Nominated by:

Wojewódzka Biblioteka Publiczna im. Marszalka Józefa Pilsudskiego, Lódz, Poland

Publisher of nominated edition:

Hodder & Stoughton, UK

The Universe Versus Alex Woods

Gavin Extence      

2015 Longlist

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 . . .

(From Publisher)

About the Author

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.

Librarian’s Comments

A story of two lonely people who meet to fill each other’s lives with colours. A moving story about an extraordinary friendship. A story where the main characters are trying to tell us to what extent one has the right to make decisions concerning life and death. A story about dignity and the essence of humanity.

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