emi Bevacqua's Reviews > The Echo Maker

The Echo Maker by Richard Powers
Rate this book
Clear rating

by
43247
's review
May 08, 12

bookshelves: family-dysfunction, fiction, haunting, mystery
Recommended to emi by: Julie Huffman
Read from May 03 to 08, 2012 — I own a copy

I've always loved reading neurologist Dr. Oliver Sacks's case studies, and this book read kind of like a twisted tribute to him, in that one of the main characters (Dr. Gerald Weber) is also a writer of similar case studies but is suffering an existential mid-life crisis over the authenticity or value of his life's work. Also there is Mark in Nebraska, whose car rolls over and wrecks on a remote stretch of road in the dead of night; when he awakens he no longer recognizes those he loves best (sister, dog, double-wide).

Dr. Weber travels out to diagnose Mark's Capgras syndrome, meets a nursing assistant (Barbara Gillespie) who isn't who she seems to anybody, and then there are these endangered giant red-headed cranes that gather in this town every year (that practically every culture throughout history seems to claim we humans are related to), there's a mysterious note left on Mark's bedside table at the hospital, and parallels are drawn between two nascent wars: the US and the Middle East post-9/11 and another local one between Developers and Environmentalists - and incredibly Mark's unrecognized sister Karin is intimately involved with the leaders of both those movements! And yet all of it flows and works together and resolves, incredibly. Wow, what a smart book.

It was draining to follow, and there were a couple spots where I did get lost. Like this line on pg 318, "Barbara's face, that open oval, still regarded him, the simplest interrogation. His insides, airborne, answered for him." I thought that meant he threw up. But it was never addressed further. Huh. And there were some foreshadowing things that I never figured out too, where Unrecognized Sister Karin recognized something of herself in Dr. Weber, and he in turn recognized something of himself in Barbara Gillespie, but oh well, I still really enjoyed this book anyways. Wonder what Dr. Sacks would make of it.
likeflag

Sign into Goodreads to see if any of your friends have read The Echo Maker.
sign in »

No comments have been added yet.