A Person of Interest

A Person of Interest Professor Lee an Asian born mathematician nearing retirement age would seem the last person likely to attract the attention of FBI agents Yet after a popular young colleague becomes the latest victi

  • Title: A Person of Interest
  • Author: Susan Choi
  • ISBN: 9780670018468
  • Page: 352
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Professor Lee, an Asian born mathematician nearing retirement age, would seem the last person likely to attract the attention of FBI agents Yet after a popular young colleague becomes the latest victim of a serial bomber, Lee s detached response and maladroit behavior lead the FBI, the national news media, and even his own neighbors to regard him with damning suspicion.AmProfessor Lee, an Asian born mathematician nearing retirement age, would seem the last person likely to attract the attention of FBI agents Yet after a popular young colleague becomes the latest victim of a serial bomber, Lee s detached response and maladroit behavior lead the FBI, the national news media, and even his own neighbors to regard him with damning suspicion.Amid campus wide grief over the murder, Lee receives a cryptic letter from a figure out of his past The letter unearths a lifetime of shortcomings toward his dead wife, his estranged only daughter, and a long denied son Caught between his guilty recollections and the scrutiny of the murder investigation, determined to face his tormentor and exonerate himself, Lee sets off on a journey that will bring him face to face with his past and that might even win him redemption.

    • A Person of Interest : Susan Choi
      352 Susan Choi
    • thumbnail Title: A Person of Interest : Susan Choi
      Posted by:Susan Choi
      Published :2019-08-03T08:10:17+00:00

    About " Susan Choi "

  • Susan Choi

    Susan Choi was born in South Bend, Indiana, and raised there and in Houston, Texas She studied literature at Yale and writing at Cornell, and worked for several years as a fact checker for The New Yorker.Her first novel, The Foreign Student, won the Asian American Literary Award for fiction, and her second novel, American Woman, was a finalist for the 2004 Pulitzer Prize With David Remnick she co edited the anthology Wonderful Town New York Stories from The New Yorker, and her non fiction has appeared in publications including Vogue, Tin House, Allure, O and The New York Times and in anthologies including Money Changes Everything and Brooklyn Was Mine A recipient of fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Guggenheim Foundation, she lives in Brooklyn, New York with her husband, Pete Wells, and their sons Dexter and Elliot


  • For the day and a half or so that I spent reading this book last weekend, very little got done in my home. When I finally finished it on Sunday evening, all the subtle indicators of a misspent weekend were evident - dirty dishes in the sink, heaps of dirty laundry, piles of assorted tax-related documents still needing to be corraled into some semblance of order, and two less than gruntled kitties, whose reproaches were getting progressively more vocal. Having written that, I realise that saying [...]

  • Took a break from the Norwegians with this, and what a stunning read it was. It is beautifully written and contained such a wealth of detail about the lives we don't live within our lives that I thought the author was at least 100 years old and simply managed to look young for her age. There is also a breathtaking passage about hiking that had me itching to go outside. This was cruel since I wasn't going anywhere until I finished the damn book.

  • this is jhumpa lahiri meets zadie smith (look what you've done, jhumpa and zadie! turned a whole generation of women novelists to your stark, in the former case, and bleakly humorous, in the latter, demolition of the multiple barriers the human psyche erects to keep itself looking normal) meets dostoevsky. seriously. what a tour de force. susan choi takes the concept of "scene" so seriously that her scenes turn into long long chapters, even when all she describes is a trip from home to campus. t [...]

  • I got to page 133 out of 356. At this point I know that the story centers on a man of unknown oriental ancestry who is very uncomfortable with every aspect of his life. I knew that within a few pages of beginning. This is demonstrated in the present, recalled in the past and thought of when other characters have the first person floor. There does not appear to be a plot and there has been no action or progress toward any action. I did not find any foreshadowing that there would be any change for [...]

  • I really loved AMERICAN WOMAN and this was kind of a let-down. The prose is really, really dense--entire pages without a paragraph break, lots of internal musing-but-not-searching. On top of that the protag is just not much fun to be around--it makes the plot believable, you can see how awkward he is around others, you can see how upsetting his temper is--but damn if I just hated being in his head for as long as I had to be. I would say up until like page 200 I was constantly ready to put this b [...]

  • Midway through this novel, I abandoned it because it was a difficult read, and I wasn't able to properly concentrate due to personal issues. However, I picked it up again two reads later, and I enjoyed it. It's extremely well written with complicated relationships; it has an intricate plot; and it will challenge your knowledge of vocabulary, for sure. When a bombing at a college campus kills a charismatic, popular computer science professor, an older math colleague is implicated and becomes a pe [...]

  • The author was recommended by/a friend of a wonderful college professor from Dublinminded me of Love In the Time of Cholera in its long passages of scenery description and grace notes of inconsequentialities. a story of a man's isolation and ruptured american dream but the main plot was a bit sensational, although reflective of the news stories of campus disruptions. he looks back on a life where he missed all these opportunities with people significant to him.

  • I selected this book partially because it had been billed as a "literary mystery." Unfortunately, it had annoyingly little mystery and a whole lot of pomposity that I wouldn't exactly call literary. The book, primarily about the life choices, judgments, and unremarkableness of its protagonist--a Japanese math professor--had a convoluted, intertwined mish-mash of character interactions it called a plot. I found it excruciatingly dull at times. Most of the book takes place inside people's heads an [...]

  • This AIR finalist by a former Pulitzer Prize finalist begins with the fatal bombing of a mathematician's office at a midwestern university in a small college town. The story is told from the perspective (though not in the voice) of the Asian immigrant mathematician whose office is right next door & who is interviewed & investigated by the FBI as "a person of Interest," which leads him to be viewed by the community as a suspect. Despite the subject, this is no thriller; it's not even a pa [...]

  • Choi's writing is excellent, and this novel has one of the most fantastic starts of any novel I’ve read. In fact, the first half of the novel is fantastic, before the plot suggested by the police procedural title kicks in. It’s not that Choi doesn’t handle the plot well, it’s just that the novel’s second half is more by the book. This is one of those novels that makes me think that plots hurt novels, at least some novels. Of course, things need to go somewhere, even if in circles, but [...]

  • This book had a lot of potential; unfortunately, verbosity and excessive detail and rumination got in the way. The basic plot was thriller-like – a bomb kills misanthropic Professor Lee’s colleague, and events conspire so that Professor Lee is falsely implicated as a possible culprit. There’s also a backstory: Professor Lee’s first wife, Aileen, was originally married to a graduate school friend of his; the circumstances surrounding Lee and Aileen’s initial union were ugly and became u [...]

  • This novel is an intriguing, intimate portrait of a man who does not seem to know how to relate intimately to others, even those he most deeply loves. Choi captures the isolation of a shy, anxious, and often arrogant man in often wry prose, marked with vivid images. The image of Lee's "many chambered anxieties" and the scene in which everything at home "seemed to have adopted a posture of conflict" against him seemed particularly apt. But by far the best writing in the novel surrounds Lee's firs [...]

  • A Person of Interest, the 2008 novel by Susan Choi (not the popular TV series) burst onto my reading list for 2014 as the latest selection of the Newcomb College Book Club. Newcomb, my alma mater, established the club a few years ago to bring together alums across the country via book club discussion groups and to establish a common ground for discussion among graduates and students. Membership in the club promised to be interesting–the first selection: The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks and [...]

  • Susan Choi has utilized the Unabomber episode in recent history to delve into issues of professional jealousy, academic politics, guilt and cowardice. Professor Lee, a tenured mathematics professor at a small Midwest university, is wounded when a package delivered to a professor in a next-door office detonates. The FBI connects Lee to the search for the culprit through the receipt of a mysterious letter from a former colleague. By nature secretive and socially insecure, Lee heightens suspicions [...]

  • I really enjoyed this! There's a thriller/suspense aspect to it that moved me through the book much faster than I expected, balancing the sometimes rigid, sometimes austere prose. I am very interested to read another book by Choi to see if those sentences are how she writes, or if, as I suspect, they were a flawless depiction of the thought processes of the main character, a mathematics professor. (See-- I just wrote "mathematics" instead of "math" because Lee, the professor, would prefer it.) W [...]

  • Francine Prose writes that Choi's novel "combin[es:] the unhurried pleasures of certain classics with the jittery tensions of more recent fiction," and that is exactly true. The book plumbs identity, cultural awareness, immigrant experiences, parent-child relationships, and professional competition (among many other things), without being about any of them. It is about the story it tells. And the story it tells is about a professor of mathematics grazed by the drama of a campaign of anti-technol [...]

  • I was tempted to include this on my "horror" shelf. That's because of what happens to poor Prof. Lee when the FBI becomes interested in him, in their investigation of a bombing. Quite frankly, Lee isn't even a sympathetic character. He seldom expresses emotion, even to himself, despite some fairly dramatic happenings in his life. It wouldn't be fair to say that he ruined his wife's life, but he sure didn't do much to save it from ruin. Ditto for his daughter's life. None the less, his treatment [...]

  • Downloaded from the library and I listened to most of one "segment." Seemed like a lot of navel-viewing by the omniscient narrator on behalf of the main character -- Professor Lee (or maybe Li?)I went back and read more reader reviews and while some were 5 stars, a lot talked about how very slow it was. Just not engaging for me, and when I looked and saw there were SEVENTEEN segments.Besides, my reserve had just come up for THE INTERESTINGS and I'm well launched into that. Also Open and Shut whi [...]

  • This was all at the same time a wonderful and yet painfully honest and verbose read, full of bald, vivid descriptions of what's it's like to be different in a world of sameness when the world looks for someone to blame. I read as fast as I could, sometimes stumbling over the beautiful writing in my haste to get to the ending, which did not disappoint. In the end, the realizations reached there pertain to anyone who has made mistakes and tried to paint the past in a more palatable light to get th [...]

  • As usual, Choi distances her narrative from (yet disappears into) the main character, who through alienation, bitterness, and misanthropy (played out in every aspect of his life, also seamlessly presented) sets himself up as suspect number one in the investigation of the Unibomber death of a popular academician whom he has also seen as a rival. I never questioned a move this character made, both in present and back story, thanks to Choi's brilliant writing.

  • This is Choi's best yet--she's grown tremendously from The Foreign Student and American Woman. Not to sound like a racist simpleton ("Ooh! Asians be writing!"), but I was reminded of Chang-Rae Lee's A Gesture Life in Choi's expert detailing of the protagonist's inner life, especially regarding the tortured relationship with a daughter.

  • I think that part of the reason this audiobook took me so long to get through was that I didn't love the narrator. But the first half of this book was simply too long for me. The second half was interesting and paced well, but there was so much to get through to earn that excitement. Choi's writing delves into race, class, age, and the meaning of family all mixed up in a crime/mystery.

  • I FINALLY finished ugh barf all over this book. Except for this part:"When she wasn't pursuing this train, she was singing the deluded song of praise for Esther's near-delinquent friends. They were misfits, Aileen said, as if this were something to cherish. All too smart or too creative or too morally distressed-BY WHAT? Lee thought scornfully. HAMBURGERS?"

  • I did not find this book as compelling as I expected to. The main character is just so blah and you spend so much time inside his head, I would have rather been inside someone else's head. I did not even understand how the women in his life ever were attracted to him or why he behaved the way he did when "a person of interest." The plot is interesting.

  • Exquisitely written, indelible images, complex characters. One of the few contemporary books I've read that is truly brilliant.

  • This is a highly interesting and extremely well-written book, fast-paced except in a few rare places which I admit could have been cut down. One of the most compelling things is that the plot is actually based on real-life events, most importantly the story of Ted Kaczynski, a PhD Mathematician, social critic and Professor at Berkeley University of California who eventually became a terrorist known as the 'Unabomber'. As a result of his Marxist-inspired beliefs, Kaczynski slowly began to reject [...]

  • Susan Choi looks for essential American characters in the most peculiar places. Five years ago, she wrote a novel about Patty Hearst called American Woman that was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize, and now she's back with A Person of Interest, a piercing story about the Unabomber that's one of the most remarkable novels to have emerged from our age of terror. American Woman followed the Hearst case closely, but Choi's success this time has nothing to do with fidelity to the historical record; i [...]

  • Um, I picked this book up thinking it had something to do with the television show. It does not. In fact, the plot, which follows a math professor at a nondescript university in the Midwest where the Unabomber has apparently struck, killing his colleague, is pretty unremarkable. Over it's 300 odd pages, this remains a constant presence, and along the way we get to look inside the professor's past, his present and a little bit into his future as well. Unfortunately, the protagonist is annoying (m [...]

  • There's nothing to like about the book's main character, Professor Lee. He's self-absorbed, paranoid, and too willing to justify his own questionable decisions. Yet I found myself deeply engrossed in his story; given the situation Choi burdens him with, he behaves in such a truly human way that I could feel what it would be like to inhabit his skin. Lee's confrontation with an external crisis -- a Unabomber-type character has targeted his math department -- becomes a neat overlay for his interna [...]

  • I believe this book has made me smarter than any other book I've read-in the literal, vocabulary way. It's not your typical fiction book: Choi writes in long descriptive paragraphs, just narrating for background context or narrating in the present. It's a thrilling novel about a mathematics professor who is under suspicion for the death of a colleague (and also the hardships of maintaining healthy relationships and the alarming fact that mass hysteria can rise so quickly).I would give it five st [...]

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