The Echo Maker

The Echo Maker

Book - 2006
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On a winter night on a remote Nebraska road, twenty-seven-year-old Mark Schluter flips his truck in a near-fatal accident. His older sister, Karin, his only near kin, returns reluctantly to their hometown to nurse Mark back from a traumatic head injury. But when he emerges from a protracted coma, Mark believes that this woman--who looks, acts, and sounds just like his sister--is really an impostor. Shattered by her brother's refusal to recognize her, Karin contacts the cognitive neurologist Gerald Weber, famous for his case histories describing the infinitely bizarre world of brain disorders. Weber recognizes Mark's condition as a rare case of Capgras syndrome--the delusion that people in one's life are doubles or imposters--and eagerly investigates. What he discovers in Mark slowly undermines even his own sense of being. Meanwhile, Mark, armed only with a note left by an anonymous witness, attempts to learn what happened the night of his inexplicable accident. The truth of that evening will change the lives of all three beyond recognition.
Publisher: New York : Farrar, Straus and Giroux, [2006]
Copyright Date: ©2006
ISBN: 9780374146351
Characteristics: 451 pages ; 24 cm


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Apr 17, 2019

"All the humans revered Crane, the great orator. Where cranes gathered, their speech carried miles. The Aztecs called themselves the Crane People. One of the Anishinaabe clans was named the Cranes-Ajijak or Businasse-the Echo Makers."
Powers just won the Pulitzer for his excellent 2018 novel, "The Overstory." This 2006 book was a finalist for the Pulitzer and won the National Book Award. As with much of his work, its dense, cerebral, and interested in nature (human and non-human) and science. The plot seems like something out of an Oliver Sacks book (And, indeed, there is a popular science writer who bears more than a passing resemblance to Sacks): a Nebraska man flips his truck and when he wakes up, he thinks his sister is an impostor. This quick summary doesn't do the book justice. Powers is a quiet writer, but he's written some of the most profound novels of the new century. "Mark is right, you know. The whole place, a substitute. I mean: Is this country anyplace you recognize?"

Nov 24, 2014

I found this book to be boring and rather plot-less. The characters were so one-dimensional. The stuff about the cranes was cool, and the brain stuff was interesting, but i kind of felt like it was so random; the strings tying everything together were too loose, transparent. I sometimes skipped entire sections that seemed to be telling me little about the humans characters in the story. Not sure I will pick up another by this author.

Oct 28, 2013

This is just a great read. Wonderful characters and a great plot. Loved the landscape and the cranes.

Sep 02, 2012

Sandhill Cranes, Oliver at Antelope Lodge, TG getaway / Holly, etc.

Jun 27, 2012

Great start and thought provoking at first but I didn't understand where the author was going sometimes.

May 04, 2011

Powers is a writer of daring and imagination. He is a thinker as much as a novelist and he makes demands on the reader who will find his or her mind exercised on profound issues that are often denied or ignored in this era of shallow distractions. On reading the oeuvre of Powers one is left with a sense of awe that one is living contemporaneously with a "great" writer who a century from now will be plumbed by scholars for insights into the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries.

Nov 18, 2010

2006 National Book Award - Fiction

Dec 06, 2007

Finalist 2007 Pulitzer prize for fiction.


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