The universe versus Alex Woods

9781444764611The universe versus Alex Woods – Gavin Extence


A tale of an unexpected friendship, an unlikely hero and an improbable journey. This is the story of Alex Woods – born to a clairvoyant mother and a phantom father, victim of an improbable childhood accident – who is stopped at Dover customs in possession of 113g of marijuana and the ashes of his best friend, Vietnam veteran Isaac Peterson.


A heart warming story of an unlikely friendship between a teenage boy who suffers from epilepsy and an elderly war veteran. The author manages to cleverly give warmth, humour and complexity to the characters allowing the reader to empathise with the young boy Alex and follow the book with ease as the story unfolds. When Alex is bullied at school, an uncanny series of events unfurl, which start with Alex having to do chores for Mr Peterson, the old war veteran.  The dry grumpy wit of Mr Peterson mixed with Alex’s lack of a ‘filter’ and his innocence will make you laugh out loud.
The writing does start to drag a little bit after the first half and some of the tangents that Alex goes off on can be a little tedious and lengthy.  The plot is quite humorous during the first half but then does become rather heavy during the second.  A thoroughly heart-warming read for readers of all ages that makes you realise the importance of the friends we make in life, regardless of our differences. This book could also maybe help teenagers who are having difficulties at school to speak up about bullying and illness and could be a useful book for parents to encourage their older children to read (Note –  there are a few swear words along the way).

Rating – 6/10

Read By – Cultcha Club Book Club