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A Working Theory of Love Cover Image
Unavailable from Brazos Bookstore
ISBN: 9781594205057
Availability: OUT OF PRINT - Not Available for Order
Published: Penguin Press - October 2nd, 2012

Settled back into the San Francisco singles
scene following the implosion of his young marriage just months after
the honeymoon, Neill Bassett is going through the motions. His
carefully modulated routine, however, is soon disrupted in ways he
can’t dismiss with his usual nonchalance.

When Neill’s father committed suicide ten years ago, he left behind
thousands of pages of secret journals, journals that are stunning in
their detail, and, it must be said, their complete banality. But their
spectacularly quotidian details, were exactly what artificial
intelligence company Amiante Systems was looking for, and Neill was able
to parlay them into a job, despite a useless degree in business
marketing and absolutely no experience in computer science. He has spent the
last two years inputting the diaries into what everyone hopes will
become the world’s first sentient computer. Essentially, he has been
giving it language—using his father’s words. Alarming to Neill—if not to
the other employees of Amiante—the experiment seems to be working. The
computer actually appears to be gaining awareness and, most
disconcerting of all, has started asking questions about Neill’s

Amid this psychological turmoil, Neill meets Rachel. She was meant to
be a one-night stand, but Neill is unexpectedly taken with her and
possibilities she holds. At the same time, he remains preoccupied by
unresolved feelings for his ex-wife, who has a talent for appearing at
the most unlikely and unfortunate times. When Neill discovers a missing
year in the diaries—a year that must hold some secret to his parents’
marriage and perhaps even his father’s suicide—everything Neill thought
he knew about his past comes into question, and every move forward
feels impossible to make.

With a lightness of touch that belies pitch-perfect emotional
control, Scott Hutchins takes us on an odyssey of love, grief, and
reconciliation that shows us how, once we let go of the idea that we’re
trapped by our own sad histories—our childhoods, our bad decisions,
our miscommunications with those we love—we have the chance to truly be
free. A WORKING THEORY OF LOVE marks the electrifying debut of a prodigious new talent.