This book is a bit of a mixed bag, and it's not as good as the other Powers' novels I've read. Powers takes on the post-modern autobiographical fiction genre, and in a typical twist, he pairs it with a subplot about a computer gaining consciousness. The interplay between the memory of the character, "Richard Powers," and the learning of the machine are often interesting, but other times they are too vague and metaphysical. The book is strewn with quotations from other works of literature, so the pastiche of constructed plots gets to play off the way identity and consciousness is created. It's all very interesting, but it doesn't quite come off. The ending of the novel was a bit predictable and as a result a let down. So I don't think this is Powers' best book, but like all of them, the ideas behind the book are quite interesting.