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The Gold Bug Variations

If I had a way to put a book into a Top Ten, this book would fit it. Pressed upon me by years and years of frirends, this book finally rose to the top of the hold list at SPL and came into my hands. I liked it so much that it was overdue and you know how I feel about that.....

The narrator here is a librarian. She meets some odd characters, they engage in a series of intellectual adventures. There are two love stories that take place about 25 years apart. The ending is both happy and sad. Every sentence in this book is a pure delight. I re-read pages of this book just so I could revisit some of the turns of phrase. Powers is one of those rare writers -- like Kurzweil -- whose prose is at once florid and inviting. It’s a smart book but a worthwhile challenge to a smart reader. Gold Bug made me feel the way I always felt I was supposed to feel about Gravity’s Rainbow, but never did.

To describe this book too much is to nail too much of it down, and I still have some of the finer parts of it running around in my head untethered, nearly a week after completing it. Do yourself a favor: hole up with some PowerBars, a pot or six of coffee and a warm blanket and lose yourself in this book for as long as you can.