February 22 , 2009

Mr. Spaceman


"There are three things about this planet which are too wonderful for me. Make that four things. The way of dreams in the mind; the way of tears in the eye; the way of words in the mouth; and the way of my wife Edna Bradshaw when she acts like a cat and love-nibbles me into her arms." This is the voice of Desi, the hero of Robert Olen Butler's novel Mr. Spaceman, who has kept a quiet vigil above the Earth for decades while studying the confusing, fascinating, and frustrating primary species of our planet, occasionally venturing to the planet's surface to hear their thoughts and experience their memories using his empathic powers. Now, on December 31, 2000, he prepares for the final phase of his mysterious mission, which begins when he beams a tour bus bound for a Louisiana casino aboard his ship. The twelve passengers will be the last humans whose lives he will experience before he positions his spaceship in full and irrefutable view of the people of Earth, and descend to the planet's surface to proclaim his presence to all of humanity at the turn of the millennium. Poignant, funny, and charming, Mr. Spaceman is filled with unexpected twists and turns, a tribute to the powers of love and understanding and the essence of what it means to be human.
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