A Person of Interest

  • by Susan Choi
  • Narrated by Bernadette Dunne
  • 16 hrs and 2 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Lee is a math professor at a second-tier university in the Midwest. When a mail bomb goes off in the office of the star computer scientist next door, Lee is slow to realize that students and colleagues have begun to suspect that he's the Brain Bomber, an elusive terrorist whose primary targets appear to be academic hotshots.In the midst of campus tumult over the bombing, a letter arrives from a figure in Lee's past, which forces him to revisit events and choices that shaped his failed marriage, his life as a father, and his work as a scholar of middling achievement. While Lee becomes further ensnared in the FBI's attempts to find the bomber, the churned-up regrets from his past bring him to an examination of extremes in his own life as he tries to exonerate himself, face his tormentor from his past, and atone for his failings.

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What the Critics Say

"Choi juggles suspense and psychological drama with an acrobatic dexterity." (Los Angeles Times)
"She has an eye for the telling details that reveal complicated, fully developed characters as well as an equally acute sensitivity for the times we live in." (Minneapolis Star-Tribune)
"Pulitzer Prize finalist Susan Choi returns with a straight-up thriller....gripping, smart." (GQ)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Slow going...but worth it!

This book takes patience, but the results are worth the time and energy invested. The story line is original and the protagonist is interesting, but throughout most of the book the secondary characters seem vague and the chronology can appear muddy. This is not helped by Choi's style which tends towards complex sentences and sudden shifts in plot lines, even though her writing is rich in introspection and provocative sensitivity. All of this dreaminess can frustrate the reader, and I found myself rewinding frequently. It all clears up in the end, however, and I give this book four out of five stars, because there seem to be so many loose ends and blind alleys everywhere, because so many of the characters seem ill-defined, shadowy, and many of them not really likable, and because there is an undertow of political correctness, which doesn't seem integral to the story itself. However this read does rate high on my list, though, for psychological suspense, despite its meanderings. And, if you like following a narrative without really knowing what is really going on until the last minute then this one is for you!
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- Pamela Harvey "glam"

Eleanor Rigby in the time of terrorism

A marvelous book: on one level it's about a unibomber-type event and how a math professor becomes a person of interest in the investigation, on another it is how a man who defines himself as American is defined as "Asian" or "immigrant" or "suspicious" by casual colleagues and neighbors. Choi's deft exposure of subtle, unintentional racism lurking under the surface was shocking to me as an Anglo- and felt all too true. But that's just one of many threads, not a lecture to the reader- just one of many threads making up the life of a sad old man. Rather than a police procedural, it is a character study, it builds slowly and like the Sixth Sense, we too are mislead by Lee's spotty memories, with a great payoff at the end. The Village Voice compared the character to Eleanor Rigby, very apt.

I picked up the book as a computer science professor who had been in a math department, curious to see if this caught at all the rhythms of academia. It was a spot-on characterization of everything I saw in my old department.

Enjoy!
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- Deliah the Space Rigger

Book Details

  • Release Date: 02-14-2008
  • Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc.