Jun 26 2005

Gain

Published by at 7:15 pm under Books

by Richard Powers. (Same author as my prior post.)
I enjoyed this one as well. I still like the writing style and the subject matter which is very topical. This one is on a very different topic from Galatgea 2.2. Two intertwined stories. The first is a description of the history of a lifelike American soap company from its founding in the early 19th century to the late 1990’s. An historical novel which may sound uninteresting, but its not. It is essentially a slightly fictional history of industrial/cultural development in the US peppered with observations and comments. The second story is that of a woman living in a town dominated by a facility owned by that same soap/chemical company. The woman contracts and is eventually killed by a cancer which may or may not have been caused by chemicals from the facility. Hence displaying a downside of the same industrial/cultural evolution that’s being described. Nicely blended story. Chapters alternate. A lot of the business history was familiar to me. The description of the development of the cancer and its treatment seemed very believable to me. I’m not sure they are “accurate”, but the description is compelling. This description may make the book sound like a combination of boredom and depression, but its not!

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