Theory of Remainders

( 5 )

Overview

At fifty-two, psychiatrist Philip Adler is divorced, alone, and gutted of passion. When a funeral draws him back to his ex-wife's homeland of France, the trip reunites him with a trauma he has struggled to forget: the brutal death of his teenage daughter fifteen years earlier. Prodded by his former brother-in-law and stirred by the unspent embers of his marriage, he embarks on a mission to resolve lingering questions about this past, hoping to heal himself along the way. The search leads to a disturbed man who ...
See more details below
Paperback
$15.45
BN.com price
(Save 14%)$17.99 List Price

Pick Up In Store

Reserve and pick up in 60 minutes at your local store

Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (7) from $2.99   
  • New (4) from $10.89   
  • Used (3) from $2.99   
Theory of Remainders

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK
  • NOOK HD/HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK for PC
  • NOOK for Mac
  • NOOK for Web

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook)
$6.99
BN.com price

Overview

At fifty-two, psychiatrist Philip Adler is divorced, alone, and gutted of passion. When a funeral draws him back to his ex-wife's homeland of France, the trip reunites him with a trauma he has struggled to forget: the brutal death of his teenage daughter fifteen years earlier. Prodded by his former brother-in-law and stirred by the unspent embers of his marriage, he embarks on a mission to resolve lingering questions about this past, hoping to heal himself along the way. The search leads to a disturbed man who may hold more answers than anyone expects-if only Philip can hear what he's trying to say.

A suspenseful literary novel set in the lush backgrounds of Normandy, Theory of Remainders explores the secret ties between love, trauma, and language.

Selected as a Midwest Connections "Pick" by the Midwest Independent Booksellers' Association.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
★ 10/15/2013
Psychiatrist Philip Adler's life has been scarred by terrible tragedy—the murder of his teenage daughter, Sophie. Fifteen years later, he arrives at a psychiatric facility to interrogate the deeply disturbed Édouard Morin, who has been convicted of the murder. Haunted by this event, Philip hopes this meeting will provide closure and perhaps also reveal the location of his daughter's remains. Unfortunately, Édouard only toys with the doctor, lecturing him about math, irrational numbers, and fraction "remainders." This discussion of remainders plays cloyingly with the unresolved whereabouts of Sophie's remains, which Édouard will not disclose, and also highlights the larger thematic elements about life that this intelligent, ambitious debut novel explores. Carpenter has created fiercely intellectual and evenly matched antagonists who are skillfully realized and carry the momentum of the narrative through a few weak patches, where the plotting becomes thin. VERDICT Interested in the difficult journeys we make as we encounter life's sometimes terrifying, often unfair challenges, Carpenter gives much here that will resonate powerfully with readers. A promising and impressive work that in many places is riveting. Recommended for fans of literary fiction.—Patrick Sullivan, Manchester Community Coll., CT
Minnesota Prairie Roots
For anyone who values a literary novel of substantial depth in character development, language, sense of place and reader engagement, Theory of Remainders ranks as a must-read.
Readers Favorite
Every so often a reader comes upon a book that welcomes him like an old friend. The words flow, and the characters become real so quickly and easily that before you know it you are fully engrossed in the tale. Such is the case with Scott Dominic Carpenter's Theory of Remainders, a rare and wondrous novel.
Kirkus Reviews
Carpenter's (This Jealous Earth, 2012) suspenseful debut novel weaves together the consequences of a horrific trauma and the thirst for both vengeance and acceptance with explorations of the human mind, family dynamics and the complexities of language. A psychiatrist seems well-positioned to process the psychic damage of past events, but Dr. Philip Adler, 52, remains devastated 15 years after the violent death of his only child. As a result, his marriage has imploded, he has developed substance abuse problems, and he has run from the Normandy town where he and his family lived. Adler is a broken, lonely man trying to show strength to others through his clinical practice, but he's unable to reconcile the events of the past. Although Édouard Morin, a mentally ill local youth, confessed to the crime and has been institutionalized and everyone involved, including Adler's ex-wife and her new family, wants very much to forget the episode, the body of teenage Sophie Adler has never been found. When the death of Adler's mother-in-law impels him to finally return to Yvetot, France, he realizes that he must reach closure before he can try to build a new life. Of the many ways a novelist could approach the search for a missing body, Carpenter opts for a most complex and ingenious one--through a detailed analysis of the language used by the brilliant, psychotic Morin during his brief, ill-advised interviews with Adler. This taut, high-stakes plotline is very effective, but the novel contains much more than this. Although Adler is a former resident and fluent in French, he is an interloper in the close-knit community. He is an American; he lacks understanding of the intricacies of French culture; and he is a constant reminder of the town's inability to keep one of their own safe. As he stirs up unpleasant memories, the town mobilizes against him. The author's ability to satirize the French people's distaste for outsiders and their inflexibility brings mordant humor to the grim proceedings. Fully realized characters, a remarkable fluency of language, wit, and an extensive comprehension of French culture and history make this literary novel a stellar achievement.
Kirkus Reviews
Fully realized characters, a remarkable fluency of language, wit, and an extensive comprehension of French culture and history make this literary novel a stellar achievement. (Starred Review)
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780988904910
  • Publisher: Winter Goose Publishing
  • Publication date: 3/22/2013
  • Pages: 286
  • Sales rank: 500,830
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.65 (d)

Meet the Author

A professor of literature at Carleton College (MN), Scott Dominic Carpenter is the author of the recent collection This Jealous Earth (MG Press 2013), which was described as “charmingly nostalgic” (Publisher's Weekly) and “incredibly moving” (The Rumpus). The New Podler Review named it a “Best Book of 2012,” and author Siri Hustvedt called the collection “psychologically acute and elegantly written… By turns sad, funny, tender, and alarming.” A Pushcart Prize nominee, Carpenter has published broadly in literary journals. His work has been included in Best Indie Lit New England 2012.
His website is at www.sdcarpenter.com.
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 5 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(5)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing all of 5 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 9, 2014

    Besides being a well-written and engaging read with intriguing w

    Besides being a well-written and engaging read with intriguing word play, this novel speaks to
    universal themes of love and loss, the pull of family relationships, the power of language and
    memory, and the healing that can be found in community. The world of Phillip Adler became my
    world and his search for truth and meaning were mine. There was no disappointment, just amazing
    unexpected twists and surprises. I loved this book and I recommend it highly! It draws you in like a
    good detective story but entertains you far beyond this simple pleasure. I loved the complex characters,
    clever linguistic puzzles, and most of all the rich portrait of the small town of Yvetot that appears as
    yet another protagonist of this multi-layered story.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 25, 2013

    Exceptional read!

    Very intense. Intelligent. Unpredictable. Kept me intrigued.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 7, 2013

    Theory of Remainders is a haunting thriller about a man¿s search

    Theory of Remainders is a haunting thriller about a man’s search for—and subsequent obsession with— the truth, the connections developed with places as well as with people, and the associations made with and acceptance (or denial) of the tragedies that befall us. Mr. Carpenter deftly paints a haunted portrait of Philip Adler, a wretchedly wrung-dry protagonist who finds new purpose when he revisits the greatest trauma of his life—the death of his teenage daughter. The story details perfectly his descent into and out of grief and, eventually, into full-flung mania as he desperately searches for answers. The setting is vivid, the characters real, and the process is gorgeously rendered. There is no fluff here, just the absolute essentials for telling an utterly engrossing tale start to finish. Mr. Carpenter is in perfect control of his craft, and the results are dazzlingly compelling.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 28, 2013

    Perceptive Page-Turner! This literary suspense novel is a tanta

    Perceptive Page-Turner!

    This literary suspense novel is a tantalizing twist on the typical whodunit. We know who has confessed to the murder of a teenage girl in a small town in Normandy, but her body is still missing and family members continue to grapple with that lack of closure 15 years on. The murdered girl's father, now a divorced psychiatrist working in Boston, returns to France for a family funeral and must deal with long-buried memories and emotions that rise to the surface, causing him to revisit his traumatic past and attempt to find his daughter's remains. The one person who knows where her body is can't seem to answer his questions--or is he unable to understand what is being said?

    Besides being a well-written and engaging read with intriguing word play, this novel speaks to universal themes of love and loss, the pull of family relationships, the power of language and memory, and the healing that can be found in community. But be warned: I started it one evening and was up until 3 a.m. the next morning because I couldn't put it down. And I can't help but recall the characters' complex emotions as I come across news stories about missing children and the real-life people caught up in such tragedies.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted May 21, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite When we first mee

    Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite

    When we first meet Philip Adler he is in session with a troubled patient, a young woman with whom Adler is playing a sort of chess game. Who will speak first? What is the appropriate position to take in response? If you have ever wondered what goes on in the mind of a psychiatrist while he or she is in session with a patient, "Theory of Remainders" may give you some idea. Philip's life outside the office is relatively set and predictable: chess games with long-distance players and shared meals with Edith his cat—until he receives a telephone call from his ex-wife in France. His mother-in-law has died, and it seems the appropriate thing for him to do is attend her funeral, even if it has been a number of years since he was last in France. 

    Every so often a reader comes upon a book that welcomes him like an old friend. The words flow, and the characters become real so quickly and easily that before you know it you are fully engrossed in the tale. Such is the case with Scott Dominic Carpenter's "Theory of Remainders," a rare and wondrous novel. Philip is an engaging character, and one winces in sympathy as he struggles through the reunion with his ex-wife and her family and resolutely maims the French language with his Yankee accent. His efforts to find out where his daughter Sophie’s remains were hidden by her murderer, 15 years previously, make this very literary novel also a compelling mystery, one that I thoroughly enjoyed and wholeheartedly recommend.¿

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing all of 5 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)