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BoydIn tracing the tangents where these contrasting and various lives intersect and influence one another; in analyzing how a random encounter, placed under the microscope, can reveal a multitude of unexpected links and adjacencies, Flanagan explores both human history and human nature. The authorial tone of voice is controlling and omniscient, as in a Victorian novel. We enter the minds of his key characters at will and learn their most intimate thoughts; ironies and unforeseen historical consequences are alluded to with full wisdom of hindsight.
—The New York Times