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“[The Weight of Numbers] blends excellent prose with innumerable characters in an insanely complicated plot, with important global issues sprinkled in, and it all makes sense.” Robert VerBruggen, The Washington Times
The Weight of Numbers
978-0-8021-7030-9 • $14.00 • Paperback • Mar. 2007
A masterful, panoramic novel that reveals a secret history of the world guided not by design but by malevolent chance, The Weight of Numbers will establish Simon Ings as one of the most brilliant literary talents of his generation.
“Like Don DeLillo’s Underworld, Simon Ings’s remarkable new work delivers nothing less than a secret key, a counterhistory, of the last sixty years. Ings’s fiction is vivid and swift, a thing of scenes and people, smugglers and astronauts, spies and revolutionaries. But beyond the topical excitements lies something even grandera vision of our culture as a death ship. The Weight of Numbers is amazing.” Mark Costello, author of Big If
The Weight of Numbers is a big, ambitious novel that posits a world where everything is connected but, post-faith, post-fate, all we have left to guide us is numbers.
On July 21, 1969, two astronauts set foot on the moon; far below, in ravaged Mozambique, a young revolutionary is murdered by a package bomb. From these two unconnected events, Simon Ings weaves a glittering web.
The Weight of Numbers describes the metamorphosis of three people: Anthony Burden, a mathematical genius destroyed by the beauty of numbers; Saul Cogan, transformed from prankster idealist to trafficker in the poor and dispossessed; and Stacey Chavez, ex-teenage celebrity and mediocre performance artist, hungry for fame and starved of love. All are haunted by Nick Jinks, a malevolent curse of a man who seems to be everywhere at once. As a grid of connections emerges between a dusty philosophical society in London and an African revolution, between international container shipping and celebrity-hosted exposés on the problems of the Third World, this novel sends the specters of the baby boom’s liberal
revolutions floating into the unreal estate of globalization and media overloadwith a deadly payoff.
The Weight of Numbers is an artful and deadly novel that traces the secret histories and paranoid fantasies of our culture into a future globalized in ways both liberating and hideous, full of information and empty of meaning. Simon Ings has delivered a storytelling tour de force that will alter some of your most cherished beliefs.