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The Frequency of Souls

3.18 of 5 stars 3.18  ·  rating details  ·  83 ratings  ·  18 reviews
George Mahoney suspects he is getting a little stale at redesigning refrigerators, after fourteen years in the same job. With the arrival of his new office mate, Niagara Spense, George is forced to re-evaluate everything in his life from love and family, to science itself. Obsessed by the six feet tall Niagara, the very foundations of George's belief in facts and the physi ...more
Paperback, 256 pages
Published April 1st 2005 by Picador (first published January 1st 1996)
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Jul 11, 2008 Carol rated it 3 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2008
Haiving read another book by Mary Kay Zuravleff, I was interested to see what this book was about. She creates interesting and likeable characters. The main character George is a refrigerator designer who shares an office with a young and quite unusual new designer named Niagara(having taken the place of "the veteran" who retired) who is trying to prove that the dead try to communicate over radio waves. Oh, and Niagara is deaf in one ear and sews her own caftan type dresses. And George is marrie ...more
Sarah Sammis
My local library is full of many gems. Recently as a I strolled through the fiction at end of the alphabet the bright colors of The Frequency of Souls by Mary Kay Zuravleff cover got my attention. The combination of electrical extension cords (one male and one female) with the title had me flashing Bunny Modern.

Bunny Modern and The Frequency of Souls are contemporaries and both combine metaphysics and electrical engineering. While Niagara Spense is trying to discover an electrical record or "aud
What a fascinating idea - the Frequency of Souls. Now that is something Id like to read about.... unfortunately only maybe 1% of this book was about that, the rest was a limp male midlife crisis suburan semi-"comedy". What a disappointment. ...more
Okay, so this time around, I started off thinking that I wasn't going to like it again. This is just one of those books that, at least for me, took a while to get into. But...once I got into it, I was so intrigued and so anxious to know what was going to happen next. I never pictured the book ending the way it did, which I really enjoyed for a change. Although, the ending seemed a little out of nowhere, I think that it fit in perfectly with the way George's life went crazy for a week when Niagar ...more
Yvonne Zipter
One of the most charming and creative books I've read.
Deb (Readerbuzz) Nance
George Mahoney has worked at Coldpoint
as a refrigerator designer for fifteen
years. He has a wonderful wife and
two great kids. What's the attraction,
then, to new Coldpoint employee Niagra
Spence, six foot tall, gangly, not
pretty? Fun, redemptive story.

Cover says it's a "funny and wholly original love story" but that is misleading. It's basically about a refrigerator engineer having a midlife crisis, complete with a 'torrid' love affair. I found the love affair plot boring. The dynamic of the husband-wife relationship was far more interesting. Glad I didn't pay more than $2 for this. Won't be reading this or any more books by this author anytime soon.
The story was interesting, but I think it missed some great opportunities. When a character mentions that their hobby is listening for the dead on a radio, I tend to expect that to play a larger role in the story than it does here. All in all I liked the relationship between George and Harris, but not much else held my attention.
I was a fan of Zuravleff's other book, "The Bowl is Already Broken" but I have to say, I'm not really sure why she wrote this one. Possibly it could have been an interesting short story (the characters are compelling and well drawn) but as a novel it's a sloppily thrown together series of sexual scenarios and bad science. No thanks.
Neil Denham
A rather directionless book that contains some good observations about the way the middle class, middle aged can think and operate. Some lovely moments relation to Georges son, and some tense moments in office life which I can related to, but overall I don't think the story is strong enough to satisfy.
Aug 21, 2010 Mary rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommended to Mary by: Briana
My friend got this for me because I'm a female electrical engineer and thought the title fit me well. I didn't know what it was about and I didn't have high expectations, but it took me by surprise. Not a bad story overall.
I am not very fond of books that take place mostly in the head of one person, with very little actual activities. this man has a dull life, but it suits him all but about a week of his life. i did enjoy the portrait of his son.
Your average family guy going through everyday life. There are times when doesn't know what to do with his mundane life. He doesn't know whether to leave his home life for a co-worker and change jobs.
I would never have guessed that a pseudo-romance about a refridgerator designer and an unattractive woman could be so enticing. Zuravleff is one of the most brilliant authors I've ever read.
A young woman believes the dead speak to us on unused radio frequencies. A man, her co-worker, deals with his mid-life doubts about who he is as a husband and father. I loved this book!
A quirky, at sometimes intersting book that had the possibility of being much more. It fizzled out toward the end because the character development was a little weak.
A book full of strangeness. It was a somewhat uncomfortable read but still enjoyable.
A nice ride, enjoyable read, I liked the character Niagara.
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Mary Kay Zuravleff is the author of three novels published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux. Man Alive! is her newest. Alice McDermott called it an "exuberant novel, a sparkling book"; Tom Perrott praised it as a "witty and engaging novel"; and Jane Hamilton said "This is a book to share, reading sentences aloud to marvel at."

She is also the author of The Bowl Is Already Broken, which the New York Tim
More about Mary Kay Zuravleff...
Man Alive!: A Novel The Bowl Is Already Broken: A Novel The Bowl Is Already Broken Gargoyle 58

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