How did I get it?:
I bought it. Encouraged by the Waterstones 11. 11 books from debut authors that show much promise.


Idiopathy (ɪdɪˈɒpəθi): a disease or condition which arises spontaneously or for which the cause is unknown.

Idiopathy: a novel as unexpected as its title, in which Katherine, Daniel, and Nathan—three characters you won’t forget in a hurry—unsuccessfully try to figure out how they feel about one another and how they might best live their lives in a world gone mad. Featuring a mysterious cattle epidemic, a humiliating stint in rehab, an unwanted pregnancy, a mom–turned–media personality (“Mother Courage”), and a workplace with a bio-dome housing a perfectly engineered cornfield, it is at once a scathing satire and a moving meditation on love and loneliness. With unusual verbal finesse and great humor, Sam Byers neatly skewers the tangled relationships and unhinged narcissism of a self-obsessed generation in a remarkable, uproarious first novel.


Did I like it? I think so. Was it a perfect read? No. Is it a bit weird? Certainly! I don’t know what I expected from Idiopathy. It caught my attention with the synopsis. So bear with me while I try and sum up my thoughts on this book.

Idiopathy follows three characters Katherine, Daniel and Nathan after a year or so of being apart. Their stories connect with each other. Idiopathy explores human nature and our relationships with others, especially those that we have that allow the worst in ourselves to be brought out by another individual. Sam Byers writes each narrative very well. I liked reading their individual points of view. He spent enough time on each character to enable the reader to get to know the characters. Sam Byers also writes incredibly humorously. There were laugh out loud moments.

I thought some of Sam Byers observations about the struggles people have in their late twenties were very astute. I also appreciated the way he dealt with Nathan’s psychological issues. I wanted to know more about Nathan’s issues, but it made Nathan believable. Not everyone wants to open up about their problems.

Idiopathy doesn’t have very likeable characters, but I don’t think this is necessarily a bad thing. I quite often wanted to shake Katherine rather than feel sorry for her, but I think this is a good thing, the character certainly evoked emotion for me, even if it was negative!

Idiopathy is easy to read, humorous at times and terribly sarcastic at other points in the story. I think it’s worth reading. Even if I’m still not sure about the cow subplot.

Would I recommend it?:

Reading next:
Partials- Dan Wells

One thought on “Idiopathy

  1. Pingback: The Waterstones Eleven | bibliobeth

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