Book Review: Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe


Title: Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe

Author: Benjamin Alire Sáenz

Year Published: 2012

Category: General Fiction, Coming of Age

*No Spoilers*



Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe (which will be henceforth called Aristotle and Dante) is a story about two young boys and the world around them. Aristotle, Ari, and Dante meet unceremoniously one day, and their lives are never the same.

Sáenz uses a style of writing that could almost be called stream of conscious, Ari gives us his innermost thoughts without the filter of self-consciousness that can arise during a typical narration or writing in a journal. Indeed, we even get a few peeks into his journal throughout the book. It’s an intense style where every single word’s weight is determined and only the heaviest are used.

Ari’s family is distant, mourning the loss of his older brother to prison. Dante is bubbly, full of life and a happiness that can only be described, in my mind, as sunshine. The two of them complement each other and the relationship that grows out of their unique (and dissimilar) perspectives about life is most definitely one of the secrets of the universe.

I rate it: 5/5

Goodreads says: 4.33/5 (that’s specific)

Amazon says: 4.6/5


foul language, physical abuse, hate crimes


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