The Coincidence Engine, By Sam Leith
Tales of the totally unexpected
Sunday 08 April 2012
A hurricane in Alabama assembles a jumbo jet from the contents of a scrapyard. This is the kind of thing that happens when the "Coincidence Engine", invented by mad mathematician Nicolas Banacharski, gets to work.
A chase through America ensues – weapons dealers and the Directorate of the Extremely Improbable want to get their hands on the engine, while maths student Alex Smart is just there to propose to his girlfriend. The novel crackles with ideas; unfortunately the characters are not interesting enough to match. Leith writes well, but somehow the book seems to lack soul. The ideas-driven plot is reminiscent of Douglas Adams, but although Leith's prose is more polished than Adams's, he lacks his exuberance and humour.
Is the comedy album making a comeback?comedy
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 'Women should not laugh in public,' says Turkey's Deputy Prime Minister in morality speech
- 2 The secret report that helps Israel hide facts
- 3 Is Ebola coming to Britain? UK health officials issue warning to doctors as outbreak fears grow
- 4 Richard Dawkins says 'date rape is bad, stranger rape is worse' on Twitter
- 5 Danish TV reporter is all business up top, all party down below
'Phallic symbols' found hidden in famous Pre-Raphaelite painting 'Isabella' by John Everett Millais
Top Gear Burma episode breached Ofcom rules over Jeremy Clarkson's racial slur
Freddie Prinze Jr on 24: 'Kiefer Sutherland was the most unprofessional dude in the world – I hated every moment of it'
The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies trailer unveiled at Comic-Con
How did our legends really begin?
The secret report that helps Israel hide facts
A day in the life of Vladimir Putin: The dictator in his labyrinth
Woman and two children killed by mob in riots over 'blasphemous' Facebook post in Pakistan
Putin is 'thuggish, dishonest and reckless', says British ambassador to US
Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite – Britain as others see us
Were 'Poor Doors' added to mixed developments so wealthy residents don't have to go in alongside social housing tenants?
- < Previous
- Next >