Monday, March 05, 2007

The Echo Maker

I completely lost track of everything this weekend while I read The Echo Maker by Richard Powers. Powers masterfully combines science and emotion in a tale about cranes, water, brain damage, recovery, sibling relationships, trust, success and failure, and our perceptions. There is much medical jargon, but with the search for medical answers to Mark's accident induced Capgras Syndrome the search for personal answers to our perceptions of self, our public presentation of self, and the outsider's perception of us is illuminated. We are also reminded of how fragile, yet resilient, the interactions truly are.

My husband came back home last night and said, "You've been reading."

I said, "How observant of you. How did you know?"

He said, "You are somewhere else. You always go somewhere else."

Hmmm! I think I misjudged my husband. I was in Nebraska while he was in Memphis. I thought he wouldn't notice my absence.

Thanks for the recommendation, Zilla!! Now, I feel that I must go see the cranes!!!!


zilla said...

This gift has brought tears to my eyes!

I still have not so much as cracked The Echo Maker, waiting for a time when I can savor it in relative peace. The gift? You having taken the time to read it, as well as post so thoughtfully about it.

One of the many things I enjoy about Powers is that he takes "generalism" to its limits. He knows so much about so many things, seems always to be striving to know more, and somehow applies so much of what he's bothered to learn over the years into tales that not only provoke thought, but evoke emotion. He's ... like a 21st C Renaissance man. Challenging, sometimes frustrating, rarely boring; he's on my list of people I'd like to meet but hope I don't because I'd probably pass out, which would be kind of embarrassing.

Thanks for a perfect ending to an up and down day.

wisteria said...

When you get the time to read it, you won't be disappointed! This is a beautifully researched and crafted book. I suppose I'll have to read his other seven novels.

After you read it, let's talk. I always hesitate to put anything substantial about books here because I have read too many papers taken directly from internet sources. I want to be inspiring, but not so inspiring as to deny a student a chance to ruminate and create for himself.

ZILLA said...

It's over a year later, and guess what I finally read while in Montana?

Actually, I've got the final chapter to go -- that delay out of Minneapolis should have been a few minutes longer :-)

Have you read The Time of Our Singing yet? The Gold Bug Variations?