Usually ships 1-3 business days
Shipping options »
List Price $26.00
On Its Way
The Organs of Sense

The Organs of Sense

"A truly unique book, perfect in pitch, perfect in form, perfect in many things. The Organs of Sense is like a sour George Saunders novel or an astronomical Bernhard with a degree in the science history, but seriously, only a writer as bizarrely talented as Adam Ehrlich Sachs could have written it."

Spencer R.

See all my recommendations »

Author Adam Ehrlich Sachs
Publisher Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Publication Date 2019-05-21
Section New Hardcover - Fiction / All Staff Suggestions / Fiction Suggestions / Spencer R.
Type New
Format Hardcover
ISBN 9780374227371

“[An] intellect with the timing of a borscht belt comedian” (Publishers Weekly), acclaimed author Adam Ehrlich Sachs brings his unique comic and philosophical sensibilities to his first novel, The Organs of Sense, an intricate nested fable equating our inability to truly understand the world with our inability to understand our own messy families.

In 1666, an astronomer makes a prediction shared by no one else in the world: At the stroke of noon on June 30 of that year, a solar eclipse will cast all of Europe into total darkness for four seconds. This astronomer is rumored to be using the largest telescope ever built, but he is also known to be blind—both his eyes have been plucked out under mysterious circumstances. Is he mad? Or does he, despite this impairment, have an insight denied the other scholars of his day?

These questions intrigue the young Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz—not yet the world-renowned polymath who would go on to discover calculus, but a nineteen-year-old whose faith in reason is shaky at best. Leibniz sets off to investigate the astronomer’s claim, and in the three hours before the eclipse occurs—or fails to occur—the astronomer tells the scholar the story behind his strange prediction: a tale that ends up encompassing kings and princes, family squabbles, insanity, art, loss, and the horrors of war.

"Adam Ehrlich Sachs's The Organs of Sense is layers-deep. . . It is at once a pitch-perfect send-up of an overwrought philosophical tract and a philosophical tract in its own right―meaty, hilarious, and a brilliant examination of intangible and utterly human mysteries." ―Arianna Rebolini, BuzzFeed News

"A madcap, ingenious fable that booms with endless jokes and riffs about the nature of consciousness, The Organs of Sense is yet another dazzling, high-wire performance from our modern-day Kleist, Adam Ehrlich Sachs." ―Karan Mahajan, author of The Association of Small Bombs

"This is the funniest and most original novel I've read in a very long time, a madcap blend of philosophical malpractice and byzantine palace intrigue. It's like what might happen if Helen DeWitt attempted a revisionist seventeenth-century historical novel, or if W. G. Sebald had gone insane. In other words, there's nothing else like it. Read it and see!" ―Andrew Martin, author of Early Work

There are no customer reviews for this item yet.

Updates during COVID-19

Review our guidelines for visitors and other updates on hours and services at Harvard Book Store this summer.

Learn More »

Stay Up Late Fundraiser

Stay up late into the night with our limited edition t-shirt and tote bag, a Harvard Book Store fundraiser.

Learn More »

Support Harvard Book Store

Thank you for making a financial contribution to support Harvard Book Store

Learn More »