Lost, Almost

Engine Books, 2017


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Lost, Almost takes us into a magnetic world, one where characters orbit not just Los Alamos and the sciences, but also the appealingly hard-nosed physicist Adam Brooks. His son, his grandchildren and his colleagues all live within his gravitational pull, and it’s not just Brooks but his effect on their lives that forms the captivating core of the book. These characters’ passion for their work becomes the reader’s, and Amy Knight paints her brilliant subjects with confidence, empathy, and a deep understanding of psychology. Novels in stories so seldom find an organic shape, but Knight has managed to build a small solar system in these pages, one I was bereft to leave. I couldn’t be more thrilled to have a tiny part in getting this book out into the world and introducing readers to a bold, enthralling, and often hilarious new voice.

– Rebecca Makkai, author of National Book Award Finalist The Great Believers

In her incendiary debut novel, Amy P. Knight gives us a glimpse into the lives of those who ‘need to be right more than anything, more than air, more than love,’ and of those who would rather win than be right. No mere cautionary tale, this story is a haunting meditation on the hazards of genius and the dangers of any society ‘long on intellect [and] short on empathy.’ Except that empathy, dear reader, is all you’ll have for these characters, even for Adam Brooks, the book’s hero. I say hero, but Brooks is also a villain, a father, a tyrant, a child. Brooks, and all the rest, resist comfortable categorization. No, this book is too complicated, and too good, for that. Lost, Almost is a staggering achievement.

— David James Poissant, author of The Heaven of Animals

Like a mad scientist in the lab of human insight, Amy P. Knight has created a beautiful novel of nuclear proportion. Hers is an exploration of creation and destruction, passion and compulsion, brilliance and cruelty. If nothing else, the absorbing experiment that is Lost, Almost teaches us once again that the most important element in science was then, is now, and ever shall be, love and belonging to family and the human race. It is a perfect reminder for this era of hapless leadership.

—MB Caschetta, author of Miracle Girls