Professional Book Review

BOOK REVIEW: The Echo Maker

Do you ever feel like you’re in a parallel universe in which the people you know are ‘doubles’ or ‘impostors’? That’s what happened to Mark Schluter when he emerged from his coma with a rare case of Capgras syndrome, a disorder in which a person holds a delusion that a close relative or friend has been replaced by an impostor, an exact double, despite recognition of familiarity in appearance and behavior.

Winner of the 2006 National Book Award for Fiction, The Echo Maker is a remarkable novel from one of America’s very best and least-known novelists, Richard Powers.

Synopsis (from Macmillan webpage)

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 March 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.

More than the scientific discourses and neurological insights of The Echo Maker are the struggles of Powers’ characters that help us understand a bit more of how we work. The Echo Maker is a rich and complex novel with bits and pieces of mysteries unfolding until the end.

BOOK REVIEW: The Echo Maker
by Ms. Shane Bl Capil

References:

The Echo Maker. (n.d.) Retrieved July 18, 2012, from Macmillan website: http://us.macmillan.com/theechomaker/RichardPowers

Whitehead, C. (2006, October 22). Migratory Spirits [Review of the book The Echo Maker]. The  New York Times. Retrieved from http://www.nytimes.com/2006/10/22/books/review/Whitehead.t.html?pagewanted=all

Ness, P. (2007, January 6). I am No One [Review of the book The Echo Maker]. Retrieved from The Guardian web site:  http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2007/jan/06/featuresreviews.guardianreview33

Capgras syndrome (n.d.). In PsychNet-UK. Retrieved from http://www.psychnet-uk.com/x_new_site/DSM_IV/capgras_syndrome.html

Images retrieved July 21, 2012 from http://wss.wholesite.com/lTYzJQcS3/G2Fx6cdS3/www.toromagazine.com-richardpowers_main.jpg?size=650×375 and http://resources.macmillanusa.com/jackets/186W/9780312426439.jpg 

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