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Orfeo A Novel

by Richard Powers

Orfeo A Novel Synopsis

In Orfeo, composer Peter Els opens the door one evening to find the police on his doorstep. His home microbiology lab-the latest experiment in his lifelong attempt to find music in surprising patterns-has aroused the suspicions of Homeland Security. Panicked by the raid, Els turns fugitive and hatches a plan to transform this disastrous collision with the security state into an unforgettable work of art that will reawaken its audience to the sounds all around it.

Orfeo A Novel Press Reviews

One long express-train ride to the gorgeous. And the scenery is as sublime as ever. -- Laura Miller - Salon Biology and music, past and present, come together in a clever, explosive resolution. -- Adam Kirsch - Boston Globe Powers' writing is complex and heady without being headachy, and his synesthetic descriptions of finding melodies in the mundane are full of their own kind of music. -- Entertainment Weekly For sheer bravado in constructing sentences, few authors of contemporary fiction can surpass Powers...One of his finest yet. -- Ted Gioia - San Francisco Chronicle Part of the fun of reading [Powers] is to see how he wriggles out of his own snares. But a greater thrill is to join with him in untangling the most urgent and confounding puzzles of our age. -- Nathaniel Rich - New York Review of Books Of novelists in Powers's generation with whom he is often compared-Franzen, Vollmann, Wallace-none equals Powers's combination of consistent production, intellectual range, formal ingenuity, and emotional effect. -- Tom LeClair - Christian Science Monitor Extraordinary...his evocations of music, let alone lost love, simply soar off the page...Once again, Richard Powers proves himself to be one of our finest novelists. -- Dan Cryer - Newsday Magnificent and moving. -- David Ulin - Los Angeles Times Orfeo benefits from the deep sympathy Powers seems to feel for the brilliant and troubled protagonist he has created...[It] establishes beyond any doubt that the novel is very much alive. -- Troy Jollimore - Chicago Tribune Orfeo is a first-class American road novel. -- Scott Korb - Slate Orfeo is that rare novel truly deserving of the label 'lyrical.'...Powers offers a profound story whose delights are many and lasting. -- Harvey Freedenberg - Minneapolis Star Tribune Powers proves, once again, that he's a master of the novel with Orfeo, an engrossing and expansive read that is just as much a profile of a creative, obsessive man as it is an escape narrative. -- Elizabeth Sile - Esquire Powers is prodigiously talented...He writes lyrical prose, has a seductive sense of wonder and is an acute observer of social life...I [was] unable to resist the emotional pull of Orfeo. -- Jim Holt - New York Times Book Review

Book Information

ISBN: 9780393349849
Publication date: 22nd August 2014
Author: Richard Powers
Publisher: WW Norton & Co
Format: Paperback / softback
Pagination: 400 pages
Categories: Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945),

About Richard Powers

Richard Powers is the author of twelve novels. His most recent, The Overstory, won the Pulitzer Prize in Fiction. He is also the recipient of a MacArthur Fellowship and the National Book Award, and he has been a four-time National Book Critics Circle Award finalist. He lives in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains.

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