Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

The Echo Maker by Richard Powers

The Echo Maker (2006)

by Richard Powers

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1,925913,552 (3.56)84

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 84 mentions

English (86)  Dutch (2)  German (1)  Italian (1)  French (1)  All languages (91)
Showing 1-5 of 86 (next | show all)
The National Book Award? Really? What am I missing? I wanted to like it. It should be right up my alley. I love birds, neuroscience, ordinary people, and grappling with the big questions. This book, however, is just sophomoric, formulaic and dull. The characters are unlikable and uninteresting. The plot is hackneyed and contrived. I know I should write a more reasoned review but I'm too irritated about the time I wasted reading the darn thing to spend any more time on it. ( )
1 vote prairiegrl | Mar 17, 2015 |
A good friend has been recommending Powers to me for years - finally I get around to one! Yeah, my friend's advice was excellent!

I am probably missing some layers here. The book is a kind of blending of neurology and ecology. Reminds me of David Abram or Morris Berman or maybe Richard Grossinger. But this is an excellent novel, one way to explore the issues.

His Holiness the 17th Karmapa will be in the USA in just a few days, in March 2015 and through April. His Holiness is a high level Buddhist figure. So that's largely the neurology angle. How our sense of self is a kind of illusion or mask, a collage. But then His Holiness takes compassion to the ecological level. Yeah the point seems to be, that what we really are is a piece of life, a part of a vast pattern that runs through space and time far beyond our petty conventional boundaries and concerns.

Then, how can a person live, make a life, make meaning, recognizing the situation, the vastness, the emptiness? Just dig in right here and do the work that is right in front waiting, calling.

Very good. ( )
1 vote kukulaj | Mar 12, 2015 |
Enjoyable, though a bit too long. I didn't really buy the subplot about Dr. Weber's personal struggles, and there were many little ways in which things felt unresolved at the end. ( )
  thatotter | Feb 4, 2014 |
This is a "can't put it down" kind of book. It misses out on 5 stars because sometimes the author gets a little too caught up in himself, and for certain aspects of one character which are not really a flaw of the book at all but which made it a little less enjoyable for me.

After reading what others have written about this book, I'd like to add to my review: I actually found the complicated emotional things going on in the book more interesting than all of the scientific discussions. For me, at least some of the detail in those scientific segments was beside the point. I did like how the author showed the characters' very different points of view and motivations. I felt their frustrations with the situation and with each other right along with them. What Karin goes through is so interesting. The position she finds herself in... exploring that and her relationship with her brother... I found that really unique and interesting--compelling stuff. ( )
  tercat | Nov 19, 2013 |
I had a difficult time with this novel, if only because after the first quarter, it seemed to start repeating itself. Brother cannot recognize sister -- repeat, repeat, repeat, repeat, ad nauseum. Famous neurologist comes and studies, is haunted by thoughts of brother, repeat, repeat, repeat. Sister is frustrated by brother not recognizing her, repeat, repeat, repeat. Sigh. ( )
  amandacb | Aug 7, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 86 (next | show all)
Powers does a beautiful job with these characters, as we see each of them navigate through their self-preoccupations, their histories (shared and not) and where their own needs intersect with others.
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Information from the German Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
Alternative titles
Original publication date
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
To find the soul it is necessary to lose it.
- A. R. Luria
Part One:

We are all potential fossils still carrying within our bodies the crudities of former existences, the marks of a world in which living creatures flow with little more consistency than clouds from age to age.
- Loren Eiseley, The Immense Journey, "The Slit"
Part Two:

I know a painting so evanescent that it is seldom viewed at all.
- Aldo Leopold, A Sand County Almanac
Part Three:

I once saw, on a flowerpot in my own living room, the efforts of a field mouse to build a remembered field. I have lived to see this episode repeated in a thousand guises, and since I have spent a large portion of my life in the shade of a non-existent tree, i think I am entitled to speak for the field mouse.
- Loren Eiseley, The Night Country, "The Brown Wasps"
Part Four:

What was full was not my creel, but my memory. Like the white-throats, I had forgotten it would ever again be aught but morning on the Fork.
- Aldo Leopold, A Sand County Almanac
First words
Cranes keep landing as night falls.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Information from the Italian Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
Richard Powers (Evanston,Illinois, 1957) a scritto anche (pubblicati in Italia): "Tre contadini che vanno a ballare"; "Il dilemma del prigioniero"; "Galatea 2.2"; "Il tempo di una canzone".
Publisher's editors
Publisher series
Information from the German Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
Original language

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (2)

Book description
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0312426437, Paperback)

Winner of the 2006 National Book Award for Fiction
The Echo Maker is "a remarkable novel, from one of our greatest novelists, and a book that will change all who read it" (Booklist, starred review).
On a winter night on a remote Nebraska road, twenty-seven-year-old Mark Schluter has a near-fatal car accident. His older sister, Karin, returns reluctantly to their hometown to nurse Mark back from a traumatic head injury. But when Mark emerges from a coma, he believes that this woman--who looks, acts, and sounds just like his sister--is really an imposter. When Karin contacts the famous cognitive neurologist Gerald Weber for help, he diagnoses Mark as having Capgras syndrome. The mysterious nature of the disease, combined with the strange circumstances surrounding Mark's accident, threatens to change all of their lives beyond recognition. In The Echo Maker, Richard Powers proves himself to be one of our boldest and most entertaining novelists.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:19:20 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

Twenty-seven-year-old Mark Schluter, suffering from a rare brain disorder that causes him to believe his sister to be an impostor, endeavors to discover the cause of the motor vehicle accident that resulted in his head injury.

» see all 6 descriptions

Quick Links

Swap Ebooks Audio
21 avail.
149 wanted
2 pay2 pay

Popular covers


Average: (3.56)
0.5 3
1 12
1.5 6
2 40
2.5 20
3 126
3.5 44
4 158
4.5 26
5 80

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.


Help/FAQs | About | Privacy/Terms | Blog | Contact | LibraryThing.com | APIs | WikiThing | Common Knowledge | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | 96,167,902 books! | Top bar: Always visible