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The echo maker
Richard Powers
Adult Fiction POWERS

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From Publishers' Weekly:

A truck jackknifes off an "arrow straight country road" near Kearney, Nebr., in Powers's ninth novel, becoming the catalyst for a painstakingly rendered minuet of self-reckoning. The accident puts the truck's 27-year-old driver, Mark Schluter, into a 14-day coma. When he emerges, he is stricken with Capgras syndrome: he's unable to match his visual and intellectual identifications with his emotional ones. He thinks his sister, Karin, isn't actually his sister-she's an imposter (the same goes for Mark's house). A shattered and worried Karin turns to Gerald Weber, an Oliver Sacks-like figure who writes bestsellers about neurological cases, but Gerald's inability to help Mark, and bad reviews of his latest book, cause him to wonder if he has become a "neurological opportunist." Then there are the mysteries of Mark's nurse's aide, Barbara Gillespie, who is secretive about her past and seems to be much more intelligent than she's willing to let on, and the meaning of a cryptic note left on Mark's nightstand the night he was hospitalized. MacArthur fellow Powers (Gold Bug Variations, etc.) masterfully charts the shifting dynamics of Karin's and Mark's relationship, and his prose-powerful, but not overbearing-brings a sorrowful energy to every page. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

From Library Journal:

Powers (The Time of Our Singing ), who has won a Lannan Literary Award and the James Fenimore Cooper Prize for historical fiction, here investigates the mystery of traumatic brain injury. Set in small-town Nebraska near the bird-watching spectacle of Platte River, Powers's ninth novel centers on the life of 27-year-old Mark Schluter, who is unable to recognize his sister, Karin, after suffering a near-fatal accident. Desperate for clarity, Karin turns to world-renowned cognitive neurologist and writer Gerald Weber (reminiscent of the real-life Oliver Sacks). Cleverly, this novel isn't simply about Mark's damaged brain (he appears to suffer from a rare case of Capgras syndrome); instead, it sheds light generally on the human mind and our struggle to make sense of both the past and the present. Echo Maker is both mystery and case history as Mark struggles to investigate his accident through an anonymous note and Weber attempts to sort through the nuance and plasticity of the mind in his own declining years. Powers bounces back and forth through Mark's rambling thoughts, Weber's neurological theories, Karin's insecurities, and wonderfully poetic details of the cranes on the Platte River. Recommended for large public libraries.-Stephen Morrow, Columbus, OH (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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main characters Mark Schluter
Age: 27
Truck jackknifes off a country road; in a coma for 14 days; awakens with Capgras syndrome, a brain disorder; suffers from delusions; attempts to learn what happened the night of his accident.
Truck driver

Karin Schluter
Mark's older sister; takes care of her brother after his near-fatal accident.

Gerald Weber
Mark's neurologist.

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