The Question by R.Breuer Stearns is a treat for intellectual readers, who crave for a book that is a perfect combination of a challenging concept and an enjoyable plot. Nate Heartnell, the Director of the Center for Cognitive Studies, notices an intriguing phenomenon while working on an assignment. He observes that people can communicate and answer the hardest questions only by looking deep into one another’s eyes — no words necessary. He names this project, Mental Unity. With the help of his college friend, Pete Kelly (the White House Chief of Staff), he starts a project on a global scale to understand and establish this concept. However, the choice of his question for this project attracts a wrong crowd, who insist on putting a stop to this project or suffer the consequences. Nate has come too far to go back, but what could he do when the President decided on pulling the trigger. He must weigh his options and decide whether his theory actually has enough evidence of being a reality or it’s a wild goose chase.
I did not know what to expect from the book because the plot started pretty slow, and the synopsis of the book was of no significant help. I liked the narrative style of the author. His writing technique is very impressive, to say the least. Right from the beginning, his immense knowledge on various subjects is clearly established. His description of the technicians, data analysis, and whales is quite engaging. Throughout the book, he includes the readers in a few mental exercises. As Nate’s research progresses, the wonderment of the readers to find answers to his profound questions increases. When he selects the question — does God exist? — for his research, many spectators become an active participant in the research. The author touches the global issue of terrorism, as well, and indicates the irrational logic of terrorists. If a person tries to dig deeper into the existence of God, some people take it upon themselves to stop them. During one conversation, the characters come to a very thought-provoking conclusion regarding faith. Even if the answer to this question comes as negative, it is our choice to accept the result or stick to our faith. Indeed, very deep thought! Just because the result of a project may contradict our belief system, should we use violence to put a stop to it?
The intense research of the author on various topics is easily evident in the book. This must have been a very long term project of the author. His detailed description of the work behind data analysis and cognitive studies, the regions of Afghanistan, the planning of terrorists, and the connection between the brains of humans and animals are enticing and captivating. Although this book is a work of fiction, one cannot help but wonder the existence of the phenomenon of mental unity. When we receive an invitation to a boring event, just by looking into the eyes of our close friend, we know what we want to do. Our thoughts, at that moments, are in sync, and we come up with the perfect excuse to politely refuse the invitation. The author has taken this concept to the next level, where he perceives that this theory expands to a global scale. At times, his perception seemed so real that I wished to try it; however, at other times, I found it hard to correlate.
The characters are realistic, and their actions are believable. The author has enriched his characters with a life and a personality. My favorite character is Charlotte, who is the girlfriend of Nate, because of her intelligent conversations. She is not a typical nagging girlfriend, rather she is a person who is not afraid of contradicting her boyfriend in intellectual matters. She is a confidante and a real companion of Nate. The author has not devoted a lot of time in praising her outer beauty, which is admirable because the common trend is to spend a lot of time in decorating the appearance of a girlfriend; instead, he has given her a life and a brain.
I would recommend this book to the readers who enjoy a fascinating merge of science with philosophy in a book.
I had got a great opportunity of interviewing the author of The Question. Click here to check it out. I promise you would not be disappointed.
Now, for the advantage of my awesome readers, I have a surprise. Click on the link, below, to get a chance of grabbing a copy of this fascinating book:
P.S. This book review is a part of @iReadBookTours. The schedule of this amazing book tour is as mentioned below:
May 30 – My Writing Workshop – review / guest post
May 31 – Reading Writings – review / guest post
June 1 – Mojito With a Twist – review / author interview / giveaway
June 1 – A Mama’s Corner of the World – review / giveaway
June 2 – Heidi’s Wanderings – review / giveaway
June 3 – MoonShine Art Spot – review / giveaway
June 6 – Bookaholic Banter – review / giveaway
June 7 – Olio by Marilyn – review / author interview
June 8 – Library of Clean Reads – review / giveaway
June 9 – The World As I See It – review / giveaway
June 10 – Book Dilettante – review