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Orfeo : A Novel - Richard Powers

Orfeo

A Novel

By: Richard Powers

Paperback | 2 September 2014

At a Glance

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In Orfeo, composer Peter Els opens the door one evening to find the police on his doorstep. His home microbiology lab--the latest experiment in his lifelong attempt to find music in surprising patterns--has aroused the suspicions of Homeland Security. Panicked by the raid, Els turns fugitive and hatches a plan to transform this disastrous collision with the security state into an unforgettable work of art that will reawaken its audience to the sounds all around it.

Industry Reviews
"Powers is prodigiously talented, he writes lyrical prose, has a seductive sense of wonder and is an acute observer of social life." -- Jim Holt - The New York Times Book Review "Powers's talent for translating avant-garde music into engrossing vignettes on the page is inexhaustible. Els's obsession with avant-garde, which isolates him from everyone he loves, becomes the very thing that aligns him with the reader." -- Publishers Weekly, Starred review "The earmarks of the renowned novelist's work are here... but rarely have his novels been so tightly focused and emotionally compelling." -- Kirkus, Starred review "Bravo, Richard Powers, for hitting so many high notes with Orfeo and contributing to the fraction of books that really matter." -- Heller McAlpin - NPR "Orfeo reveals how a life, and the narrative of a life, accumulates, impossibly, infinitely, from every direction... In this retelling of the Orpheus myth Powers also manages enchantment." -- Scott Korb - Slate "Orfeo... establishes beyond any doubt that the novel is very much alive." -- Troy Jollimore - Chicago Tribune "Magnificent and moving." -- David Ulin - The Los Angeles Times "For sheer bravado in constructing sentences, few authors of contemporary fiction can surpass Powers...One of his finest yet." -- Ted Gioia - The San Francisco Chronicle "Powers' writing is complex and heady without being head-achy, and his synesthetic descriptions of finding melodies in the mundane are full of their own kind of music." -- Keith Staskiewicz - Entertainment Weekly "An extraordinary feat... makes the inaccessible comprehensible." -- Andrew Leonard - Salon "Biology and music, past and present, come together in a clever, explosive resolution." -- Adam Kirsch - Boston Globe "[T]he crowning achievement of this wildly imaginative Evanston native's distinguished career." -- Chicago Tribune

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