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The Echo Maker
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Rating
Winner of the 2006 National Book Award for FictionThe Echo Maker is "a remarkable novel, from one of our greatest novelists, and a book that will change all who read it" (Booklist, starred review).On a winter night on a remote Nebraska road, twenty-seven-year-old Mark Schluter has a near-fatal car accident. His older sister, Karin, returns reluctantly to their hometown to nurse Mark back from a traumatic head injury. But when Mark emerges from a coma, he believes that this woman--who looks, acts, and sounds just like his sister--is really an imposter. When Karin contacts the famous cognitive neurologist Gerald Weber for help, he diagnoses Mark as having Capgras syndrome. The mysterious nature of the disease, combined with the strange circumstances surrounding Mark's accident, threatens to change all of their lives beyond recognition. In The Echo Maker, Richard Powers proves himself to be one of our boldest and most entertaining novelists.
Product Details

About the Author

Richard Powers is the author of nine novels and has received a MacArthur Fellowship, a Lannan Literary Award, and the James Fenimore Cooper Prize for Historical Fiction. He lives in Illinois.

Reviews

When Karin's brother emerges from a coma after a serious car accident, he refuses to acknowledge Karin as his sister. Powerful stuff from an award-winning author. Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

A truck jackknifes off an "arrow straight country road" near Kearney, Nebr., in Powers's ninth novel, becoming the catalyst for a painstakingly rendered minuet of self-reckoning. The accident puts the truck's 27-year-old driver, Mark Schluter, into a 14-day coma. When he emerges, he is stricken with Capgras syndrome: he's unable to match his visual and intellectual identifications with his emotional ones. He thinks his sister, Karin, isn't actually his sister-she's an imposter (the same goes for Mark's house). A shattered and worried Karin turns to Gerald Weber, an Oliver Sacks-like figure who writes bestsellers about neurological cases, but Gerald's inability to help Mark, and bad reviews of his latest book, cause him to wonder if he has become a "neurological opportunist." Then there are the mysteries of Mark's nurse's aide, Barbara Gillespie, who is secretive about her past and seems to be much more intelligent than she's willing to let on, and the meaning of a cryptic note left on Mark's nightstand the night he was hospitalized. MacArthur fellow Powers (Gold Bug Variations, etc.) masterfully charts the shifting dynamics of Karin's and Mark's relationship, and his prose-powerful, but not overbearing-brings a sorrowful energy to every page. (Oct.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

Praise for Richard Powers: "Powers may be America's most ambitious novelist." --Kevin Berger, "San Francisco Chronicle Book Review""" "To read his work is to be wowed by his verbal muscularity. . .admirable. . .wonderfully original." --Meg Wolitzer, "The New York Times Book Review""" "Richard Powers is the child prodigy of American fiction . . . by 34 he had published three novels equaling the intellectual rigor and range of that '60s prodigy, Thomas Pynchon." --Tom LeClair, "USA Today""" "One of our few indispensable literary talents." --Charles B. Harris, "Review of Contemporary Fiction" "Powers may be the smartest novelist writing today." --Albert Mobilio, "The Village" "A grand novel--grand in its reach, grand in its themes, grand in it patterning . . . If Powers were an American writer of the nineteenth century . . . he'd probably be the Herman Melville of Moby-Dick. His picture is that big." --Margaret Atwood, The New York Review of Books "A brilliant novel . . . A vision of wonder." --The Boston Globe "Fascinating . . . In the end we see what Powers, with his beautiful language and broad reach, always wishes to have us see: the eternal mystery of human personality and how it functions in the extreme drama of the modern world." --O, The Oprah Magazine "A kind of neuro-cosmological adventure . . . an exhilarating narrative feat . . . Powers is a formidable talent, and this is a lucid, fiercely entertaining novel." --The Washington Post Book World "A wise and elegant post-9/11 novel . . . The mysteries unfold so organically and stealthily that you are unaware of his machinations until they come to stunning fruition. . . . Powers accomplishes something magnificent." --Colson Whitehead, The New York Times Book Review "Powers may well be one of the smartest novelists now writing. . . . In The Echo Maker, Powers hopes to plumb the nature of consciousness, and he does so with such alert passion that we come to recognize in his quest the novel's abiding theme--What it means to be human will forever elude us." --Los Angeles Times Book Review "One of the year's most engrossing." --Entertainment Weekly "[Powers's] characters are unforgettable, flesh-and-blood individuals as finely drawn as those of any contemporary fiction writer." --Steve Weinberg, The Seattle Times A grand novel--grand in its reach, grand in its themes, grand in it patterning . . . If Powers were an American writer of the nineteenth century . . . he'd probably be the Herman Melville of Moby-Dick. His picture is that big. Margaret Atwood, The New York Review of Books A brilliant novel . . . A vision of wonder. The Boston Globe Fascinating . . . In the end we see what Powers, with his beautiful language and broad reach, always wishes to have us see: the eternal mystery of human personality and how it functions in the extreme drama of the modern world. O, The Oprah Magazine A kind of neuro-cosmological adventure . . . an exhilarating narrative feat . . . Powers is a formidable talent, and this is a lucid, fiercely entertaining novel. The Washington Post Book World A wise and elegant post-9/11 novel . . . The mysteries unfold so organically and stealthily that you are unaware of his machinations until they come to stunning fruition. . . . Powers accomplishes something magnificent. Colson Whitehead, The New York Times Book Review Powers may well be one of the smartest novelists now writing. . . . In The Echo Maker, Powers hopes to plumb the nature of consciousness, and he does so with such alert passion that we come to recognize in his quest the novel's abiding theme--What it means to be human will forever elude us. Los Angeles Times Book Review One of the year's most engrossing. Entertainment Weekly [Powers's] characters are unforgettable, flesh-and-blood individuals as finely drawn as those of any contemporary fiction writer. Steve Weinberg, The Seattle Times " A grand novel--grand in its reach, grand in its themes, grand in it patterning . . . If Powers were an American writer of the nineteenth century . . . he'd probably be the Herman Melville of "Moby-Dick." His picture is that big. "Margaret Atwood, The New York Review of Books" A brilliant novel . . . A vision of wonder. "The Boston Globe" Fascinating . . . In the end we see what Powers, with his beautiful language and broad reach, always wishes to have us see: the eternal mystery of human personality and how it functions in the extreme drama of the modern world. "O, The Oprah Magazine" A kind of neuro-cosmological adventure . . . an exhilarating narrative feat . . . Powers is a formidable talent, and this is a lucid, fiercely entertaining novel. "The Washington Post Book World" A wise and elegant post-9/11 novel . . . The mysteries unfold so organically and stealthily that you are unaware of his machinations until they come to stunning fruition. . . . Powers accomplishes something magnificent. "Colson Whitehead, The New York Times Book Review" Powers may well be one of the smartest novelists now writing. . . . In "The Echo Maker, " Powers hopes to plumb the nature of consciousness, and he does so with such alert passion that we come to recognize in his quest the novel's abiding theme--What it means to be human will forever elude us. "Los Angeles Times Book Review" One of the year's most engrossing. "Entertainment Weekly" [Powers's] characters are unforgettable, flesh-and-blood individuals as finely drawn as those of any contemporary fiction writer. "Steve Weinberg, The Seattle Times"" "A grand novel--grand in its reach, grand in its themes, grand in it patterning . . . If Powers were an American writer of the nineteenth century . . . he'd probably be the Herman Melville of "Moby-Dick." His picture is that big."--Margaret Atwood, "The New York Review of Books" "A brilliant novel . . . A vision of wonder."--"The Boston Globe" "Fascinating . . . In the end we see what Powers, with his beautiful language and broad reach, always wishes to have us see: the eternal mystery of human personality and how it functions in the extreme drama of the modern world."--"O, The Oprah Magazine" "A kind of neuro-cosmological adventure . . . an exhilarating narrative feat . . . Powers is a formidable talent, and this is a lucid, fiercely entertaining novel."--"The Washington Post Book World" "A wise and elegant post-9/11 novel . . . The mysteries unfold so organically and stealthily that you are unaware of his machinations until they come to stunning fruition. . . . Powers accomplishes something magnificent."--Colson Whitehead, "The New York Times Book Review" "Powers may well be one of the smartest novelists now writing. . . . In "The Echo Maker, " Powers hopes to plumb the nature of consciousness, and he does so with such alert passion that we come to recognize in his quest the novel's abiding theme--What it means to be human will forever elude us."--"Los Angeles Times Book Review" "One of the year's most engrossing."--"Entertainment Weekly" "[Powers's] characters are unforgettable, flesh-and-blood individuals as finely drawn as those of any contemporary fiction writer."--Steve Weinberg, "The Seattle Times"

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