Jessica's Reviews > Galatea 2.2

Galatea 2.2 by Richard Powers
Rate this book
Clear rating

's review
Nov 08, 2011

really liked it
Read from November 08 to 17, 2011

Reading this book was like eating a lobster; it's a lot of work, and sometimes you miss parts of it, but the parts of meat you do get to can be really delicious. This was one of the most complex and sometimes incomprehensible books I have read in a long time. I think I re-read almost every sentence at least twice, but it also had some really amazing lines in it. The kinds of lines that would make me read them out loud to my boyfriend, only to have him say "I have no idea what that means".

At it's core, this book is about relationships, in many different forms: between two people in love, between humans and machines, between science and the humanities, etc. The story revolves around the main character, Richard Powers, obviously a somewhat biographical version of the author himself, who is roped in to assisting a bitter scientist teach a computer to understand and comment on English literature, basically replicating the human thinking pattern. Through teaching the computer, who he names Helen, how to learn, Powers relives his failed 10-year relationship with a woman named C. and eventually learns how to really live life instead of living through his books or through other people. The book switches back and forth between the real time of the science lab and the character's past relationship with C. Both stories are smart, funny, totally believable and utterly heartbreaking.

This book raises some very important questions that it often fails to really answer, but at least it gets you thinking. It was not the sort of book I lost myself in, it felt more like work reading it. But sometimes good books are worth the work.

Sign into Goodreads to see if any of your friends have read Galatea 2.2.
Sign In »

No comments have been added yet.