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Gods Without Men by Hari Kunzru
At the center of Gods Without Men is Jaz and Lisa Matharu, a married couple from different ethnic and religious backgrounds who have an autistic son, Raj. During a family trip to the Mojave Desert, Raj disappears. The struggle to understand what happened to him exposes the cracks in Jaz and Lisa's marriage. Interspersed with their story are the stories of other people drawn to the desert over the last 250 years, including a cult led by a World War II veteran who are looking for alien contact, Native Americans trying to protect the secrets of their mythology, and soldiers using the desert as a training ground for Iraq. Hari Kunzru's novel has received mostly positive reviews with The Telegraph saying, "It's a fine comparison for the novel, too: leaping into strange territory, faster and faster, swallowing up tracts of subject matter, but always knowing exactly where it's going. Sometimes dizzying, sometimes puzzling, always enjoyable, Gods Without Men is one of the best novels of the year."