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The Universe Versus Alex Woods

by Gavin Extence

Modern and Contemporary Fiction Debut Books of the Month Debuts eBooks of the Month Family Drama Literary Fiction

LoveReading Expert Review of The Universe Versus Alex Woods

One of our Books of the Year 2013.

We meet a 17-year old Alex as he is stopped by customs at Dover with a glove compartment full of marijuana and Mr Peterson's urn of ashes on the passenger seat beside him.  I'm hooked.  [We then go back to the start of that unlikely friendship when a bullied 12-year Alex, escaping his tormenters, bursts into Mr Peterson's garden and appears to destroy his greenhouse.  As penance his mother makes young Alex help Mr Peterson and so a wonderful friendship emerges, based initially around an introduction to Kurt Vonnegut.]  Alex has had a very strange childhood and seems to collect disasters but in his deadpan narrative relates much of the extraordinary incidents of his young years as nothing to get too excited about.  But I did.  I got excited all the way through.  Couldn't leave the book alone and certainly dub it one of my all time favourites.  A wonderful tale.


The Lovereading view...

Sad, funny, entertaining and profound The Universe versus Alex Woods is a tale of an unexpected friendship, an unlikely hero and an improbable journey which we join as Alex is stopped at Dover customs with 113 grams of marijuana and an urn full of ashes on the passenger seat. This debut which treads the fine line between light and dark, laughter and tears has already been snapped up by lots of international publishers and could be the next Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time.


Click here to read Alex's recommended reads.

Sarah Broadhurst

The Universe Versus Alex Woods Synopsis

A tale of an unexpected friendship, an unlikely hero and an improbable journey, Alex's story treads the fine line between light and dark, laughter and tears.



And it might just strike you as one of the funniest, most heartbreaking novels you've ever read. Alex Woods knows that he hasn't had the most conventional start in life.

He knows that growing up with a clairvoyant single mother won't endear him to the local bullies. He also knows that even the most improbable events can happen - he's got the scars to prove it. What he doesn't know yet is that when he meets ill-tempered, reclusive widower Mr Peterson, he'll make an unlikely friend.

Someone who tells him that you only get one shot at life. That you have to make the best possible choices. So when, aged seventeen, Alex is stopped at Dover customs with 113 grams of marijuana, an urn full of ashes on the passenger seat, and an entire nation in uproar, he's fairly sure he's done the right thing ...

About This Edition

ISBN: 9781444765892
Publication date: 9th May 2013
Author: Gavin Extence
Publisher: Hodder Paperback an imprint of Hodder & Stoughton General Division
Format: Paperback
Pagination: 432 pages
Primary Genre Modern and Contemporary Fiction
Other Genres:
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Other editions of this book

ISBN: 9781444765892
Publication date: 09/05/2013
Format: Paperback

ISBN: 9781444765885
Publication date: 31/01/2013
Format: Hardback

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About Gavin Extence

Gavin Extence was born in 1982 and grew up in the interestingly named village of Swineshead, Lincolnshire. From the ages of 5-11, he enjoyed a brief but illustrious career as a chess player, winning numerous national championships and travelling to Moscow and St Petersburg to pit his wits against the finest young minds in Russia. He won only one game.   Author photo © Alix Extence

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