Secret Passages

Secret Passages

by Paul Preuss
     
 

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"Mr. Le Carre, meet Dr. Feynman! ... [T]his one really makes the earth move." —Ursula K. Le Guin

Returning to the characters and setting of his widely admired novel, BROKEN SYMMETRIES, SECRET PASSAGES is the story of a revolutionary physics experiment.

SECRET PASSAGES centers on Manolis Minakis, a shepherd boy who grows up orphaned and wild on the island of

Overview

"Mr. Le Carre, meet Dr. Feynman! ... [T]his one really makes the earth move." —Ursula K. Le Guin

Returning to the characters and setting of his widely admired novel, BROKEN SYMMETRIES, SECRET PASSAGES is the story of a revolutionary physics experiment.

SECRET PASSAGES centers on Manolis Minakis, a shepherd boy who grows up orphaned and wild on the island of Crete. But after a meeting with archaeologist John Pendlebury, who appreciates Minakis’ innate gift for mathematics, he is sent to Cambridge University. There, Minakis becomes a renowned physicist and eventually a successful industrialist, returning to Crete in retirement. Using a cache of Minoan treasures, Minakis lures photographer Anne-Marie Brand and her husband, theoretician Peter Slater, to aid in his experimental attempts to recover the past.

Set against the colorful background of the island of Crete, the legendary home of a once-great civilization, earthquakes, love, loss, and the mysterious history of the physicist Minakis make this a fascinating and enthralling novel.

Editorial Reviews

Locus
In Secret Passage Preuss has neatly combined a deeply moving love story, a powerful historical novel, a thoughtful examination of the loss of faith, and a fascinating novel of science in one package. It's an impressive feat.
VOYA - Vicky Burkholder
Historic Crete is the setting for this novel that combines archaeology, quantum physics, and philosophy. Manolis Minakis, a Greek physicist with an interest in the effects of time, is trying to get American theoretical physicist Peter Slater to join him in his research. Rather than try to persuade Slater with money, Minakis sets up an elaborate scheme that lures Peter and his wife, Ann-Marie, to Greece, and he agrees to let Ann-Marie, a magazine photographer, do a story on him and his history. Blackmailed by her brother, an illegal dealer in antiquities, into finding Minakis's cache of priceless Minoan artifacts, Ann-Marie follows Minakis to Crete, leaving Peter behind in Athens, for reasons that are not altogether clear. When Minakis learns that Ann-Marie is being blackmailed, he helps her thwart her brother's plans. She comes to admire Minakis, and when an earthquake leaves him near death, Ann-Marie agrees to bring Peter to Minakis's side. Peter arrives and Minakis gives him the keys to the laboratory, then dies when an aftershock buries him. Taking up Minakis's experiments, Peter retrodevelops old negatives to show that Ann-Marie is the twin of Minakis's mother at fourteen. This story goes nowhere after that, leaving a lot of loose ends. The writing here is technically excellent, earning the book a 4Q. However, dry lectures in philosophy and quantum physics make it at times difficult to read. The first actual science fiction does not show up until page 300, with the rest of the book-about ninety percent-concerning Minakis's history and archaeological digs in Crete. If YAs want a fairly interesting novel about Crete in the period from 1920 to 1945, this might be the one; but if they are looking for a good science fiction novel, keep looking. VOYA Codes: 4Q 2P S (Better than most, marred only by occasional lapses, For the YA with a special interest in the subject, Senior High-defined as grades 10 to 12).
Kirkus Reviews
Contemporary science fictiontinged novel featuring some of the characters from Broken Symmetries (1983), thankfully without that yarn's overwrought melodrama. Following an acrimonious divorce, Anne-Marie Brand finds that her ex, Charlie, has gained custody of their son Carlos; she has a daughter, Jenny, by her current beau, physicist Peter Slater—who's struggling to formulate a new approach to quantum theory. Anne-Marie's problem is that Carlos isn't actually Charlie's son but her brother Alain's, the result of a savage rape. A dealer in ancient artifacts, Alain agrees to admit to Carlos's paternity, but in return Anne-Marie must inquire of the Cretan archaeologist and physicist Manolis Minakis the source of his stunning collection of Minoan artifacts. Surprisingly, Manolis opens up to Anne-Marie, telling her his complicated life story, even showing her the cave where he found the artifacts. Manolis also hints to Peter that he's found a way to reverse time in a small, limited way. After Manolis dies in the earthquake that seals the cave forever, Peter uses the old man's time-reversing device to reconstruct a picture of Manolis's mother—and finally Anne-Marie understands the full Greek tragedy of Manolis's life and why he was so willing to help her. Impressive, low-key, resonant, with a fascinating Cretan backdrop and life-sized characters: Preuss's best outing so far.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781682301555
Publisher:
Diversion Books
Publication date:
06/23/2015
Pages:
360
Product dimensions:
5.40(w) x 8.40(h) x 0.90(d)

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