The year is 1911. In Cold Spring Harbour, New York, the newly formed Eugenics Records Office is sending its agents to catalogue the infirm, the insane, and the criminal - with an eye to a cull, for the betterment of all. Near Cracked Wheel, Montana, a terrible illness leaves Jason Thistledown an orphan, stranded in his dead mother's cabin until the spring thaw shows him the true meaning of devastation - and the barest thread of hope. At the edge of the utopian mill town of Eliada, Idaho, Doctor Andrew Waggoner faces a Klansman's noose and glimpses wonder in the twisting face of the patient known only as Mister Juke. And deep in a mountain lake overlooking that town, something stirs, and thinks, in its way: Things are looking up.
Eutopia follows Jason and Andrew as together and alone, they delve into the secrets of Eliada - industrialist Garrison Harper's attempt to incubate a perfect community on the edge of the dark woods and mountains of northern Idaho. What they find reveals the true, terrible cost of perfection - the cruelty of the surgeon's knife - the folly of the cull - and a monstrous pact with beings that use perfection as a weapon, and faith as a trap.
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While not in the same league as Stephen King, the idea for the story was so unique that it kept my interest. Its nice to read something with an original approach. I found it well described and details seemed realistic for such a strange concept. I also liked the time period and the dialogue felt accurate historically.
The narrator was slightly above average in that he neither added or detracted to the story line. All in all I would say that it was worth my time to listen and with the exception of the ending, a well crafted book. While I would not rush out and buy another book from this author I would at least be motivated to explore his other works.
19th Century horror/fantasy
Good narrator! Love the historical touches.
It really should be either a novel about Eugenics gone wrong (can it go any other way?) or a horror story with supernatural beings -- not both. But it was fun trying to figure out the "mystery" and who was zoomin' who.
- J. Furnari