One of NPR's Books We Love for 2022 • A New Yorker Best Books of 2022 So Far • A Publishers Weekly Best Novel of 2022 • A Chicago Public Library Best Book of 2022 • One of Time's 100 Must-Read Books of 2022 • An Oprah Daily and Literary Hub Favorite Book of 2022 • A BookBrowse Best Novel for Book Clubs in 2024
A stunning new novel from the author of A Children’s Bible, a National Book Award finalist and one of the New York Times' 10 Best Books of 2020.
Over twelve novels and two collections Lydia Millet has emerged as a major American novelist. Hailed as "a writer without limits" (Karen Russell) and "a stone-cold genius" (Jenny Offill), Millet makes fiction that vividly evokes the ties between people and other animals and the crisis of extinction.
Her exquisite new novel is the story of a man named Gil who walks from New York to Arizona to recover from a failed love. After he arrives, new neighbors move into the glass-walled house next door and his life begins to mesh with theirs. In this warmly textured, drily funny, and philosophical account of Gil’s unexpected devotion to the family, Millet explores the uncanny territory where the self ends and community begins—what one person can do in a world beset by emergencies.
Dinosaurs is both sharp-edged and tender, an emotionally moving, intellectually resonant novel that asks: In the shadow of existential threat, where does hope live?
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
Prolific author Lydia Millet takes on lots of big life questions in this remarkably tender novel. Thanks to his family wealth, Gil has been able to focus on volunteer charity work…and his fascination with reptiles. Searching for a fresh start after a breakup, Gil moves from Manhattan to Phoenix, where he’s drawn into the quirky lives of his new neighbors, Ardis and Ted, who live in a house with a floor-to-ceiling glass wall. Millet’s wild imagination, snappy prose, and keen observations about personal growth and relationships are a total delight. As with her previous book, A Children’s Bible, her emotionally complex characters pull us right in. Fun and quick, the novel’s full of compelling musings about the meaning of life.
Being and Not Being
This was my first foray into Lydia Millet’s writing. A fast read with a tone that was introspective and whimsical. Leaving me unsure of what to make of it. Millet’s style and fresh approach is one I could explore again. This one in particular is interesting in that it reads like an “eat the rich” narrative but from the other perspective.
Millet drew out a lot of compelling life questions in a short space. Such as finding purpose when life has been paved for you. Also, the nature of forgiveness and closure along with who they serve. The bird narrative was a clever tie-in to the idea of migration and nesting juxtaposed to the main characters.
Millet also doesn’t hold back on the social commentary on the haves and have nots, religion, politics, and love. I did wonder though if she was poking holes into or upholding the white savior narrative. Like Franzen, you won’t get finality in this but you will get a story that lingers with you for a long time.
Pointless and Boring
This book is just chapter after chapter of various character and plot set-ups that don’t go anywhere. Pointless and boring, although the author clearly can write. Maybe fire the agent?