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

by Peter Carey

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4622122,468 (3.35)28
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 (2012)

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Showing 1-5 of 20 (next | show all)
Interesting and compelling but sometimes too strange. That is, the historical flashbacks to the isolated German village of clockmakers contained all kinds of weird esoteric statements (by Sumper)that defied my understanding -- kind of historical science fiction. I would definitely read one of his books again, but being careful that the theme was not too out there. ( )
  amaraki | Jun 12, 2016 |
5.15
  aletheia21 | Oct 18, 2015 |
Well. I'm rather at a loss. I could give you a basic plot outline, to start with, I suppose.
Catherine's secret lover, also a coworker, dies. She is unable to grieve outwardly (secret) and her sympathetic boss - who may also have a crush on her - arranges for her to work on a project away from her usual workplace. She becomes obsessively involved in the project and completes it. The end.
This basic outline will tell you absolutely nothing about what this story is really about, and I'm not entirely sure I can tell you either. It's probably about loss, fear of loss, obsession, fear of obsession, the mysteries of human interaction and perhaps even physics. Did Mr. Carey indulge in an intensive study of German transcendentalists before writing this book? I have questions.
I found Catherine to be an unsympathetic character and felt very out of patience with her behavior. I did relate on some level to her throwing herself into a difficult project in order to escape from her grief.
I don't really have anything else to offer here. It wasn't a terrible book. It was even beautiful in spots, but then, rotten in spots too. It's an odd little book. ( )
  nittnut | Jul 29, 2015 |
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 |
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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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2 editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 1926428153, 0143568558

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