“I was thinking a lot about how much the rhythms of life are determined by the place where we live,” the 32-year-old author said, in a conversation from his current home in central Great Barrington. “I was sitting there in the New England winter, looking outside and imagining what it would be like to see live oaks and Spanish moss,” instead of white pine and Norway spruce. “That didn’t seem so far-fetched, really.”
That vision was part of the inspiration for his second novel, “Mr. Eternity,” published earlier this month. Set in five time periods on the brink of environmental, political or cultural crisis — 1560, 1750, 2016, 2200, and 2500 — the story follows an old, perhaps immortal, sailor who calls himself “Daniel Defoe,” maybe because, like Robinson Crusoe, he has been shipwrecked multiple times. Defoe’s extraordinarily long life intersects with a quintet of young narrators trying to make sense of their lives in a damaged world.
-Boston Globe, “In his novel, Aaron Thier takes the long view on climate change“, August 29, 2016
Key West, 2016. Sea levels are rising, coral reefs are dying. In short, everything is going to hell. It’s here that two young filmmakers find something to believe in: an old sailor who calls himself Daniel Defoe and claims to be five hundred sixty years old.
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Author(s): Publisher: Bloomsbury USA
Key West, 2016. Sea levels are rising, coral reefs are dying. In short, everything is going to hell. It's here that two young filmmakers find something to believe in: an old sailor who calls himself Daniel Defoe and claims to be five hundred sixty years old.
In fact, old Dan is in the prime of his life. It's an incredible, perhaps eternal American life, which Mr. Eternity imagines over a millennium: a parade of conquistadors and plantation owners, lusty mermaids and dissatisfied princesses, picking up in the sixteenth century in the Viceroyalty of New Granada and continuing into the twenty-sixth, where, in the future Democratic Federation of Mississippi States, Dan serves as an advisor to the King of St. Louis. Some things remain constant throughout the centuries, and being on the edge of ruin may be one. In 1560, the Spaniards have destroyed the Aztec and Inca civilizations. In 2500, we've destroyed our own: the cities of the Atlantic coast are underwater, the union has fallen apart, and cars, plastics, and air conditioning are relegated to history. But there are other constants too: love, ingenuity, humor, and old Dan himself, always adapting and inspiring others with dreams of a better life.
An ingenious, hilarious, and genre-bending page-turner, Mr. Eternity is multiple novels in one. Together they form an uncommon work--about our changing planet and its remarkable continuities.