Christine's Reviews > The Echo Maker

The Echo Maker by Richard Powers
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Oct 17, 07

Read in July, 2007

National Book Award winner. Story about a character with a brain injury. Given to me by a friend (thank you thank you!). All signs pointing me to read this book! And Powers does have some languid prose that creates a crisp landscape in my mind. I will, for instance, never forget the cranes that he describes throughout the book. I mean, check out the opening lines below–are they not gorgeous?

But. But! The book’s momentum (ie., plot) is very slow. Maybe it’s my mood (I LOVED the book Out of Africa as a child–I mean, that scene with the buffalo emerging from the morning fog is etched in my mind, but my friend said it went TOOO slow–maybe I am in the “Tooo slow” mindset). There are hooks at the beginning of the novel such as whether or not Karin Schluter’s brother Mark will get better…and what that note by his bedside table means…but there needed to have been more forward momentum, more questions. Wondering what a note meant was not enough for me to flip through the beginning pages–apparently it was important for Karin, but it wasn’t important enough for me.

Karin is a very limited character, one that brings down the sparkle of the novel when it focuses on her. I liked Mark MUCH better and was glad when the novel began to focus on him.

…Maybe it is my overfeeding on Murakami, but I was hoping the book would be a little “sloppier”–the prose in this book was too…neat and tidy. I wanted MORE!
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