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Mysterium [Paperback]

Robert Charles Wilson
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Aug. 31 2010
In a top-secret government installation near the small town of Two Rivers, Michigan, scientists are investigating a mysterious object discovered several years earlier. Late one evening, the local residents observe strange lights coming from the laboratory. The next morning, they awake to find that their town was literally cut off from the rest of the world...and thrust into a new one!
Soon the town is discovered by the bewildered leaders of this new world—at which point, the people of Two Rivers realize that they've arrived in a rigid theocracy. The authorities, known as the Bureau de la Covenance Religieuse, have ordered Linneth Stone, a young ethnologist, to analyze the arrivals and report her findings to the Lieutenant in charge.
What Linneth finds will challenge the philosophical basis of her society and lead inexorably to a struggle for power centering on the mysterious object that Two Rivers' government scientists were studying when the town slipped between worlds.
In Mysterium, Robert Charles Wilson "blends science, religion, philosophy and alternate history into an intelligent, compelling work of fiction" (Publishers Weekly).

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Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

The residents of Two Rivers, Mich., wake up one morning to find themselves in a changed world. The entire town and the top-secret government research facility that was located near it have been blasted into a parallel world. Their own history has been erased and they are faced instead with a repressive government controlled by a powerful church that professes a version of Gnostic Christianity. The governing Proctors plunder the town for information, gaining the knowledge to build an atomic bomb; to prevent the contagion of ideas, Two Rivers is designated as the first test site. A few residents--history teacher Dex Graham, physicist Howard Poole, along with Linneth Stone, a cultural researcher sent from the outside to study these "aliens"--slowly piece together the events that brought them to this strange universe and begin to fight against the forces that now control them. The solution lies in a mysterious fragment found in a Middle Eastern desert that turns out to be part of a "wormhole boat," a device for traveling between parallel worlds that physicist Alan Stern came upon and piloted as he took the town of Two Rivers with him into a world that echoed his own obsessions. Wilson ( The Harvest ) blends science, religion, philosophy and alternate history into an intelligent, compelling work of fiction.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

An alien artifact transports the small town of Two Rivers, Michigan, to an alternate universe, where political repression is the order of the day and survival an ever-growing concern. The latest novel by the author of The Harvest ( LJ 11/15/92) and The Bridge of Years ( LJ 8/91) offers a study in culture shock as simple people find their values and their future irrevocably redefined. Wilson is a graceful storyteller who relies on the power of his characters to convey the underlying messages of his tale. This belongs in most libraries.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Full of Ideas April 15 2004
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Mysterium was a bit of an unusal book in that I found the majority of the characters to be extremely rich and vividly drawn for such a short book (similar to many of Orson Scott Card's characters)...but I found the overall plot to be somewhat shallow, almost like the book needed another 100-150 pages to fully flesh out the storyline (unlike Card...who also tends to write shorter books, but most of his feel more "fleshy"). This being said, I rather enjoyed Mysterium. Especially, Wilson's tendency in the book to try and cram a lot of ideas into a small space (even if he doesn't always succeed). Wilson covers everything from Gnostic Christianity to theories on the origin of the Universe. He then links all of his ideas with a thread that at times seems somewhat tenuous, but not so much so that it does not get one "pondering the imponderables" about the nature of our existence. Are we the dreamers or are we part of someone else's dream? This was (roughly) a question posed by Shakespeare in one of his least I think it was Shakespeare. But whomever said it, the question seems very apropos to the heart of this book. Mysterium is the first work of Wilson's that I've read and even though the story itself could have been a bit better written, Wilson's ideas were extremely intriguing...I look forward to reading more of his work.
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By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Wilson delivers a fast paced alternative-history / science fiction novel about a town 'blasted' into a parallel 'Amerika' dominated by the french and the english. A world in which christianity took hold couple of centuries too late. The book is very interesting, and presents new and rare viewpoint. The only downside is the two of the main characters, "the scientists" both a little unbelievable. Other than that - It's a great one.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A book full of possibilites. March 5 1997
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
If you enjoy alternate reality works, this one is for you. It's not the run of the mill, what if we turned left instead of right at this point in history. It has a fresh and daring perspective that explores concepts and ideas I've never seen in these types of books. If you haven't read any of Mr. Wilson's other books, after reading this one, you'll understand why they are hard to find
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4.0 out of 5 stars A real shame it's out of print Aug. 23 2000
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I just found out that this book is out of print. That's really too bad, because I recommend it very highly, in fact I think it's better than any of his other works. I would have liked to have seen more exposition of the new world, but it's a fascinating read nonetheless. Reprint it publisher guys!
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