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Orfeo

A Novel

Powers, Richard

(Book - 2014)
Average Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5.
Orfeo
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Composer Peter Els --the "Bioterrorist Bach" -- pays a final visit to the people he loves, those who shaped his musical journey and, through the help of his ex-wife, his daughter, and his longtime collaborator, he hatches a plan to turn his disastrous collision with Homeland Security into a work of art that will reawaken its audience to the sounds all around them.
Publisher: New York :, W.W. Norton & Company,, [2014]
Edition: First Edition.
ISBN: 0393240827
9780393240825
Characteristics: 369 pages ;,25 cm

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Sep 20, 2014
  • Nblpearl rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

Powers consistently produces deeply intelligent novels of ideas - I find them humbling to read because the author knows so much and is always able to combine his knowledge with excellent writing. My favorite--and Powers' own favorite--of his is The Time of Our Singing. Here's a link to an interview I did with him in January, 2014:http://www.townhallseattle.org/richard-powers-with-nancy-pearlorfeo/

Sep 18, 2014
  • lukasevansherman rated this: 2 stars out of 5.

I didn't really plan on reading this, I just happened on it in the lucky day section. I'll freely admit that Richard Powers is much smarter than I am and his use of classical music, technology, and science pretty much goes over my head. As with his earlier "Galatea 2.2," he updates a classical myth for the digital age, in this case the ever-popular Orpheus and Eurydice story. He's somewhat in the tradition of cutting edge, zeitgeist-savvy writers like Pynchon, DeLillo, and Gibson, and like them, he can be a bit cold and a bit too interested in being in the moment. There are 9/11 references, of course, as well as the Arab Spring, Oklahoma City, Lady Gaga, Bollywood movies, and contemporary classical composers that I know nothing about, Messiaen in particular. It's all very cerebral and impressive, but it doesn't work as a novel or really as a book of our times.

Aug 12, 2014
  • Laphroaig rated this: 2 stars out of 5.

This made little sense to me until the end, and I was more than a little put off by the self- indulgence of the esoteric, impenetrable musical descriptions. I expect more.

Jul 25, 2014
  • wbskinner rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Great book, only problem was I had to checkout all the music mentioned in the book.

Longlisted for the 2014 Man Booker Prize

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app11 Version Hasselnot Last updated 2014/12/22 14:47