Book Review: ‘The Warlow Experiment: A Novel’ By Alix Nathan

Herbert Powyss is wealthy, likes botany, and wants to be one of the big guys at the Royal Society Of London as a proper scientists. To that end he decides to push the psyche of one human being to the limit with extreme isolation (the story takes place starting in 1793). He makes a place under his home into a place to live and searches for a candidate that will live there for seven years. There will be no human contact with anyone else, will have three meals a day and anything they need for the confines of the living area. In exchange this person has to write a daily journal and at the end of seven years will rewarded with a generous payment every year for the rest of their live.

Only one man applies John Warlow. He is a husband and father and wants to be sure his children are provided for. They barely make enough to survive. So John begins his journey. He doesn’t really like to write, looks forward to his meals, doesn’t want to bathe because the water is cold and keeps finding frogs that get into the space he lives.

Each week John’s wife Hannah comes for a payment that more than provides for their family. Herbert becomes more and more infatuated with her. Of course what could go wrong with John being isolated for seven years?

The story is based on a real life story from 1797.. It’s a fascinating look at how one person can handle this situation with interesting characters and a story you want to keep reading to find out how it all turns out. This is the US debut of author Alix Nathan and it is highly recommended.

You can pick it up in stores on Tuesday, August 20th from Doubleday.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.