The Echo Maker Author:Richard Powers On a winter night on a remote Nebraska road, 27 year old mark Schluter has a near fatal car accident. His older sister, Karin, returns reluctantly to their hometown to nurse Mark back from a traumatic head injury. But when Mark emerges from a coma, he believes that this woman - who looks, acts, and sounds just like his sister - is really an im... more »poster. When Karin contacts the famous cognitive neurologist Gerald Weber for help, he diagnoses Mark as having Capgras syndrome. The mysterious nature of the disease, combined with the strange circumstances surrounding Mark's accident, threaten to change all of their lives beyond recognition.« less
Echo Maker was a very intriguing read. The story has an interesting plot with well-developed, realistic characters which made me want to read to the last page. The setting of Nebraska and the migration of cranes was woven into the background but the thrust of the book was examining how our brains work. Initially, Mark, is in a near fatal accident and his only sibling quits her job to be his caretaker. She is devastated as she realizes not only will his condition be long term but that he is positive his sister is an imposter due to having Capgras syndrome post-accident. About halfway through the book. I wondered if the author had invented this medical condition so I turned to the internet for research. Capgras syndrome (delusion) is indeed real and quite bizarre. A well known neuro-scientist is called in on the case who gets pulled into Mark's case while suffering from various crisis himself. The book really made me wonder about perceptions and realities as well as if enough people have the same perceptions, does that make it a reality? The novel gets a bit heavy at times with medical explanations so about 7/8s through the book, I just wanted to know the ending but I find that true of many novels. Do authors feel they have to write a certain number of pages? Powers just reinforces what a complicated organ the brain is and how little we know about it.