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Atmospheric Disturbances
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Archive: Other Books > Atmospheric Disturbances by Rivka Galchen - 3 Stars

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message 1: by Olivermagnus (last edited Mar 07, 2016 07:23AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

 Olivermagnus (lynda214) | 1907 comments Leo Liebenstein is a middle-aged psychiatrist confronting a strange problem. His wife, Rema, is missing and a woman who looks just like Rema has taken her place. Leo knows this”impostress” can't be Rema because she's carrying a dog, and Rema dislikes dogs. A patient of Leo's named Harvey has also gone missing. Harvey believes that he can control the weather, and that he is a secret agent for the Royal Academy of Meteorology which leads to Leo becoming interested in the work of a member named Tzvi Gal-Chen, who has done research on the difficulties of translating Doppler radar data. He goes to Patagonia on a quest to find Rema. Leo poses as Tzvi Gal-Chen, and while this unorthodox technique appears to work at first, Leo becomes caught up in his patient's fantasy and becomes convinced that the real Gal-Chen must have something to do with the disappearance of his wife.

The novel does have a funny side. The quirkiness of Leo's thoughts and the funny way in which he articulates them provides some relief from the overload of analytical information. There are a few diagrams and formulas included, a technique that always makes me feel like an idiot since I don't understand them.

I noticed one of the tags was “WTF” and I have to agree. I went into this book thinking it was a straightforward missing persons novel so I was dazed and confused during the first half of the book. That's my fault because I never like to read any blurbs about a book that I'm planning to read so I can avoid any spoilers. Eventually I realized that this was a completely different style of book written by an author with a great command of language and writing skill. If you subscribe to the New Yorker and like that style of writing I think you'll enjoy this book.


message 2: by Anita (new)

Anita Pomerantz | 6257 comments Yikes, even the plot overview is giving me some WTF vibes, lol.

You are brave not reading any blurbs ahead. I read blurbs AND reviews most of the time before I read anything.

I guess this was pretty sophisticated if you are comparing it to the New Yorker, but it does sound a bit convoluted!


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