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State of Wonder

by Ann Patchett, Gaëlle Rey (Translator)

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
6,1883891,517 (3.87)3 / 559
A researcher at a pharmaceutical company, Marina Singh journeys into the heart of the Amazonian delta to check on a field team that has been silent for two years--a dangerous assignment that forces Marina to confront the ghosts of her past.
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» See also 559 mentions

English (383)  Dutch (2)  German (1)  Italian (1)  All languages (387)
Showing 1-5 of 383 (next | show all)
Didn't love this one as much as Bel Canto but still a very good book. ( )
  secondhandrose | Oct 31, 2023 |
I enjoyed it but it didn't stay with me like some of her other books. ( )
  Bebe_Ryalls | Oct 20, 2023 |
Having received news that her colleague has died in the Amazon during a pharmaceutical research trip, Dr. Marina Singh is tasked with finding out what progress he had made on an innovative new drug under the supervision of an elusive doctor who has not been heard from in two years.

From the beautiful, lush descriptions of the Amazon to the complex relationships between characters, I loved every single second of this book. I adored the ending (and was one of those girls who cry on public transit because of it) and really loved how there was an air of mystery that was subtly present throughout. I don't know about you, but there's something about a stunning work of literature with a scientific premise that just gets me every single time. ( )
  cbwalsh | Sep 13, 2023 |
Interesting story of a female scientist who is recruited by her work to go to the Amazon in search of answers about her colleague's death. There are some interesting characters in this story and I enjoyed the story overall. You definitely need to suspend belief in parts but that made for interesting reading. Thought the ending was sweet. ( )
  tinkerbellkk | Jul 14, 2023 |
State of Wonder is in many ways a modern day retelling of Joseph Conrad's "Heart of Darkness" . The books share many similarities but there are two big differences. Firstly,the two main characters are women and secondly,there is a surprising,and very touching happy ending. ( )
  kevinkevbo | Jul 14, 2023 |
Showing 1-5 of 383 (next | show all)
In her latest novel, Ann Patchett, author of the beloved Bel Canto, takes her readers down the Amazon and deep into the rain forest in a book that is part adventure story, part morality tale...This book may be on a lot of book club lists already — but with good reason...
added by Jcambridge | editNPR, Lynn Neary (Jan 1, 2012)
State of Wonder is heavy with literary parallels (to Henry James, to Greek myth), but in this respect the strongest links are to Heart of Darkness, a novel that Patchett substantially rewrites, with Conrad's male text repopulated with female characters (Swenson is this book's Kurtz). It lacks the developed emotional core of Patchett's earlier books, but it is her most mature work to date, a novel that tries to be more alive to the nerve ends of philosophical life than to the simpler machinery of character motivation.
“State of Wonder” is an engaging, consummately told tale. Patchett’s deadpan narrative style showcases a dry humor that enables her to wed, with fine effect, the world of “Avatar” or the “Odyssey” with that of corporate board meetings, R&D reports and peer review...

“State of Wonder” is an immensely touching novel, although as with much of Patchett’s work, its emotional impact is somewhat muted by her indefatigable niceness.
Nail-biting action scenes include a young boy’s near-mortal crushing by a 15-foot anaconda, whose head Marina lops off with a machete; they’re balanced by contemplative moments that give this gripping novel spiritual and metaphysical depth, right down to the final startling plot twist.
added by Shortride | editKirkus Reviews (Feb 1, 2011)

» Add other authors (2 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Patchett, Annprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Rey, GaëlleTranslatormain authorall editionsconfirmed
Daddio, Jennifer AnnDesignersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Davis, HopeReadersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Duval, NateCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ferguson, ArchieCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Löcher-Lawrence, WernerTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Mann, DavidCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Montijn, Hiensecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sporrong, DorotheeTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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To my friend Jo VanDevender
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The news of Anders' Eckman's death came by way of Aerogram, a piece of bright blue airmail paper that served as both the stationery and, when folded over and sealed along the edges, the envelope.
Had they thought for a minute that things might turn out the way they did they never would have had the courage to begin. Marina's own birth had been engendered by naïvité: her mother's, thinking that love would win out over the pull of an entire country; her father's, thinking he could leave a country behind for one Minnesotan. Had they not been so hopeful and guileless her birth would have been impossible. (p. 53)
When Marina got back to the lab, Dr. Nancy Saturn was explaining the relationship between the Martin trees and the purple martinets to Mr. Fox, and Thomas Nkomo was showing him the charts to pregnancies, birth wights, live births and they were all lying to him in everything they chose not to tell. (p. 312)
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A researcher at a pharmaceutical company, Marina Singh journeys into the heart of the Amazonian delta to check on a field team that has been silent for two years--a dangerous assignment that forces Marina to confront the ghosts of her past.

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Haiku summary
endless river
love lost
love found

Everything's easy
after killing


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Average: (3.87)
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2 106
2.5 24
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