Saturday, December 29, 2007

Juli's Review of The Echo Maker

From the back cover:

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.

If you can get through the first 100 pages of this book it is well worth reading. This is one of the more intricate novels I’ve read in awhile. There is a lot going on that is cleverly intertwined…neurology, biology, ecology, relationships…there are four or five main characters whose lives layer over each other in an amazing and sometimes sad way.
At times it was confusing. Not because it was poorly written, I just had a hard time following on occasions. For the most part I just kept reading to see what the human mind was capable of.

I selected this book from 3M's list (Michelle). When I finished reading the book and read why she picked it I was shocked to learn that she HAD Capgras and Cotards Syndrome in college! I tried to imagine her (even though I don't know her) in situations similar to those in the book. It must have been a difficult and strange time to say the least. I assume/hope that she is no longer suffering from those conditions as it seems so painful for everyone involved.

I found the book very interesting because I have degrees in psychology and biology and they overlap perfectly here. Great recommendation if you have the right mindset.

(completed 11.26.07)

1 comment:

The Compulsive Reader said...

Thanks a lot for the comment, and happy holidays to you too!