Hundeschlitten's Reviews > Galatea 2.2

Galatea 2.2 by Richard Powers
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's review
Sep 05, 2011

liked it

Powers is a man of ideas, and he discusses several interesting ones here: the nature of love, of fiction, of consciousness. The plot is woven around the conceit that the narrator has been brought in to train a neural network to analyze literature like a living, breathing graduate student. So far, so good. I bought in to the electronic personality that the narrator trains, and I generally liked the author's miscellaneous diversions. But Powers portrays everything relevant in life as painful, or at least hard. He's writing a book about love, music, and the expansive possibilities of human consciousness, but there is an almost entire absense of fun. I have little patience for this "woe is us, life is hard, love is hard, families are hard" view of the world. I'm sorry, but I find life to be mostly beautful; I find our attempts at love to be generally beautiful; even families are beautiful, in their own twisted ways. In short, I find much of Powers' hand-wringing to be neither deep nor true, so it was hard for me to totally engage with this book.

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Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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message 1: by Jeremy (new)

Jeremy Hornik I read this book when it came out, at least 15 years ago, and since then I've pretty much been done with Richard Powers. Where's my fun? I want some fun. (Although I did like the "Everyone in America speaks a little Dutch" joke.)

Hundeschlitten Amen, brother.

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