Comments 6

A neurotic support system – The Echo Maker by Richard Powers

The fourth line, the fourth part

Hello, how’s everyone? I miss blogging, and I am kind of hoping at least someone missed me, hahaha! I did some serious reading during the holidays, and here’s one of them: The Echo Maker.

I am No One
but Tonight on North Line Road
GOD led me to you
so You could Live
and bring back someone else.

The novel is propped against those five lines, each line representing the five divisions of the book. So, what do we have here? I think I’ll be able to do a better job by giving a brief description of the major characters.

Mark Schluter: I had an accident. I think this woman taking care of me is just pretending to be my sister. Where is she, my real sister? And I have to find out what happened the night of the accident.

Karin Schluter: All my life, I’ve been trying to escape this town. Now I am drawn back to it again, for the third time. And I am so devastated. My brother remembers but does not recognize me.

Dr. Weber: Mark is a staggering case study. No one has ever had Capgras Syndrome through an accident. This is good material for my new book while I’m trying not to hit straight on midlife crisis.

Barbara: I am a mysterious nursing aide. I will take care of Mark and support Karin all the way.

Daniel: I am Mark’s childhood friend and Karin’s current boyfriend. I will support Karin all the way while protecting the cranes.

Sylvie: I am Weber’s perfect wife. I will support him through the good and bad reviews of his third book.

Tommy and Duane: We are Mark’s best buddies. We will start corrupting him again once he is on his feet. We don’t have anything to do with the accident. We will support Mark and his old habits.

Bonnie: I am Mark’s girl. Sometimes, I appear at the plot when the characters find it convenient. I do not complain. I will support anyone.

These are all you need to know. The novel lives up to its title: everyone’s echoing his or her issues page after page. The first part is promising, but the interest wanes. I have a feeling that the novel can be fully understood if the reader skips the middle parts. A total drag.

And oh, if you are fascinated by cranes or strange neurological cases, you might want to read this. But I think Wikipedia will do a better job.

Date Started: April 2, 2012. 8:15 PM. Book #18 of 2012.



    • Hi Angus,
      No, I haven’t read it, but I can well imagine it from your characterization and style of review. I would much rather read A Sand County Almanac. If you look up Aldo Leopold on Wikipedia, there’s a nice biography there.


    • Oh okay, thanks for that. There are a lot of interesting neurological stuff in this novel, but if you are not into that mysterious branch of medicine, you pass on this one. :)


    • jeannevoelker says

      Is the neurological stuff realistic or fantasy? Real neurology is fascinating.


    • The seem real, but they are so rare that they can be passed off as fictional. One example is the case of motion blindness, where the sufferer only sees the world as a series of still photos. Another is the inability to see objects on the left side of the sufferer. Or let’s not get too far: the protagonist’s Capgras Syndrome.


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