Powers brings his characters to life through vivid dialogue and language sometimes musical and always attentive to precise detail. … his evocations of music, let alone lost love, simply soar off the page. … Peter Els emerges as one of the most fascinating characters of recent fiction, yet another brainy Powers protagonist struggling to survive within a society that can’t make sense of him. “Orfeo” is a novel not only for music lovers but for readers who thrive on sophisticated fiction that still believes in stomach-churning storytelling. One again, Richard Powers proves himself to be one of our finest novelists.