The Echo Maker by Richard Powers
A Novel

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Synopsis

On a winter night on a remote Nebraska road, 27-year-old Mark Schluter flips his truck in a near-fatal accident. His older sister Karin, his only near kin, 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 recognize her, Karin contacts the cognitive neurologist Gerald Weber, famous for his case histories describing the infinitely bizarre worlds of brain disorder. Weber recognizes Mark as a rare case of Capgras Syndrome, a doubling delusion, and eagerly investigates. What he discovers in Mark slowly undermines even his own sense of being. Meanwhile, Mark, armed only with a note left by an anonymous witness, attempts to learn what happened the night of his inexplicable accident. The truth of that evening will change the lives of all three beyond recognition.


Set against the Platte River's massive spring migrations-one of the greatest spectacles in nature-The Echo Maker is a gripping mystery that explores the improvised human self and the even more precarious brain that splits us from and joins us to the rest of creation.


The Echo Maker is the winner of the 2006 National Book Award for Fiction.

 

About Richard Powers

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Richard Powers is the author of eight previous novels that have received numerous honors including a MacArthur Fellowship, a Lannan Literary Award, and the James Fenimore Cooper Prize for Historical Fiction.
 
Published April 1, 2007 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux. 464 pages
Genres: Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Echo Maker

Kirkus Reviews

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Weber’s “tests” fail to relieve or explain Mark’s delusive paranoia, and Karin turns first to the siblings’ former childhood friend Daniel Riegel, long since estranged from Mark, now a deeply committed environmental activist;

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The New York Times

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And most humiliating of all, a parodic New Yorker Shouts & Murmurs piece called “From the Files of Dr. Frontalobe” appears, featuring “the woman who used her husband as a tea cozy” and “the man who turned multiple-personality in order to use the HOV lane,” making Weber wonder if he should self-pr...

Oct 22 2006 | Read Full Review of The Echo Maker: A Novel

The New York Times

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In Richard Powers’s latest novel, a mysterious truck crash upends the lives of a brother and sister.

Oct 22 2006 | Read Full Review of The Echo Maker: A Novel

The Guardian

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The Echo Maker by Richard Powers 451pp, William Heinemann, £17.99 Richard Powers is at once one of America's very best- and least-known novelists.

Jan 06 2007 | Read Full Review of The Echo Maker: A Novel

NPR

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Star writers gathered in New York City on Wednesday night for the National Book Awards ceremony. Books dealing with the events of Sept. 11, and war, were among the nominees. A graphic novel was also among the nominees, a first. Among the winners was Richard Powers' The Echo Maker, which took the ...

Nov 16 2006 | Read Full Review of The Echo Maker: A Novel

Book Reporter

Both Karin and Gerald doubt themselves but muddle through the intricacies of solving the Capgras mystery in order to restore Mark's brain to self-awareness.

Jan 21 2011 | Read Full Review of The Echo Maker: A Novel

London Review of Books

The machine doesn’t have to be human or think like a human, just perform in such a way that an independent observer will not know which is the human and which is the machine.

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Bookmarks Magazine

Matt Murray Critical Summary In novels such as The Gold Bug Variations and The Time of Our Singing, Richard Powers has proven himself to be a novelist of ideas, from artificial intelligence to corporate greed and classical music (see our Powers profile in the Sept/Oct 2006 issue).

Aug 21 2007 | Read Full Review of The Echo Maker: A Novel

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