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Original Essays | September 15, 2014

Lois Leveen: IMG Forsooth Me Not: Shakespeare, Juliet, Her Nurse, and a Novel



There's this writer, William Shakespeare. Perhaps you've heard of him. He wrote this play, Romeo and Juliet. Maybe you've heard of it as well. It's... Continue »
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    Juliet's Nurse

    Lois Leveen 9781476757445

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Plowing the Dark

by

Plowing the Dark Cover

ISBN13: 9780312280123
ISBN10: 0312280122
Condition: Standard
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

In a digital laboratory on the shores of Puget Sound, a band of virtual reality researchers race to complete the Cavern, an empty white room that can become a jungle, a painting, or a vast Byzantine cathedral. In a war-torn Mediterranean city, an American is held hostage, chained to a radiator in another empty white room. What can possibly join two such remote places? Only the shared imagination, a room that these people unwittingly build in common, where they are all about to meet, where the dual frames of this inventive novel to coalesce.

Adie Klarpol, a skilled but disillusioned artist, comes back to life, revived by the thrill of working with the Cavern's cutting-edge technology. Against the collapse of Cold War empires and the fall of the Berlin Wall, she retreats dangerously into the cyber-realities she has been hired to create. As her ex-husband lies dying and the outbreak of computerized war fills her with a sense of guilty complicity, Adie is thrown deeper into building a place of beauty and unknown power, were she might fend off the incursions of the real world gone wrong.

On the other side of the globe, Taimur Martin, an English teacher retreating from a failed love affair, is picked up off the streets in Beirut by Islamic fundamentalists and held in solitary captivity. Without distraction or hope of release, he must keep himself whole by the force of his memory alone. Each infinite, empty day moves him closer to insanity, and only the surprising arrival of sanctuary sustains him for the shattering conclusion. Plowing the Dark is fiction that explores the imagination's power to both destroy and save.

Richard Powers is the author of ten novels, including Generosity, Gain, The Time of Our Singing, Galatea 2.2, and Plowing the Dark. The Echo Maker won the National Book Award and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. Powers has received a MacArthur Fellowship and a Lannan Literary Award. He lives in Illinois. In a digital laboratory on the shores of Puget Sound, a band of virtual reality researchers race to complete the Cavern, an empty white room that can become a jungle, a painting, or a vast Byzantine cathedral. In a war-torn Mediterranean city, an American is held hostage, chained to a radiator in another empty white room.

Adie Klarpol, a skilled but disillusioned artist, comes back to life, revived by the thrill of working with the Cavern's cutting-edge technology. Against the collapse of Cold War empires and the fall of the Berlin Wall, she retreats into the dangerous cyber-realities she has been hired to create. As her ex-husband lies dying and the outbreak of computerized war fills her with a sense of guilty complicity, Adie is thrown deeper into building a place of beauty and unknown power, were she might fend off the incursions of the real world gone wrong.

On the other side of the globe, Taimur Martin, an English teacher retreating from a failed love affair, is picked up off the streets in Beirut by Islamic fundamentalists and held in solitary captivity. Without distraction or hope of release, he must keep himself whole by the force of his memory alone. Each infinite, empty day moves him closer to insanity, and only the surprising arrival of sanctuary sustains him for the shattering conclusion. Plowing the Dark is fiction that explores the imagination's power to both destroy and save. What can possibly join two such remote places? Only the shared imagination, a room that these people unwittingly build in common, where they are all about to meet, where the dual frames of this inventive novel to coalesce.

A fiercely visual book . . . the effect is spectacular . . . The most visceral prose Powers has ever written.--Daniel Zalewski, The New York Times Book Review

America's most ambitious novelist . . . Plowing The Dark is virtual reality composed in a language that will never go obsolete. No one who becomes immersed in its poetry will walk out the way he or she came in.--Kevin Berger, San Francisco Chronicle Book Review

Plowing The Dark may be Powers's] most finely executed story yet . . . Relentless and mesmerizing . . . a beautiful homage to the sine qua non of consciousness itself . . . the final triumph of art over pain.--Gail Caldwell, The Boston Globe

Powers has an inventive, virtuosic writing style that reserves him a special category in today's fiction . . . I don't have the space to do justice to all the wonders of craftsmanship in Plowing The Dark . . . This is the first emblematic novel of the 21st century, a lesson and an inspiration.--Judy Doenges, The Seattle Times

A] tour de force. It has overwhelming inventiveness and fun moments as well.--Donald Newlove, The Philadelphia Inquirer

This is, ultimately, a novel of ideas, but one with a soul . . . There is much to admire in this novel, particularly the ingenious way in which reality is captured.--Scott Leibs, The San Diego Union-Tribune

Full of intelligence, exacting analysis and supple prose . . . a] magisterial storybook.--Corey Mesler, The Commercial Appeal

Powers' twin tales are rife with echoes and allusions that reinforce their shared concern with the ways in which we reinvent our worlds.--Ralph Rugoff, LA Weekly

Superb . . . perhaps Powers'] greatest novel . . . Nearly every page of Powers' astonishing book has stunning ideas that will force you to re-evaluate everything you thought you knew about these subjects, and the implications you never imagined.--Steven Moore, The Newark Star-Ledger

Powers displays his trademark intellectual richness . . . His prose makes technology sing and music compute.--Michael Harris, Los Angeles Times

Review:

"Superb....Powers pulls off one of the most astonishing feats I've ever seen in literature....Daring, unpredictable, and emotionally powerful." Steven Moore, The Washington Post Book World

Review:

"Mention Richard Powers's name and see writers get that far-away look in their eyes: They are calculating the eventual reach of his influence." Sven Birkerts, Esquire

Review:

"Powers [displays] his trademark intellectual richness....His prose makes technology sing and music compute." Michael Harris, Los Angeles Times

Review:

"A remarkable novel...and the best about virtual reality." John Leonard, The New York Review of Books

Review:

"Powers may be America's most ambitious novelist....Plowing the Dark is virtual reality composed in a language that will never go obsolete. No one who becomes immersed in its poetry will walk out the way he or she came in." Kevin Berger, The San Francisco Chronicle Book Review

Synopsis:

In a Digital Laboratory, virtual-reality researchers rush to complete the Cavern, an empty white room that can become a jungle, a painting, or a vast Byzantine cathedral. In a war-torn Mediterranean city, a young man is held hostage in another empty white room, equipped only with his imagination and memory. The two are doomed to meet in the white room of shared imagination that they unwittingly build in common.

Synopsis:

In a digital laboratory on the shores of Puget Sound, a band of virtual reality researchers race to complete the Cavern, an empty white room that can become a jungle, a painting, or a vast Byzantine cathedral. In a war-torn Mediterranean city, an American is held hostage, chained to a radiator in another empty white room. What can possibly join two such remote places? Only the shared imagination, a room that these people unwittingly build in common, where they are all about to meet, where the dual frames of this inventive novel to coalesce.

Adie Klarpol, a skilled but disillusioned artist, comes back to life, revived by the thrill of working with the Cavern's cutting-edge technology. Against the collapse of Cold War empires and the fall of the Berlin Wall, she retreats dangerously into the cyber-realities she has been hired to create. As her ex-husband lies dying and the outbreak of computerized war fills her with a sense of guilty complicity, Adie is thrown deeper into building a place of beauty and unknown power, were she might fend off the incursions of the real world gone wrong.

On the other side of the globe, Taimur Martin, an English teacher retreating from a failed love affair, is picked up off the streets in Beirut by Islamic fundamentalists and held in solitary captivity. Without distraction or hope of release, he must keep himself whole by the force of his memory alone. Each infinite, empty day moves him closer to insanity, and only the surprising arrival of sanctuary sustains him for the shattering conclusion. Plowing the Dark is fiction that explores the imagination's power to both destroy and save.

About the Author

RICHARD POWERS is a MacArthur Fellow and a recipient of the Lannan Literary Award. He is the author of Three Farmers On Their Way to a Dance, Prisoner's Dilemma, The Gold Bug Variations, the National Book Award-nominated Operation Wandering Soul, the National Book Critics Circle Award-nominated Galatea 2.2, and Gain, winner of the James Fenimore Cooper Prize for Historical Fiction. He lives in Illinois.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780312280123
Author:
Powers, Richard
Publisher:
St. Martins Press-3pl
Location:
New York, N.Y.
Subject:
General
Subject:
Imagination
Subject:
Virtual Reality
Subject:
Hostages
Subject:
General Fiction
Subject:
Literary
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Copyright:
Edition Number:
1st Picador USA ed.
Edition Description:
Picador USA
Series Volume:
no. 42
Publication Date:
20010831
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
400
Dimensions:
5.50 x 8.25 in

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Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
History and Social Science » American Studies » Popular Culture

Plowing the Dark Used Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$6.95 In Stock
Product details 400 pages Picador USA - English 9780312280123 Reviews:
"Review" by , "Superb....Powers pulls off one of the most astonishing feats I've ever seen in literature....Daring, unpredictable, and emotionally powerful."
"Review" by , "Mention Richard Powers's name and see writers get that far-away look in their eyes: They are calculating the eventual reach of his influence."
"Review" by , "Powers [displays] his trademark intellectual richness....His prose makes technology sing and music compute."
"Review" by , "A remarkable novel...and the best about virtual reality."
"Review" by , "Powers may be America's most ambitious novelist....Plowing the Dark is virtual reality composed in a language that will never go obsolete. No one who becomes immersed in its poetry will walk out the way he or she came in."
"Synopsis" by , In a Digital Laboratory, virtual-reality researchers rush to complete the Cavern, an empty white room that can become a jungle, a painting, or a vast Byzantine cathedral. In a war-torn Mediterranean city, a young man is held hostage in another empty white room, equipped only with his imagination and memory. The two are doomed to meet in the white room of shared imagination that they unwittingly build in common.
"Synopsis" by ,
In a digital laboratory on the shores of Puget Sound, a band of virtual reality researchers race to complete the Cavern, an empty white room that can become a jungle, a painting, or a vast Byzantine cathedral. In a war-torn Mediterranean city, an American is held hostage, chained to a radiator in another empty white room. What can possibly join two such remote places? Only the shared imagination, a room that these people unwittingly build in common, where they are all about to meet, where the dual frames of this inventive novel to coalesce.

Adie Klarpol, a skilled but disillusioned artist, comes back to life, revived by the thrill of working with the Cavern's cutting-edge technology. Against the collapse of Cold War empires and the fall of the Berlin Wall, she retreats dangerously into the cyber-realities she has been hired to create. As her ex-husband lies dying and the outbreak of computerized war fills her with a sense of guilty complicity, Adie is thrown deeper into building a place of beauty and unknown power, were she might fend off the incursions of the real world gone wrong.

On the other side of the globe, Taimur Martin, an English teacher retreating from a failed love affair, is picked up off the streets in Beirut by Islamic fundamentalists and held in solitary captivity. Without distraction or hope of release, he must keep himself whole by the force of his memory alone. Each infinite, empty day moves him closer to insanity, and only the surprising arrival of sanctuary sustains him for the shattering conclusion. Plowing the Dark is fiction that explores the imagination's power to both destroy and save.

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