Wednesday, May 28, 2014


Symphonic. Among the 1,000 books I’ve read in the past five years, Richard Powers’ novel, Orfeo, ranks among the top five. Powers builds layer after layer of meaning as he draws readers into the life of protagonist Peter Els, a retired composer with an interest in chemistry. In the same way that a symphony uses multiple instruments and motifs to build toward a single, integrated work, this novel weaves out a narrative of the present and the past, leading a reader to a very complete work of art. What is discord, harmony, life, meaning? What is the power of music? Powers takes the myth of Orpheus and brings it to life for contemporary readers using great skill and offering us hours of engaged and interesting reading. If you love music, or life’s big questions, chances are you’ll love this novel as much as I did. Rating: Five-star (I love it) Click here to purchase Orfeo from

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