Michael Magras reviews Orfeo for Bookreporter, January 24, 2014. Orfeo is a surprisingly moving work. The novel is at its best in its tender moments between father and daughter, husband and wife, loves embraced and loves forsaken.
“Orfeo ponders philosophy and music in a socio-political thriller,” review by Gregg LaGambina, The A.V. Club, January 7, 2014. Powers’Orfeo is one fantastically fun read. For one, it’s a thriller with a wanted man on the run, peppered with social and political critique, intrigue, near misses, and a hero to root for. … With Orfeo, Powers has strung together the, Read More
“Powers pens a musical marvel,” a review of Orfeo by Julienne Isaacs, Winnipeg Free Press, January 25, 2014. Powers is no ordinary novelist, and Orfeo is no ordinary novel. Like the haunting music it describes, it is stirring and odd, elegant and melancholy, the kind of book you can’t shake even if you dislike it. … Orfeo mainly strikes, Read More
“The Bioterrorist Who Loved Mahler,” a review of Orfeo by Ron Hogan, The Daily Beast, January 25, 2014. The interweaving obsessions with classical music and genetics recall Powers’s The Gold Bug Variations … [but] Orfeo never feels like a retread of The Gold Bug Variations. The new novel is more densely packed, more intimate—and perhaps, for many readers, more inviting.
“Mood music: A master novelist mixes music and technology,” a review of Orfeo by Emily Bobrow, The Economist January 25, 2014. Music guides this lyrical novel, much of which tells the story of Peter Els in retrospect. … At first “Orfeo” seems like a timely story of governmental overreach—of security-related scare tactics and civil-liberties breached. But soon it, Read More
A review of Orfeo, by Adam Kirsch, Boston Globe, January 25, 2014. Not until the novel’s last pages do biology and music, past and present, come together in a clever, explosive resolution…. It is Powers’s earnest concern with what it means to be an artist and his interrogation of the price we pay for art, that sustains, Read More
A review of Orfeus by Bob Hoover, Dallas Morning News, January 25, 2014. Along with his keen interest in scientific advances, Powers is concerned with the flaws in human beings…. [Els] is both rejected and rejecting, loved and unloving, his motivations tough to figure until he’s ready to face a different kind of music at last. Then,, Read More
“A Musical Unibomber?,” review of Orfeo by Charles R. Larson, CounterPunch, Weekend Edition January 24-26, 2014. Orfeo is an elegant book, filled with vast swaths of music theory, the obsessional undertakings of a man who gave his heart and soul to pushing music into new dimensions…. [A]nother major novel of the new year.
A review of Orfeo, by James Costa, Three Guys One Book, January 22, 2014. The year has just begun and Richard Powers’s stunning new novel Orfeo will certainly end up on my top ten list.
The Kirkus starred review of Orfeo is now available online in its entirety. The earmarks of the renowned novelist’s work are here—the impressive intellect, the patterns connecting music and science and so much else, the classical grounding of the narrative—but rarely have his novels been so tightly focused and emotionally compelling.
“Music And Chemistry Are An Explosive Combination In ‘Orfeo’,” by Heller McAlpin, NPR Books, January 22, 2014. Richard Powers, whose novels combine the wonders of science with the marvels of art, astonishes us in different ways with each new book. … The questions he raises about biological and artistic culture are deeply intelligent, yet his characters in Orfeo are, Read More
“‘Orfeo’ by Richard Powers,” by Ron Charles, Washington Post, January 21, 2014. … Orpheus, the celebrated musician of Greek mythology, is the perfect motif for this fascinating novel about the allure and power of music.