It's Raining Books Sale
 
 

Recently Viewed clear list


Interviews | September 2, 2014

Jill Owens: IMG David Mitchell: The Powells.com Interview



David MitchellDavid Mitchell's newest mind-bending, time-skipping novel may be his most accomplished work yet. Written in six sections, one per decade, The Bone... Continue »
  1. $21.00 Sale Hardcover add to wish list

    The Bone Clocks

    David Mitchell 9781400065677

spacer
Qualifying orders ship free.
$7.50
List price: $16.00
Used Trade Paper
Ships in 1 to 3 days
Add to Wishlist
Qty Store Section
1 Burnside Literature- A to Z

Atmospheric Disturbances

by

Atmospheric Disturbances Cover

ISBN13: 9780312428433
ISBN10: 031242843x
Condition: Standard
All Product Details

Only 1 left in stock at $7.50!

 

Awards

A New York Times Notable Book of the Year

A Salon.com Top Ten Book of the Year

A Plain Dealer (Cleveland) Best Book of the Year

A Slate Best Book of the Year

Staff Pick

In Rivka Galchen's incredibly impressive debut novel, Dr. Leo Liebenstein tries to unravel the mystery of his missing wife — and her "replacement," who looks almost exactly like her. Funny, heartbreaking, absurd, and extraordinarily intelligent, this Borgesian psychological mystery is uniquely and utterly satisfying.
Recommended by Jill Owens, Powells.com

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

When Dr. Leo Liebenstein's wife disappears, she leaves behind a single, confounding clue: a woman who looks, talks, and behaves exactly like her--or almost exactly like her--and even audaciously claims to be her. While everyone else is fooled by this imposter, Leo knows better than to trust his senses in matters of the heart. Certain that the original Rema is alive and in hiding, Leo embarks on a quixotic journey to reclaim his lost love. With the help of his psychiatric patient Harvey, who believes himself to be a secret agent who can control the weather, Leo attempts to unravel the mystery of the spousal switch. His investigation leads him to the enigmatic guidance of the meteorologist Dr. Tzvi Gal-Chen, the secret workings of the Royal Academy of Meteorology in their cosmic conflict with the 49 Quantum Fathers, and the unwelcome conviction that somehow he--or maybe his wife, or maybe even Harvey--lies at the center of all these unfathomables. From the streets of New York to the southernmost reaches of Patagonia, Leo's erratic quest becomes a test of how far he is willing to take his struggle against the seemingly uncontestable truth he knows in his heart to be false. Atmospheric Disturbances is at once a moving love story, a dark comedy, a psychological thriller, and a deeply disturbing portrait of a fracturing mind. With tremendous compassion and literary sophistication, Rivka Galchen investigates the moment of crisis when you suddenly realize that the reality you insist upon is no longer one you can accept, and the person you love has become merely the person you live with. This highly inventive debut explores the mysterious nature of human relationships, and how we spend our lives trying to weather the storms of our own making.

Review:

"Genuinely suspenseful... Ms. Galchen is a writer to be watched." The Economist

Review:

"A relentless exploration of how a man could fail to see clearly the woman he loves... [A novel] that knows how to move from the comic to the painful... Galchen has a knack for taking a thread and fraying it, so that a sentence never quite ends up where you expect." James Wood, The New Yorker

Review:

"At once mournful and playful . . . [a] droll, exquisite first novel." Laura Miller, Salon.com

Review:

"There are passages so achingly beautiful in Galchen's strange puzzle of a book — about love, resilience, and perception." Jennifer Reese, Entertainment Weekly

Review:

"A dense, fractally complex first novel by the conspicuously talented Rivka Galchen." Lev Grossman, Time

Review:

"Galchen's dark and comical mystery is a clever take on the ways love, longing and overanalysis can drive you absolutely nuts." Marie Claire

Review:

"[A] brainy, whimsical, emotionally contained first novel.... It's unusual &mdahs; in fact (why be coy?), it's extremely rare — to come across a first novel by a woman writer that concerns itself with such quirky, philosophical, didactic explorations; a novel in which the heart and the brain vie for the role of protagonist, and the brain wins. While the voice and mood of the novel are masculine, clinical and objective...the book's descriptions of colors, smells, clothing and bodies show feminine perception...Galchen's inventive narrative strategies call to mind the playful techniques of Jonathan Lethem, Franz Kafka, Primo Levi and Thomas Pynchon. But she also, quite deliberately, echoes the Argentine giant Jorge Luis Borges. Like Borges, she sabotages concepts of identity, reality and place, fraying her protagonist's ties to all three... Galchen's brainteasing book, whatever its pretexts, is an exploration of the mutability of romantic love. Although she has intellectualized and mystified her subject, intentionally obscuring it in a dry-ice fog of pseudoscience, the emotional peaks beneath her cloud retain their definition. The reader senses Rema's anguish, whether or not Leo has empathy for it." Liesel Schillinger, The New York Times Book Review

Review:

"Rod Serling, strolling through a gallery of distorted portraits, should introduce Rivka Galchen's first novel. Atmospheric Disturbances takes place in the twilight zone of Leo Liebenstein's highly rational but utterly deluded mind. He's a middle-aged psychiatrist confounded by a strange problem: 'A woman entered my apartment who looked exactly like my wife, ' he tells us on the opening page. 'Same everything, but it wasn't Rema.' This 'impostress' or 'simulacrum, ' as he refers to her throughout the novel, looks exactly like his young wife, imitates her Argentine accent perfectly and possesses all her memories and attitudes. But he knows she isn't Rema... This sounds weird, of course, and it is — deliciously so — but on another level, it's common: After all, lots of people eventually conclude that their spouse isn't the person they once married... What Galchen has done is play out that sad realization in the mind of a psychotic psychiatrist, a man thoroughly versed in others' delusions but unable to perceive his own." Ron Charles, The Washington Post

Review:

"A graceful handshake between science and literature." Wall Street Journal

Synopsis:

When Dr. Leo Liebenstein's wife, Rema, disappears, she leaves behind a single, confounding clue: a woman who looks, talks, and behaves exactly like her. Certain that the original Rema is alive and in hiding, Leo embarks on a quixotic journey to reclaim his lost love. Atmospheric Disturbances is a "witty, tender, and conceptually dazzling" novel about the mysterious nature of human relationships (Booklist).

Synopsis:

A New York Times Notable Book of the Year

A Salon.com Top Ten Book of the Year

A Plain Dealer (Cleveland) Best Book of the Year

A Slate Best Book of the Year

When Dr. Leo Liebenstein's wife disappears, she leaves behind a single confounding clue: a woman who looks, talks, and behaves exactly like her. A simulatcrum. But Leo is not fooled, and he knows better than to trust his senses in matters of the heart. Certain that the real Rema is alive and in hiding, he embarks on a quixotic journey to reclaim her. With the help of his psychiatric patient Harvey--who believes himself to be a secret agent able to conrtol the weather--his investigation leads him from the streets of New York City to the southernmost reaches of Patagonia, in search of the woman he loves. Atmospheric Disturbances is a "witty, tender, and conceptually dazzling" (Booklist) novel about the mysterious nature of human relationships.

 

Synopsis:

A New York Times Notable Book of the Year

A Salon.com Top Ten Book of the Year

A Plain Dealer (Cleveland) Best Book of the Year

A Slate Best Book of the Year

When Dr. Leo Liebenstein's wife disappears, she leaves behind a single confounding clue: a woman who looks, talks, and behaves exactly like her. A simulatcrum. But Leo is not fooled, and he knows better than to trust his senses in matters of the heart. Certain that the real Rema is alive and in hiding, he embarks on a quixotic journey to reclaim her. With the help of his psychiatric patient Harvey--who believes himself to be a secret agent able to conrtol the weather--his investigation leads him from the streets of New York City to the southernmost reaches of Patagonia, in search of the woman he loves. Atmospheric Disturbances is a "witty, tender, and conceptually dazzling" (Booklist) novel about the mysterious nature of human relationships.

 

Rivka Galchen recieved her M.D. from the Mount Sinai Shool of Medicine, having spent a year in South America working on public health issues. Galchen recently completed her MFA at Columbia University, where she was a Robert Bingham Fellow. Her essay on the Many Worlds Interpretation of quantum mechanics was published in The Believer, and she is the recipient of a 2006 Rona Jaffe Foundation Writers' Award. Galchen lives in New York City. This is her first novel.

Shortlisted for the John Sargent, Sr. First Novel Prize

A New York Times Book Review Notable Book

A Cleveland Plain Dealer Best Book of the Year

When Dr. Leo Liebensteins wife disappears, she leaves behind a single, confounding clue: a woman who looks, talks, and behaves exactly like heror almost exactly like herand even audaciously claims to be her. While everyone else is fooled by this imposter, Leo knows better than to trust his senses in matters of the heart. Certain that the original Rema is alive and in hiding, Leo embarks on a quixotic journey to reclaim his lost love.

 
With the help of his psychiatric patient Harvey, who believes himself to be a secret agent who can control the weather, Leo attempts to unravel the mystery of the spousal switch. His investigation leads him to the enigmatic guidance of the meteorologist Dr. Tzvi Gal-Chen, the secret workings of the Royal Academy of Meteorology in their cosmic conflict with the 49 Quantum Fathers, and the unwelcome conviction that somehow heor maybe his wife, or maybe even Harveylies at the center of all these unfathomables. From the streets of New York to the southernmost reaches of Patagonia, Leos erratic quest becomes a test of how far he is willing to take his struggle against the seemingly uncontestable truth he knows in his heart to be false.
 
Atmospheric Disturbances is at once a moving love story, a dark comedy, a psychological thriller, and a deeply disturbing portrait of a fracturing mind. With tremendous compassion and literary sophistication, Rivka Galchen investigates the moment of crisis when you suddenly realize that the reality you insist upon is no longer one you can accept, and the person you love has become merely the person you live with. This highly inventive debut explores the mysterious nature of human relationships, and how we spend our lives trying to weather the storms of our own making.

"[A] brainy, whimsical, emotionally contained first novel . . . It's unusualin fact (why be coy?), it's extremely rareto come across a first novel by a woman writer that concerns itself with such quirky, philosophical, didactic explorations; a novel in which the heart and the brain vie for the role of protagonist, and the brain wins.  While the voice and mood of the novel are masculine, clinical and objective . . . the book's descriptions of colors, smells, clothing and bodies show feminine perception . . . Galchen's inventive narrative strategies call to mind the playful techniques of Jonathan Lethem, Franz Kafka, Primo Levi and Thomas Pynchon. But she also, quite deliberately, echoes the Argentine giant Jorge Luis Borges. Like Borges, she sabotages concepts of identity, reality and place, fraying her protagonist's ties to all three . . . Galchen's brainteasing book, whatever its pretexts, is an exploration of the mutability of romantic love. Although she has intellectualized and mystified her subject, intentionally obscuring it in a dry-ice fog of pseudoscience, the emotional peaks beneath her cloud retain their definition. The reader senses Rema's anguish, whether or not Leo has empathy for it."Liesel Schillinger, The New York Times Book Review

"Rod Serling, strolling through a gallery of distorted portraits, should introduce Rivka Galchen's first novel. Atmospheric Disturbances takes place in the twilight zone of Leo Liebenstein's highly rational but utterly deluded mind. He's a middle-aged psychiatrist confounded by a strange problem: 'A woman entered my apartment who looked exactly like my wife,' he tells us on the opening page. 'Same everything, but it wasn't Rema.' This 'impostress' or 'simulacrum,' as he refers to her throughout the novel, looks exactly like his young wife, imitates her Argentine accent perfectly and possesses all her memories and attitudes. But he knows she isn't Rema . . . This sounds weird, of course, and it isdeliciously sobut on another level, it's common: After all, lots of people eventually conclude that their spouse isn't the person they once married . . . What Galchen has done is play out that sad realization in the mind of a psychotic psychiatrist, a man thoroughly versed in others' delusions but unable to perceive his own."Ron Charles, The Washington Post

"A graceful handshake between science and literature."The Wall Street Journal

Atmospheric Disturbances is . . . a contribution to the Hamsun-Bernhard tradition of tragicomic first-person unreliability . . . Most first-person unreliability in fiction is reliably unreliable; rather mechanically, it teaches us how to read it, how to plug its holes. Double unreliabilityor unreliable unreliabilityis rarer, and more interesting, because it asks much more of the reader. Galchen, a playful writer . . . boldly denies us the comfort of a conclusive explanation. Atmospheric Disturbances is a novel of consciousness, not a novel about consciousness."James Wood, The New Yorker

"A dense, fractally complex first novel by the conspicuously talented Rivka Galchen."Lev Grossman, Time

"Genuinely suspenseful . . . Ms. Galchen is a writer to be watched."The Economist

"'Last December,' explains the narrator of Atmospheric Disturbances, Rivka Galchen's droll, exquisite first novel, 'a woman entered my apartment who looked exactly like my wife.' The speaker is Leo Liebenstein, a New York psychiatrist, and the wife is Rema, an Argentine considerably younger than her husband. Confronted with this ingenious impostor (she's so good he briefly contemplates the possibility that one of her feet might really be his wife's), Leo is initially nonplused. Soon, however, he formulates a plan: find the real Rema. His search spans continents, entails a possible career change and enlists the help of a patient who says he can manipulate the weather. Although the reader never truly doubts that Leo is deluded, the nature and root of his fixation is the novel's central mystery . .

About the Author

Rivka Galchen recieved her M.D. from the Mount Sinai Shool of Medicine, having spent a year in South America working on public health issues. Galchen recently completed her MFA at Columbia University, where she was a Robert Bingham Fellow. Her essay on the Many Worlds Interpretation of quantum mechanics was published in the Believer, and she is the recipient of a 2006 Rona Jaffe Foundation Writers' Award. Galchen lives in New York City. This is her first novel.

What Our Readers Are Saying

Add a comment for a chance to win!
Average customer rating based on 1 comment:

julieb43, July 27, 2009 (view all comments by julieb43)
Extremely well-written and clever. The prose is wonderful, but the main character (Leo), although endearing, is ultimately difficult to comprehend.

He's a psychiatrist who's having a meltdown--but is he really? I kept reading because I wanted to find out, but the story kept getting more and more confusing.

There are strong clues pointing to Leo's delusional mind, but because of the initial setup I kept thinking that maybe he was on to something out of the ordinary.

There isn't really a satisfactory ending either; it's up to the reader to decide on Leo's mental state.

Overall, quite a frustrating read.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(4 of 7 readers found this comment helpful)

Product Details

ISBN:
9780312428433
Author:
Galchen, Rivka
Publisher:
Picador USA
Subject:
Psychological
Subject:
Literary
Subject:
General Fiction
Subject:
Psychological fiction
Subject:
New york (n.y.)
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade Paper
Publication Date:
20090431
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Includes 5 black-and-white illustrations
Pages:
256
Dimensions:
8.2 x 5.5 x 0.9 in

Other books you might like

  1. Raw Shark Texts Used Trade Paper $2.95
  2. 6 Sick Hipsters New Trade Paper $17.00
  3. The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao
    Used Trade Paper $9.50
  4. Last Last Chance
    Used Hardcover $9.95
  5. The Answer Is Always Yes Used Trade Paper $5.95
  6. Out Stealing Horses
    Used Trade Paper $3.50

Related Subjects


Featured Titles » New Yorker 20 under 40
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z

Atmospheric Disturbances Used Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$7.50 In Stock
Product details 256 pages Picador USA - English 9780312428433 Reviews:
"Staff Pick" by ,

In Rivka Galchen's incredibly impressive debut novel, Dr. Leo Liebenstein tries to unravel the mystery of his missing wife — and her "replacement," who looks almost exactly like her. Funny, heartbreaking, absurd, and extraordinarily intelligent, this Borgesian psychological mystery is uniquely and utterly satisfying.

"Review" by , "Genuinely suspenseful... Ms. Galchen is a writer to be watched."
"Review" by , "A relentless exploration of how a man could fail to see clearly the woman he loves... [A novel] that knows how to move from the comic to the painful... Galchen has a knack for taking a thread and fraying it, so that a sentence never quite ends up where you expect."
"Review" by , "At once mournful and playful . . . [a] droll, exquisite first novel."
"Review" by , "There are passages so achingly beautiful in Galchen's strange puzzle of a book — about love, resilience, and perception."
"Review" by , "A dense, fractally complex first novel by the conspicuously talented Rivka Galchen."
"Review" by , "Galchen's dark and comical mystery is a clever take on the ways love, longing and overanalysis can drive you absolutely nuts."
"Review" by , "[A] brainy, whimsical, emotionally contained first novel.... It's unusual &mdahs; in fact (why be coy?), it's extremely rare — to come across a first novel by a woman writer that concerns itself with such quirky, philosophical, didactic explorations; a novel in which the heart and the brain vie for the role of protagonist, and the brain wins. While the voice and mood of the novel are masculine, clinical and objective...the book's descriptions of colors, smells, clothing and bodies show feminine perception...Galchen's inventive narrative strategies call to mind the playful techniques of Jonathan Lethem, Franz Kafka, Primo Levi and Thomas Pynchon. But she also, quite deliberately, echoes the Argentine giant Jorge Luis Borges. Like Borges, she sabotages concepts of identity, reality and place, fraying her protagonist's ties to all three... Galchen's brainteasing book, whatever its pretexts, is an exploration of the mutability of romantic love. Although she has intellectualized and mystified her subject, intentionally obscuring it in a dry-ice fog of pseudoscience, the emotional peaks beneath her cloud retain their definition. The reader senses Rema's anguish, whether or not Leo has empathy for it."
"Review" by , "Rod Serling, strolling through a gallery of distorted portraits, should introduce Rivka Galchen's first novel. Atmospheric Disturbances takes place in the twilight zone of Leo Liebenstein's highly rational but utterly deluded mind. He's a middle-aged psychiatrist confounded by a strange problem: 'A woman entered my apartment who looked exactly like my wife, ' he tells us on the opening page. 'Same everything, but it wasn't Rema.' This 'impostress' or 'simulacrum, ' as he refers to her throughout the novel, looks exactly like his young wife, imitates her Argentine accent perfectly and possesses all her memories and attitudes. But he knows she isn't Rema... This sounds weird, of course, and it is — deliciously so — but on another level, it's common: After all, lots of people eventually conclude that their spouse isn't the person they once married... What Galchen has done is play out that sad realization in the mind of a psychotic psychiatrist, a man thoroughly versed in others' delusions but unable to perceive his own."
"Review" by , "A graceful handshake between science and literature."
"Synopsis" by , When Dr. Leo Liebenstein's wife, Rema, disappears, she leaves behind a single, confounding clue: a woman who looks, talks, and behaves exactly like her. Certain that the original Rema is alive and in hiding, Leo embarks on a quixotic journey to reclaim his lost love. Atmospheric Disturbances is a "witty, tender, and conceptually dazzling" novel about the mysterious nature of human relationships (Booklist).
"Synopsis" by ,

A New York Times Notable Book of the Year

A Salon.com Top Ten Book of the Year

A Plain Dealer (Cleveland) Best Book of the Year

A Slate Best Book of the Year

When Dr. Leo Liebenstein's wife disappears, she leaves behind a single confounding clue: a woman who looks, talks, and behaves exactly like her. A simulatcrum. But Leo is not fooled, and he knows better than to trust his senses in matters of the heart. Certain that the real Rema is alive and in hiding, he embarks on a quixotic journey to reclaim her. With the help of his psychiatric patient Harvey--who believes himself to be a secret agent able to conrtol the weather--his investigation leads him from the streets of New York City to the southernmost reaches of Patagonia, in search of the woman he loves. Atmospheric Disturbances is a "witty, tender, and conceptually dazzling" (Booklist) novel about the mysterious nature of human relationships.

 

"Synopsis" by ,

A New York Times Notable Book of the Year

A Salon.com Top Ten Book of the Year

A Plain Dealer (Cleveland) Best Book of the Year

A Slate Best Book of the Year

When Dr. Leo Liebenstein's wife disappears, she leaves behind a single confounding clue: a woman who looks, talks, and behaves exactly like her. A simulatcrum. But Leo is not fooled, and he knows better than to trust his senses in matters of the heart. Certain that the real Rema is alive and in hiding, he embarks on a quixotic journey to reclaim her. With the help of his psychiatric patient Harvey--who believes himself to be a secret agent able to conrtol the weather--his investigation leads him from the streets of New York City to the southernmost reaches of Patagonia, in search of the woman he loves. Atmospheric Disturbances is a "witty, tender, and conceptually dazzling" (Booklist) novel about the mysterious nature of human relationships.

 

Rivka Galchen recieved her M.D. from the Mount Sinai Shool of Medicine, having spent a year in South America working on public health issues. Galchen recently completed her MFA at Columbia University, where she was a Robert Bingham Fellow. Her essay on the Many Worlds Interpretation of quantum mechanics was published in The Believer, and she is the recipient of a 2006 Rona Jaffe Foundation Writers' Award. Galchen lives in New York City. This is her first novel.

Shortlisted for the John Sargent, Sr. First Novel Prize

A New York Times Book Review Notable Book

A Cleveland Plain Dealer Best Book of the Year

When Dr. Leo Liebensteins wife disappears, she leaves behind a single, confounding clue: a woman who looks, talks, and behaves exactly like heror almost exactly like herand even audaciously claims to be her. While everyone else is fooled by this imposter, Leo knows better than to trust his senses in matters of the heart. Certain that the original Rema is alive and in hiding, Leo embarks on a quixotic journey to reclaim his lost love.

 
With the help of his psychiatric patient Harvey, who believes himself to be a secret agent who can control the weather, Leo attempts to unravel the mystery of the spousal switch. His investigation leads him to the enigmatic guidance of the meteorologist Dr. Tzvi Gal-Chen, the secret workings of the Royal Academy of Meteorology in their cosmic conflict with the 49 Quantum Fathers, and the unwelcome conviction that somehow heor maybe his wife, or maybe even Harveylies at the center of all these unfathomables. From the streets of New York to the southernmost reaches of Patagonia, Leos erratic quest becomes a test of how far he is willing to take his struggle against the seemingly uncontestable truth he knows in his heart to be false.
 
Atmospheric Disturbances is at once a moving love story, a dark comedy, a psychological thriller, and a deeply disturbing portrait of a fracturing mind. With tremendous compassion and literary sophistication, Rivka Galchen investigates the moment of crisis when you suddenly realize that the reality you insist upon is no longer one you can accept, and the person you love has become merely the person you live with. This highly inventive debut explores the mysterious nature of human relationships, and how we spend our lives trying to weather the storms of our own making.

"[A] brainy, whimsical, emotionally contained first novel . . . It's unusualin fact (why be coy?), it's extremely rareto come across a first novel by a woman writer that concerns itself with such quirky, philosophical, didactic explorations; a novel in which the heart and the brain vie for the role of protagonist, and the brain wins.  While the voice and mood of the novel are masculine, clinical and objective . . . the book's descriptions of colors, smells, clothing and bodies show feminine perception . . . Galchen's inventive narrative strategies call to mind the playful techniques of Jonathan Lethem, Franz Kafka, Primo Levi and Thomas Pynchon. But she also, quite deliberately, echoes the Argentine giant Jorge Luis Borges. Like Borges, she sabotages concepts of identity, reality and place, fraying her protagonist's ties to all three . . . Galchen's brainteasing book, whatever its pretexts, is an exploration of the mutability of romantic love. Although she has intellectualized and mystified her subject, intentionally obscuring it in a dry-ice fog of pseudoscience, the emotional peaks beneath her cloud retain their definition. The reader senses Rema's anguish, whether or not Leo has empathy for it."Liesel Schillinger, The New York Times Book Review

"Rod Serling, strolling through a gallery of distorted portraits, should introduce Rivka Galchen's first novel. Atmospheric Disturbances takes place in the twilight zone of Leo Liebenstein's highly rational but utterly deluded mind. He's a middle-aged psychiatrist confounded by a strange problem: 'A woman entered my apartment who looked exactly like my wife,' he tells us on the opening page. 'Same everything, but it wasn't Rema.' This 'impostress' or 'simulacrum,' as he refers to her throughout the novel, looks exactly like his young wife, imitates her Argentine accent perfectly and possesses all her memories and attitudes. But he knows she isn't Rema . . . This sounds weird, of course, and it isdeliciously sobut on another level, it's common: After all, lots of people eventually conclude that their spouse isn't the person they once married . . . What Galchen has done is play out that sad realization in the mind of a psychotic psychiatrist, a man thoroughly versed in others' delusions but unable to perceive his own."Ron Charles, The Washington Post

"A graceful handshake between science and literature."The Wall Street Journal

Atmospheric Disturbances is . . . a contribution to the Hamsun-Bernhard tradition of tragicomic first-person unreliability . . . Most first-person unreliability in fiction is reliably unreliable; rather mechanically, it teaches us how to read it, how to plug its holes. Double unreliabilityor unreliable unreliabilityis rarer, and more interesting, because it asks much more of the reader. Galchen, a playful writer . . . boldly denies us the comfort of a conclusive explanation. Atmospheric Disturbances is a novel of consciousness, not a novel about consciousness."James Wood, The New Yorker

"A dense, fractally complex first novel by the conspicuously talented Rivka Galchen."Lev Grossman, Time

"Genuinely suspenseful . . . Ms. Galchen is a writer to be watched."The Economist

"'Last December,' explains the narrator of Atmospheric Disturbances, Rivka Galchen's droll, exquisite first novel, 'a woman entered my apartment who looked exactly like my wife.' The speaker is Leo Liebenstein, a New York psychiatrist, and the wife is Rema, an Argentine considerably younger than her husband. Confronted with this ingenious impostor (she's so good he briefly contemplates the possibility that one of her feet might really be his wife's), Leo is initially nonplused. Soon, however, he formulates a plan: find the real Rema. His search spans continents, entails a possible career change and enlists the help of a patient who says he can manipulate the weather. Although the reader never truly doubts that Leo is deluded, the nature and root of his fixation is the novel's central mystery . .

spacer
spacer
  • back to top
Follow us on...




Powell's City of Books is an independent bookstore in Portland, Oregon, that fills a whole city block with more than a million new, used, and out of print books. Shop those shelves — plus literally millions more books, DVDs, and gifts — here at Powells.com.