The Wonders

A Novel

The Wonders

From the author of the “funny, irreverent, and highly entertaining” (Liane Moriarty, author of The Husband’s Secret) Fine Color of Rust comes a brilliant new novel about a misfit trio who become instant international reality stars, probing the nature of celebrity, disability, and the value of human life.

Perhaps every human being was a freak. Hadn’t he read somewhere that every person has at least a handful of damaged genes? That all humans embody a myriad of nature’s mistakes?

Meet Leon (stage name: Clockwork Man), a nervous, introverted thirty-year-old man with a brass heart; Kathryn (stage name: Lady Lamb), a brash, sexy woman covered almost entirely with black, tightly furled wool; and Christos (stage name: Seraphiel), a vain performance artist who plays a winged god with the help of ceramic implants inserted between his shoulder blades. These are The Wonders, three extraordinary people whose medical treatments have tested the limits of the human body. When they are brought together by a canny entrepreneur, their glamorous, genre-defying, twenty-first-century circus act becomes a global sensation. But what makes them objects of fascination also places them in danger.

With warmth, humor, and astonishing insight, Paddy O’Reilly has written a wonderful novel that will appeal to fans of Sara Gruen’s Ape House, Karen Joy Fowler’s We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves, and Teddy Wayne’s The Love Song of Jonny Valentine—or anyone who’s ever questioned the nature of fame, our kinship with the animal kingdom, and the delicate balancing act of life and death.
  • Washington Square Press | 
  • 288 pages | 
  • ISBN 9781476766362 | 
  • February 2015

Video

Paddy O'Reilly on 'The Wonders'

'The Wonders' is a brilliant new novel about a misfit trio who become instant international reality stars, probing the nature of celebrity, disability, and the value of human life.

Read an Excerpt

Reading Group Guide

This reading group guide for The Wonders includes an introduction, discussion questions, and ideas for enhancing your book club. The suggested questions are intended to help your reading group find new and interesting angles and topics for your discussion. We hope that these ideas will enrich your conversation and increase your enjoyment of the book.


Introduction

The Wonders travels deep into questions about the contemporary world that have concerned and moved me for many years. I wanted to ask: How are we to live in this brave new world? How are we to know one another?”
—Paddy O'Reilly

From the author of the “funny, irreverent, and highly entertaining” (Liane Moriarty, author of Big Little Lies) The Fine Color of Rust comes a brilliant new novel about a misfit trio who become instant international reality stars, probing the nature of celebrity, disability, and the value of human life.

Meet Leon (stage name: Clockwork Man), a nervous, introverted thirty-year-old man with a brass heart; Kathryn (stage name: Lady Lamb), a brash, sexy woman covered almost entirely with black, tightly furled wool; and Christos (stage name: Seraphiel), a vain performance artist who plays a winged god with the help of ceramic implants inserted between his shoulder blades. These are the Wonders, three extraordinary people whose medical treatments have tested the limits of the h see more

More Books from this Author

The Fine Color of Rust

About the Author

Paddy O'Reilly
Photograph courtesy of the author

Paddy O'Reilly

Paddy O’Reilly is the award-winning author of the novels The Factory and The Fine Color of Rust, as well as the short story collection The End of the World. She lives in Victoria, Australia. Find out more at PaddyOReilly.com.au or follow her on Twitter @Paddy_OReilly.

BECOME A FAN

Explore

CONNECT WITH US