A Guide for the Perplexed: A Novel

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W. W. Norton & Company, Sep 9, 2013 - Fiction - 336 pages

The incomparable Dara Horn returns with a spellbinding novel of how technology changes memory and how memory shapes the soul.

Software prodigy Josie Ashkenazi has invented an application that records everything its users do. When an Egyptian library invites her to visit as a consultant, her jealous sister Judith persuades her to go. But in Egypt’s postrevolutionary chaos, Josie is abducted—leaving Judith free to take over Josie’s life at home, including her husband and daughter, while Josie’s talent for preserving memories becomes a surprising test of her empathy and her only means of escape.

A century earlier, another traveler arrives in Egypt: Solomon Schechter, a Cambridge professor hunting for a medieval archive hidden in a Cairo synagogue. Both he and Josie are haunted by the work of the medieval philosopher Moses Maimonides, a doctor and rationalist who sought to reconcile faith and science, destiny and free will. But what Schechter finds, as he tracks down the remnants of a thousand-year-old community’s once-vibrant life, will reveal the power and perils of what Josie’s ingenious work brings into being: a world where nothing is ever forgotten.

An engrossing adventure that intertwines stories from Genesis, medieval philosophy, and the digital frontier, A Guide for the Perplexed is a novel of profound inner meaning and astonishing imagination.

 

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - raizel - LibraryThing

Slight SPOILER: While the rest of the book was interesting, what I found most important was the very end: In many stories and in real life, we often want to paint a false, pretty picture of a person ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Maggie.Anton - LibraryThing

I didn't know how to rate this novel. The writing is superb, but the characters are mostly unlikeable, especially those in the modern subplot. Yes Horn wove the 3 parts together well, but I couldn't ... Read full review

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About the author (2013)

Dara Horn is a two-time winner of the National Jewish Book Award for Fiction and one of Granta’s Best American Novelists. She lives in New Jersey with her husband and four children.

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