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The Echo Maker : A Novel - Richard Powers

The Echo Maker

A Novel

By: Richard Powers

Paperback | 1 November 2007 | Edition Number 1

At a Glance



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Winner of the National Book Award 2006.

On a winter night on a remote road in Nebraska, twenty-seven-year-old Mark Schluter's truck turns over in a near fatal accident. His older sister, Karin, his only close relative, returns reluctantly to their hometown to nurse Mark back from a traumatic head injury.

But when he emerges from a protracted coma, Mark believes that this woman - who looks, acts, and sounds just like his sister - is really an identical impostor. Shattered by her brother's refusal to recognise her, Karin contacts the cognitive neurologist Gerald Weber, famous for his case studies describing the infinitely bizarre worlds of brain disorder.

Weber recognises Mark as a very unusual case of Capgras syndrome and is keen to investigate. But what he discovers in Mark begins to undermine even his own sense of self.

Meanwhile, Mark, armed only with a note left by an anonymous witness, attempts to learn what happened on the night of his accident. The truth of that evening will change the lives of all three beyond recognition.

Set against the spectacular spring migrations of American Sandhill cranes, The Echo Maker is a profound and riveting novel that explores how memory, instinct and relationships make us who we are.

About the Author

Richard Powers is the author of nine novels, including Galatea 2.2 and The Gold Bug Variations, both of which were nominated for the US National Book Critics Circle Award, Operation Wandering Soul, which was nominated for the US National Book Award for Fiction, Plowing the Dark, Gain, and most recently, The Time of Our Singing, winner of the WH Smith Literary Award. He lives in Illinois.
Industry Reviews
"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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