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The Chemistry of Tears by Peter Carey
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The Chemistry of Tears (edition 2012)

by Peter Carey

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3791928,461 (3.3)19
Member:booklady2031
Title:The Chemistry of Tears
Authors:Peter Carey
Info:Knopf (2012), Edition: First Edition, Hardcover, 240 pages
Collections:Read but unowned
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The Chemistry of Tears by Peter Carey

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English (18)  Dutch (1)  All languages (19)
Showing 1-5 of 18 (next | show all)
When Catherine Gehrig's 13-year affair with a married man is terminated by his death, her boss assigns her a conservation project away from prying eyes. Working on the restoration of a 19th century mechanically operated swan she comes across the travel journal of the man who commissioned it for his dying son.

The journal was interesting but I couldn't really get involved with the portrayal of Catherine's grief. ( )
  Robertgreaves | Apr 14, 2014 |
The book alternates between two stories split by centuries in time, connected by one clockwork object crafted in 19th century and it undergoing restoration in 2010.

Catherine Gehrig works as a conservator of clocks, she learns that he lover of 13 years has died. As an offer of comfort she is assigned a new restoration work in her museum in London, a fantastical 19th century clockwork swan.

A second story line traces the swan's original manufacturer, Henry Brandling who travels to Germany to find and commission who can execute his wondrous plan, a swan so amazing that it would restore his son's health.

Catherine becomes attached to the notebook of Brandling, the story then becomes a twist of her love grief and Brandling's obsession in making the clock.

Catherine disintegrates, in the course of the novel we see her descending into darker and more hopeless moods. Brandling is driven by the love of his young son, and that is expressed in a fine poetic prose.

The precise writing style is the strong side of the book, the story of Catherine is hard to make sympathetic, and it doesn't integrate easily with the story of Brandling. ( )
  port22 | Jan 12, 2014 |
Something is wrong with this book. Wrong vernacular, or clumsy segues, into off topics. Erg. His wife has hair breasts?!?!? What?!

I feel so bad. So many people loved this book. Am I missing something?

OK. I finished it. Had to skim some of it. Ugh. I was still curious what would happen, but I think I was too lost, and missed something? Did I? I wouldn't mind cliff notes for this. I'm second guessing myself over the fairly interesting double plots, which I failed to appreciate.
( )
  MochiMama | Aug 21, 2013 |
There are two types of Peter Carey books - the ones like Parrot and Olivier, Jack Maggs and Illywhacker are about amusing stories, well told with intricate detailed characters. This is not one of those. This is more in the stlpe of 'My life as a fake'. If you have read that then you will know what to expect. Yes there is a story but the plot line is not the main focus of the writing here. There is a lot to think about in this book about humanity, love and loss and if you have a philosophical side to you then you will be satisfied. As with any book that deals with personal feelings and the issues surrounding humanity as a whole not all of the author's ideas are going to speak or be clear to you. There are some confusing and bewildering sections in this book but by and large it is well worth a read and a short Carey novel. If it is your first Carey novel though, put it down and read one of the above three, otherwise it might be the last Carey book you read. ( )
  polarbear123 | Jul 13, 2013 |
When Catherine's long term married lover suddenly dies she is unable to publicly express her loss. Her affair was known to her boss at the museum where she works and to distract her grief she is given a project to restore an automaton from the 19th century. The parts were accompanied by 10 journals which explained the unusual circumstances of how the automaton came to be.
An unusual story, one that I felt left a sense of confusion once it was finished. ( )
  TheWasp | Jun 15, 2013 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Peter Careyprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Montijn, HienTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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London, 2010. Grieving the loss of her lover, Swinburne museum curator Catherine Gehrig is given a special project--bring back to life an automaton whose original owner, 19th century Englishman Henry Brandling, was also confronted with the mystery of life and death.… (more)

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Penguin Australia

Two editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 1926428153, 0143568558

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