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Preview — The Echo Maker by Richard Powers
The Echo Maker
Winner of the 2006 National Book Award
The Echo Maker is "a remarkable novel, from one of our greatest novelists, and a book that will change all who read it" (Booklist, starred review).
On a winter night on a remote Nebraska road, twenty-seven-year-old Mark Schluter has a near-fatal car accident. His older sister, Karin, returns reluctantly to their hometown to nurse Mark b...more
Okay, not really, no. Well, maybe a little...?
The best parts of this book were those written from the perspective of a character with severe traumatic brain injury. The rest of it was good too, but the characters were never quite convincing enough for me to suspend my disbelief and actually care what happened to them. Of course, I was helplessly distracted the entire time by the Man Behind the Curtain. Does Richard Powers do all his own research? W ...more
A woman behind me said, "Excuse me, I think you left your book."
And I said, "Yeah, I kind of wanted to leave my book, in hopes that someone else would come along and not hate it as much as I did."
This book was long, boring, rambling and had one plot twist that was moderately interesting, but didn't show up until about page 400 (out of 450).
Skip it. Seriously. Spend time reading a neurobiology book, or a book abou ...more
Kearny, Nebraska is a way station on the central flyway, a place where thousands of cranes congregate every year on their way north and south, providing an industry for the town. The descriptions of the migr ...more
This won the National Book Award last year, and is by an author who has received one of the MacArthur "genius awards." Did it deserve it?
In the end, I can't endorse the choice, even though there is much to commend in this book. The basic story: a Nebraska factory worker flips his truck on a cold winter night, and when he wakes up, he believes that his sister has been swapped ...more
Even so, I am fighting my way through Powers's writing. Is there anyone out there who feels the same? Is there no one who also feels that the writing comes off as amateurish and sentimental, and who is exhausted ...more
Karin returns to her small town in Nebraska to care for her brother Mark, almost killed in a mysterious highway accident. When Mark regains consciousness, he insists that Karin is not his real sister and treats her as an impostor. In an attempt to cure Mark of his delusion, Karin contacts Dr. Weber--a neurologist modeled on writer Oliver Sacks--and asks him to examine her brother.
This is a fine novel with considerable narrative drive and a not unsatisfying conclusion. Its deeply philosophical na ...more
questions of self, such as are we who we think we are, and the key word here is think. Does the conscious self come from within, or is it merely an echo?
stories and narration – do humans live the story, that is, do we need to see or hear something before we incorporate it into our own self. Powers uses the mockingbird to demonstrate this in the novel.
is who w ...more
The book is about a man in his mid-20s who's in a car accident and spends two weeks in a coma. When he wakes up and begins his recovery, he accuses his sister – the two have always been very close – of being an impostor. It's a disorder called Capgras syndrome, and it's very rare.
The neuroscience and psychology in the book are fa ...more
The story is backdropped against a small town that hosts a spectacular bird migration once a year. The hero is involved in a near-fatal car crash, from which he emerges from with Capgras syndrome; a disease which prevents him from recognizing his sister or his dog, instead believing them to be impostors impersonating the genuine articles. The novel follows them through his worseni ...more
Theory of Mind, my pet, given pride of pl ...more
«Siamo tutti potenziali fossili che recano ancora nel corpo le asperità delle esistenze precedenti, i segni di un mondo in cui le creature viventi scorrono da un'era all'altra senza molta più consistenza delle nuvole.» - Loren Eisley, The immense Journey, "The Slit"
Per cercare di capire cosa possa spingere qualcuno in una gelida notte di febbraio a mettersi al volante del proprio furgone e lanciarlo a velocità folle lungo la North Line nei pressi di Kearney, Nebraska, ...more
The stuff about the brain and brain injury was interesting; I probably should have read The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat instead.
Seriously, how d ...more
The first two-thirds or so are quite slow; sometimes this works well (the poetic descriptions of the landscape and its avian journeymen, the beautiful chaos of a mind recovering from trauma) and occasionally it doesn't (some characters become a little tiresome, the mysteries at the core of the narrative go unexplored for long stretches). But ...more
But I had a lot of problems with this one. It's terribly longwinded; not just because of many descriptive passages about birds and brain damage, but also because the plot just dragged on without much development. Plus I disliked all the characters except for o ...more
It started out good enough: seemingly well written, interesting plot / subject matter, sharply drawn characters, etc. But talk about something less than the sum of its parts.
If someone who actually LIKED this book sat me down and pointed out all the various reasons why they liked it, I'd probably end up nodding again and again in agreement: "Yeah, that was pretty cool." "You're right, that's actually a really well-written paragraph." "Sure, I understand why he did tha ...more