Richard Powers, Echo Maker

Now that I’ve finished reading Richard Powers The Echo Maker, I go through a few reviews. It was definitely ‘a good read’ — with all the good but also a few of the ‘bad’ connotations of ‘a good read’. Upon finishing the novel I had the feeling it was not as strong as Gain (my favorite Powers) or In Our Time of Singing (the one that moved me most); feeling it’s maybe too much of a good read, too sympathetic toward one’s warm feelings… Call me cynical. For instance, I think the ecological theme could’ve been treated in a stronger, more problematic, and harsher way. But, having finished it a few days ago, I still think about it…

Slate has a good review, by Stephen Burt, that had me nodding ‘yes’ upon reading this paragraph: “Powers’ insistence that we make one another up, that our personalities coalesce from clouds of floating information, practically requires reviewers to call him “Postmodern”; some would link him to Thomas Pynchon, Don DeLillo, even William Gibson. Yet Powers is less these Postmodernistas’ companion than he is their opposite: warm where they are cold, lyrical where they are clinical or satirical, most involved where they would be most distant. Powers wants to know not how and why we fall apart, amid paranoid systems, but how (with the help of the arts and the sciences) we might put one another together. His subject is not collapse but convalescence, and so reading Powers feels less like reading (say) Gravity’s Rainbow than it feels like reading Middlemarch.” See: http://www.slate.com/id/2151095/.

There was a blog-roundtable about Echo Maker going at: http://www.edrants.com/?p=4579.

An oh, I hope I’ll get the new Pynchon immediately… I understand the review copies will arrive on the desk of reviewers this week. I wish I was among them…

en,reading matter | October 23, 2006 | 23:32 | comments (0) |

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