An extremely original, strange and vividly written novel. Supposedly the memoirs of a Nobel prize-winning scientist, Dr Norton Perera, this takes us from his unexceptional start as one of twins in a small Midwest town, through his slightly unfocussed years at college - and his acceptance of an invitation to accompany a pair of anthropologists in their studies of a remote Micronesian people. The island of Ivu'ivu is stunningly described - the dense rainforest, the strange flora and fauna. And the 'dreamers' - incredibly old tribespeople who, despite their physical excellence have succumbed to dementia, and are cast off to live among the trees. When Perera traces the apparent cause of their longevity to their having eaten a certain kind of turtle, he knows he has the opportunity to forge a brilliant career in medicine... But as multinational companies get to hear of it, the island cannot retain its untouched charm.And meanwhile Perera, on his frequent trips back, ends up adopting dozens of unwanted local children to give them a good life in America - among them the truculent Victor, who ends up accusing his adoptive parent of a dreadful crime which sends him to prison. But is Victor truly a victim or just an ungrateful teen? The reader's uncertainties about Perera's proclivities - his interest in the gorgeous anthropologist, Paul Tallent, and his revulsion at their female assistant - make him uncertain. Nothing is definitively stated. And the reader is not only working on an undoubtedly biased memoir, but one that has been further bowdlerized by Perera's adoring associate, Dr Kubrera (indeed, the latter admits at one point "there is a section following this that I have, as editor, elected to excise.") There are various strands to the story- Perera's life; the plundering of nature by the rapacious West; and the issue of immortality - good at any cost? Because Perera gives you an annotated account of things, I think the novel doesn't quite have the impact on the reader that it could have. But absolutely a brilliant read - "A Little Life" is definitely on m TBR list. Excellent.