Sara Vilkomerson
September 28, 2012 AT 04:00 AM EDT

A Working Theory of Love

type
Book
Current Status
In Season
publisher
Penguin
genre
Fiction

We gave it an A-

What makes a man? In this terrific debut novel, A Working Theory of Love, emotionally adrift divorcé Neill Bassett Jr. is trying to build the world’s first sentient computer program. After inputting 20 years of his late father’s diaries, he holds conversations with a pixelated personality that seems just like his dad — discussing his life, his childhood, and his current romantic woes. Throughout, Hutchins hits that sweet spot where humor and melancholy comfortably coexist. A-

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