sides of the country. I wish that there was a little more details concerning how society crumbled, but descriptions of the aftermath were some of the best I have read. I received a digital ARC of this book through NetGalley in ex

    Well-written and full of haunting scenes of post-apocalyptic America, I devoured this book and it grew on me the more that I read it. It follows two adult characters who had a brief romance and are now trying to connect with each other even thought they live on opposite sides of the country. I wish that there was a little more details concerning how society crumbled, but descriptions of the aftermath were some of the best I have read. I received a digital ARC of this book through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

  • Paula Kalin

    This is a first! A dystopian novel about rebuilding rather than destruction!

    Kimi Eisele’s debut gives us a world where the government no longer exists, electricity is gone, and along with it the economy. Society has collapsed due to a flu outbreak. The heart of the story, however, is about two people in love that are on opposite sides of the country and their journey to get back together.

    Beatrix, a fair trade advocate and protester, is on the West Coast, and Carson, a history teacher, is on the

    This is a first! A dystopian novel about rebuilding rather than destruction!

    Kimi Eisele’s debut gives us a world where the government no longer exists, electricity is gone, and along with it the economy. Society has collapsed due to a flu outbreak. The heart of the story, however, is about two people in love that are on opposite sides of the country and their journey to get back together.

    Beatrix, a fair trade advocate and protester, is on the West Coast, and Carson, a history teacher, is on the East Coast. Carson decides to make the trek cross country to find Beatrix. What unfolds is a wonderful story about the resilience of the surviving human race and the start to new beginnings.

    Carson’s journey brings him in touch with all sorts of people. Some are staying put, and others are traveling elsewhere. Many have been enticed to join Jonathan Blue who has been broadcasting via radio of a new paradise for the lost. Carson, however, decides to continue walking to the West Coast. The uplifting theme, however, is about those survivors that he does meet and their goodwill. Many that he meets on the road offer food, water, shelter, and the hope Carson needs to continue his long and arduous journey.

    Meanwhile, Beatrix has decided to stay put and, with the help of others, starts to build a new community. They share knowledge and possessions, bring to life a radio broadcast of their own, and rebuild as best they can.

    THE LIGHTEST OBJECT IN THE UNIVERSE is a delightful story about coming together, hope, and starting over.

    3.5 out of 5 stars

    Many thanks to Algonquin Books and Andrew for the ARC of Kim Eisele’s debut novel in exchange for an honest review.

  • Scooter McDermitt

    For its first third, I found

    to be deeply frustrating. Here I am reading a novel about the end of the world - flu has wiped out a huge chunk of humanity, the government just sort-of decided to stop working, commerce has collapsed, and the electrical grid has stopped reducing iPhones and computers to useless blocks of plastic and metal - and the world stubbornly refuses to end. Where were the Nuke Pooches,

    For its first third, I found

    to be deeply frustrating. Here I am reading a novel about the end of the world - flu has wiped out a huge chunk of humanity, the government just sort-of decided to stop working, commerce has collapsed, and the electrical grid has stopped reducing iPhones and computers to useless blocks of plastic and metal - and the world stubbornly refuses to end. Where were the Nuke Pooches, the marauding cannibal, road warriors, the blood-thirsty packs of sentient AIs, and the mushroom clouds? The problem wasn't with Kimi Eisele  (who's debut novel is one those infuriating books that makes you want to congratulate the author for creating something so unique, but at the same time, leaves you completely jealous that they can come so close to perfection with their first try); the problem was me. You see, I thought I was getting a novel about the end of the world, but Kimi Eisele wrote one about the world beginning. 

    Set soon after the collapse of the world as we know it,

    tells the story of Beatrix (a Fair Trade advocate), Carson (a school principal trying to piece his life back together after the loss of his wife), his journey across the changed landscape of the United States, and her attempt to pull together a community that is threatening to fragment as water, food, and trust become increasingly rare commodities. It's a set-up rife with potential for exploring the darkest side of human psyche, but instead the author populates her novel with charcters who see the end of the world as an opportunity to build a new society where people work together to solve problems instead of looking for ways to maximize their own survival. That's not to say that there is no danger to be found in Kimi Eisle's novel - a deadly flu seems to be getting more lethal with every outbreak, a gang of bicycling terrorists teenagers angered that their generation has lost its future threaten to derail all progress, and a strange ascension cult which promises simple solutions to complex problems are constant and real threats - but these threats are overshadowed by the combined decency of the survivors who see their own pain and loss reflected in the eyes of the people they meet on the road to anywhere. 

    In the end, Kimi Eisle, dosen't see the loss of our lifestyle as an ending, but as a beginning. It's our willingness to place more importance on the invisible people that we reach through our phones than the people we see everyday in our neighborhoods that is the true end of a world worth living in, and it's the same tools that connect the world and supposedly bring us together are the things that are keeping us most apart. In

    it's the loss of everything we think is important that acts as the catalyst for giving the human race a chance to live again. 

  • Sam Sattler

    I count dystopian or post-apocalyptic novels among my favorites, but having read quite a few of them over the years I’ve started to realize that finding something even a little different in the genre is not easy – not that I’m going to let that keep me from trying. Kimi Eisele’s The Lightest Object in the Universe is one dystopian novel that does manage to stand out from the crowd a bit. And that’s both the good news and the bad news.

    When the world economy finally crashes from all the abuses it’

    I count dystopian or post-apocalyptic novels among my favorites, but having read quite a few of them over the years I’ve started to realize that finding something even a little different in the genre is not easy – not that I’m going to let that keep me from trying. Kimi Eisele’s The Lightest Object in the Universe is one dystopian novel that does manage to stand out from the crowd a bit. And that’s both the good news and the bad news.

    When the world economy finally crashes from all the abuses it’s suffered at the hands of incompetent and criminal manipulators over the decades, it drags governments and the whole power grid down with it. The United States, it seems, is particularly hard hit by the implosion. Suddenly, cell phones, personal computers, tablets, and smart watches are little more than plastic bricks of various sizes and shapes. Mass communication is a thing of the past. Ready or not, everyone is on his own, and survival is something that will have to be worked at every day for the rest of your life. And it won’t be easy.

    Carson and Beatrix are on opposite ends of the country when it happens. The pair met just days before the collapse, but both of them remember the sparks that flew during the little time they were able to share together before Beatrix had to return to the West Coast. Now, Carson is determined somehow to make his way from one coast to the other – and he is prepared to walk all the way even without knowing whether or not Beatriz will be there when, or if, he finally gets there.

    What makes The Lightest Object in the Universe different from most novels of its type is its ever-present sense of optimism and goodwill, a feeling that the good people in the world so overwhelmingly outnumber the bad ones that things will work out in the end. Everywhere our main characters turn they are met with people willing to share their expertise or whatever else they can spare. Oh, sure, there are some bad guys out there who will gladly kill and rape at the drop of a hat, but they never seem to get the upper hand for long. But this brings us to the “good news-bad news” scenario I mentioned earlier.

    I suppose that Kimi Eisele’s novel exposes me as being more a cynic than an optimist because I was never able to get completely comfortable with an apocalyptic world in which the crime rate is seemingly lower now than it was in the world that preceded it. This is a world, in fact, in which most of the crime - and even that is mostly theft and relatively minor assault - is perpetrated by pre-teens and teens on bicycles. If already dangerous neighborhoods and large cities are violently tearing themselves apart, it is all happening behind the scenes. This allows the overall sense of optimism to be maintained, but it kept me wondering what was happening elsewhere, and how long it would be before those worlds would collide with this one. That’s the bad news – at least for more cynical readers like me.

    The good news is that this is an uplifting novel, one filled with hope and confidence in human nature, that I enjoyed reading despite my occasional twinges of doubt. It is more a story about the creation of a new world than it is one about the destruction of an old world.

    And that just may be exactly what you need right now, so take a look.

  • Georgette

    Is happiness possible in a post-apocalyptic world? Eisele makes you believe it is. A pretty good book for the subject matter.

  • Faith Hurst-Bilinski

    It’s getting harder to write dystopian novels, I think. The writing here is as beautiful but the story itself didn’t capture me the way I thought it would. The back and forth between the stories of the two main characters seemed abrupt and I never really got the sense of wanting them to find each other.

  • Iryna *Book and Sword*

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