Orfeo

Orfeo

A Novel

Book - 2014
Average Rating:
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Homeland Security becomes suspicious of composer Peter Els' microbiology lab, which he uses to find new and natural musical patterns, and when they come to his door, Peter panicks and runs away, becoming a fugitive. He then attempts to visit all of those who shaped his musical journey with the help of his ex-wife, daughter, and longtime collaborator. These experiences inspire Els to compose something that will open listeners up to the sounds all around them. .
Publisher: Toronto, Ontario : HarperCollins Publishers Ltd, ©2014.
Edition: First Canadian edition.
ISBN: 9781443422901
1443422908
Characteristics: 369 pages ;,24 cm

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Nblpearl
Sep 20, 2014

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/

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lukasevansherman
Sep 18, 2014

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.

wbskinner Jul 25, 2014

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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