Orfeo was longlisted for the 2015 Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Fiction.
Orfeo was one of the twelve fiction books selected by the Notable Books Council of the American Library Association for its annual best-of list.
Orfeo is one of Harvey Freedenberg’s favorite books of 2014, Harrisburg Magazine, January, 2015. Orfeo is that rare novel truly deserving of the label “lyrical.” This is an ambitious work of broad scope and big ideas, a profound story whose delights are many and lasting.
Orfeo is reviewed in Deccan Herald by Sundarshan Purohit, “A Life in Music,” February 1, 2015. Orfeo is a powerful, intricate story that plays out entirely through the mind of its lead character. As much as the story itself, the language and the vocabulary give it its distinctive flavour.
Orfeo is cited in Nicholas Dames’s article on music and fiction in The New Yorker, January 27, 2015. The protagonist of Richard Powers’s 2014 novel, “Orfeo,” is a composer named Peter Els who, late in life, begins to dabble in biotechnology. Els’s attempts to “compose” in DNA turn him into a suspected bioterrorist fleeing across the country;, Read More
ΦBK, the national academic honor society, has named Orfeo as one of its Top 14 Books of 2014. Readers with in-depth knowledge of music theory and history, as well as those with only a casual interest, will surely find much to admire about this novel. In Orfeo, Powers has created a work that functions as a testament, Read More
Orfeo one of four favorites of 2014 in “4 Books That Stuck with Us,” by Katie Dvorak, Washington Independent Review of Books, January 1, 2015. This profound, intelligent, and moving story of a man’s retrospective on his ambition, love of music, and failures at love is stretched over the taught frame of a plot driven, seemingly improbably,, Read More
Orfeo was one of seven other notable novels published in 2014 in “The 2014 Novel of the Year,” by Nathaniel Rich, The Daily Beast, December 29, 2014.
“Best of 2014: 100 recommended books,” San Francisco Chronicle, December 24, 2014. Powers’ latest novel, one of his finest yet, tells the story of an avant-garde composer who government authorities fear might be a bioterrorist. It’s science fiction that prefers the science to the fiction.
“Liberal America’s Top 10 Novels of 2014,” by Andrew Bradford, Liberal America, December 24, 2014. Few writers have the ability to construct sentences and stories like Richard Powers. Long considered one of the best contemporary writers in the world, Powers does not disappoint with this book. His protagonist is a do-it-yourself genetic engineer who is, Read More
Orfeo among nine fiction books chosen as the top of 2014 in “Pick of the Page-Turners,” by James Kidd, South China Morning Post, December 20, 2014, Avant-garde music, bio-terrorism, family dysfunction and the rise of Twitter: these are the threads Richard Powers weaves into a tapestry portraying the last half century of American history. Cerebral and, Read More
Orfeo is picked as one of the year’s best by James Bradley, author and critic, describing it as a “virtuosic riff on terror, Twitter and classical music,” in “Authors and critics select their best books of the year,” by Stephen Romei, The Australian, December 20, 2014.