Author and blogger John Green announced today that his new book will be coming out in Fall of this year. Turtles All the Way Downis a Young Adult novel about a young woman, Aza Holmes, who deals with mental illness as she tries to solve a mystery involving a fugitive billionaire.
Green has not written a novel since his 2012 monster-success The Fault in Our Stars, which became an equally successful movie. Green is known for writing compelling YA narratives that are singularly personal in feel but also usually pretty quirky. It looks like we’re going to be getting more of the same from the title. For those unfamiliar with the reference, it’s a philosophical punchline. Here’s an excerpt from Stephen Hawking’s A Brief History of Time that recounts the joke:
A well-known scientist (some say it was Bertrand Russell) once gave a public lecture on astronomy. He described how the earth orbits around the sun and how the sun, in turn, orbits around the center of a vast collection of stars called our galaxy. At the end of the lecture, a little old lady at the back of the room got up and said: “What you have told us is rubbish. The world is really a flat plate supported on the back of a giant tortoise.” The scientist gave a superior smile before replying, “What is the tortoise standing on?” “You’re very clever, young man, very clever,” said the old lady. “But it’s turtles all the way down!”
How the title will play into the story is anyone’s guess but it’s likely going reflect, perhaps, on an absurdist tone.
Green has made comments about how the book was especially important to him for two reasons, the first being that he was worried that after The Fault in Our Stars, he might never write another novel that he felt pleased with. The second is that, like the main character, he deals with mental illness that impacts his life. It will be interesting to see how the book lives up to his previous work, but it is definitely important to remember to try to judge it on its own merit.
Turtles All the Way Down will be released on October 10, 2017.