Trailer ï Gain PDF by Ì Richard Powers One of the most engaging novels I ve read in years It works on than one level by combining the story of a divorced woman raising two children who gets ovarian cancer with the history of the multi national consumer products conglomerate that has a plant in her Illinois town Powers is always interested in how science relates to culture, and in this case the science is chemistry, but for me the strongest part of the book was the history of the company Starting with the British immigrant to colonial Boston who becomes a trader and importer, Powers encapsulates just about all of American economic history in the tale It s not an easy read exactly, but it s vivid and moving and smart and even funny in places.
Massively disappointing I assumed I would dig this, because a I liked loved the other two Richard Powers books I read coincidentally both also starting with G , b Mike Reynolds raves about this one and c the opening grafs are gorgeous as hell But the chapters about the corporation read like a fucking textbook, and the ones about the sick woman are mainly just boilerplate coping with cancer drama I respect the ambition of commingling the epic history with the close up human story, but this just doesn t work, not even on a language level Powers seems to be holding back stylistically on this one I am not soured on Rick P.
, though Generosity and Galatea earned him a lifetime pass and I still want to maneuver through the rest of his catalog.
RP s books ALL rise to a level of excellence, some are interesting than others depending on a reader s own interests but rest assured you, reader will be entertained, educated, challenged, and rewarded emotionally towards a better humanity for investing the quite hours of moving through his take on whatever mix of themes he chooses to examine within the confines of story Here it s soap, early Americana and the unfolding history of a country in expansion, the birth of capitalism and corporation, the chemistry of life AND the chemistry of death in the conjoined second storyline that is always the subtext of living in a modern world gone mad with progress Powers writes with technical prowess, with a sensitivity to the interstices but never overly sentimental, he gleams without glitter I may not reread ALL his books, but then aGain I mig Powers novels are never about one thing as a reader you have to take the two or three narratives and twine them together to see the shape he has constructed in this novel, we watch a corporation grow and a woman wither in twinned narrative.
Clare Soap starts out in 1802 with the first Clare arriving on the US eastern shore Laura starts out in May of an unspecified but 1980s ish year, planting her spring garden Clare is about to begin a business which will lead his sons to start Clare Soap Laura is about to discover that she has ovarian cancer the only things they share in common are life in Lacewood and an inevitable chemical collision course.
in the hands of an inferior novelist, this book would be about the triumph of a lone woman aGainst a monstrous corporation fortunately, we are in Powers vastly capable hands.
how does a c I have a complicated relationship with contemporary American fiction Actually, I flat out despise most of it Give me a period novel about Edwardian English gentlemen, Second Empire French coalminers, post Petrine Russian nobles, or even Depression era California fruit pickers, and I will be happy, but it seems like I loathe anything set in the modern United States Why does the life of a person in the recent past seem so full compared to the bland epigones who populate our shelves Such small characters, such vitiated lives, such small epiphanies Charles Portis was right We re weaker than our fathers, Dupree We don t even look like them At the helm of the mightiest empire the world has ever seen, ordinary Americans are the least interesting people on Earth, yet the most willing to over document their sluggish swirls through the stagnant pond that they call
This is a dense read, mixing the fictional story of a woman with cancer and a history lesson in the Industrial Revolution in America It s depressing and scary and insanely thought provoking That being said, I m glad that I read it, but would have a hard time recommending it, unless to someone who was already interested in the topic Primarily reads like non fiction.
With the critical acclaim piling onto his most recent novel, The Echo Maker, one can only hope that Richard Power s other superb works will cease to languish undeservedly in the ranking of sales One of the finest American novelists currently working, Mr Power s work stands out for the author s deft prose, careful plotting and complex approach to issues of modern identity, science, and the self Those put off by the sheer size of Powers novels the breath taking Time of Our Singing comes in at a back bending 640 pages, the recent Echo Maker at an only slightly less intimidating 464 may do well to look to begin exploring his work with the rich and thoughtful Gain a shorter novel of substantial depth An excellent demonstration of Powers versatility, Gain tells two different connected stories in parallel In the first, told in a close third person, the reader watches as Laura Bodey, a divorc One book for our summer reading program, read Green, Live Green Let me begin by stating that a novel by Richard Powers is not a beach read That having been said, it probably should not be recommended for a summer reading program This is a dense and slow novel, and it is not for amateurs In Gain, Powers tells two stories the story of the Clare family and their soap business and the story of Laura Bodey, a woman who has just found out that she has ovarian cancer As the stories move along alternating voices , we learn how the Clares failed as merchants, but turned to candlemaking and soap, which was a brilliant business decision Their story begins in the early nineteenth century Their story is dry None of the Clares is developed enough for the reader to care about them And who, except for a