Monday, March 5, 2007

The Echo Maker...kookiejar's review

The Echo Maker by Richard Powers

A young man is in a car crash and as a result suffers brain damage in the form of Capgras Syndrome. He is convinced that his sister has been replaced with an imposter. She calls in a doctor famous for writing about such brain disorders to help.

This novel explores the question; are
we who we think we are, or are we what others think we are? The sister, Karin, is at first insulted that her brother thinks she's an imposter, but she starts to wonder if the sister he remembers was all that great a person to begin with. I liked that she talks to him about what his 'real' sister had been like and learns things about herself that she never could have guessed.

I didn't really get the ending (who or what caused the crash? Was it a crane or was it a person, or does it matter?), but I rather enjoyed the thought-provoking story and the tales of strange syndromes like the one suffered by the heroine's brother.

Can you imagine looking down at your hand or leg and believing with every fiber of your being that it belongs to your husband or your brother? The mind is an amazing thing.

I also loved that this novel takes place in Nebraska (where I currently live). So many of the places in the book are familiar to me, even though I've never been to Kearney, where the majority of the novel is set.

Anyways, this is a very good book, and I recommend it.


Wendy said...

This wasn't on my original list, but now you make me want to read it. I am fascinated by the mind. Most of my experience as a Physical Therapist has been working with neurological diseases or accidents (like brain injury, spinal cord injury, stroke, and now developmental disability in kids and adults), so I think I would probably enjoy this book. Thanks for the review!

kookiejar said...

You might find this book very interesting, Wendy. I've always been interested in medical oddities and this one had me hooked.

Amy said...

I have this one on my list. I am looking forward to reading it, even more so since your review! Thanks!

Nyssaneala said...

Great review! I think I might have to check this out at some point!

3M said...

I can't wait to read this! My sister lives in Kearney now, and I grew up about 3 hours west of there. I skipped to the bottom of your review because I don't want to know too much. I'm glad you liked it!

Stephanie said...

Hmmmm....this might be a bad blog for me to be involved with! This book wasn't on my original list, but now I want to read it!!

Thanks for the review!