State of Wonder

State of Wonder Award winning New York Times bestselling author Ann Patchett returns with a provocative and assured novel of morality and miracles science and sacrifice set in the rainforest Infusing the narrative

  • Title: State of Wonder
  • Author: Ann Patchett
  • ISBN: null
  • Page: 240
  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • Award winning, New York Times bestselling author Ann Patchett returns with a provocative and assured novel of morality and miracles, science and sacrifice set in the rainforest Infusing the narrative with the same ingenuity and emotional urgency that pervaded her acclaimed previous novels Bel Canto, Taft, Run, The Magician s Assistant, and The Patron Saint of LiarsAward winning, New York Times bestselling author Ann Patchett returns with a provocative and assured novel of morality and miracles, science and sacrifice set in the rainforest Infusing the narrative with the same ingenuity and emotional urgency that pervaded her acclaimed previous novels Bel Canto, Taft, Run, The Magician s Assistant, and The Patron Saint of Liars, Patchett delivers an enthrallingly innovative tale of aspiration, exploration, and attachment in State of Wonder a gripping adventure story and a profound look at the difficult choices we make in the name of discovery and love.Dr Marina Singh, a research scientist with a Minnesota pharmaceutical company, is sent to Brazil to track down her former mentor, Dr Annick Swenson, who seems to have all but disappeared in the while working on what is destined to be an extremely valuable new drug, the development of which has already cost the company a fortune Nothing about Marina s assignment is easy not only does no one know where Dr Swenson is, but the last person who was sent to find her, Marina s research partner Anders Eckman, died before he could complete his mission Plagued by trepidation, Marina embarks on an odyssey into the insect infested jungle in hopes of finding her former mentor as well as answers to several troubling questions about her friend s death, the state of her company s future, and her own past.Once found, Dr Swenson, now in her seventies, is as ruthless and uncompromising as she ever was back in the days of Grand Rounds at Johns Hopkins With a combination of science and subterfuge, she dominates her research team and the natives she is studying with the force of an imperial ruler But while she is as threatening as anything the jungle has to offer, the greatest sacrifices to be made are the ones Dr Swenson asks of herself, and will ultimately ask of Marina, who finds she may still be unable to live up to her teacher s expectations.In a narrative replete with poison arrows, devouring snakes, and a neighboring tribe of cannibals, State of Wonder is a world unto itself, where unlikely beauty stands beside unimaginable loss It is a tale that leads the reader into the very heart of darkness, and then shows us what lies on the other side.

    One thought on “State of Wonder”

    1. This book never felt right. The characters were weak and hard to identify with, the plot seemed like something of a time past (yet wasn't), and the outcome of it all was ridiculous. The book would head in one direction for a while, then veer wildly in another. My pet peeve is when authors play fast and loose with characters and established world facts in order to advance plots. Lazy!Let's go for a ride: -American researcher dead in the jungle and his colleague goes to Brazil to find out more - R [...]

    2. Alas, I did not reach a state of wonder reading this. I would say I was in State(s) of: Interest, Appreciation, Mild Irritation, Interest Modified by Moments of Irritation, Shock, and then Milder Shock that dwindled into a State of General Annoyance, which would possibly make it the longest book title in history.A super-summary: Although she trained as an OB/GYN doctor, Marina is working in service of evil a pharmaceutical drug researcher who has studied cholesterol for the past seven years with [...]

    3. I thought that Ann Patchett had made her great contribution to literature with "Bel Canto," which seemed to me to be the perfect novel, and stays high on the list of my very favorites. It is the book that I sold by hand as a bookseller and the book that I still pass along to friends. I should keep a stack of them since I have handed mine off so many times that I never know if I have a copy or not. The book is a jewel box of structure, character, and language that left me overwhelmed with admirat [...]

    4. Mistah Kurtz, he dead, well, Mr. Eckman anyway. At Minnesota-based Vogel pharmaceuticals, weeks-old news of bio-researcher Anders Eckman’s ian demise leads the company to send another scientist to find out what happened, and to complete Eckman’s charge. He had been sent to determine the status of research, on a long-overdue revolutionary fertility drug, being conducted by the reclusive, and somewhat scary Doctor Annick Swenson. (think Kurtz) Pharmacological researcher Marina Singh (think Mar [...]

    5. A scientific jungle experiment/investigation involving an elderly and rather secretive matriarchal doctor who leads the experiment, a missing/deceased company representative who was sent to investigate what the experiment is up to, and a female company representative (who happens to also be a former medical student of the matriarch) who is sent to investigate what happened to the previous company representative.In spite of lengthy descriptions of the experiment and professorial soliloquising by [...]

    6. This marks the third time that I have dipped into the writing pool of Ann Patchett and let me tell you, she does not disappoint! Dr. Marina Singh embarks on a trip to Brazil in an effort to determine two things: What happened to her colleague, who had died there scant weeks ago and what kind of progress was being made by her former mentor in the development of a new fertility drug that was being funded by her pharmaceutical company. Both of these tasks prove to be most complex and difficult to a [...]

    7. This novel was just what I've been looking for this summer: a dazzling story, a meaty pile of ethical questions, characters that endure long after the book is over, and prose that gets more beautiful the more you notice it. I didn't love the novel's end; it was a bit too rushed for me, and the sudden pile-on of action left me wanting more of the slow build-up that carried us to the climax. It occurs to me, though, that wanting more of a book is as good a sign as any that it won me over completel [...]

    8. After all the rave reviews, my expectations were high. But this is no Bel Canto. The infuriatingly hapless heroine does not look ahead to scout out minor(everyone knows to pack some necessities in carry-on luggage, including cell phone)or major consequences of her actions and is locked in past failures and losses (one grows tired of her lost father nightmares and all her screaming). One could also hope for subtler symbolism and metaphors, less stilted dialogue, more skillful writing. For example [...]

    9. I really wanted to like this book. After all, there are all the raving reviews, and it's the kind of story that usually grabs and holds my interest (jungle adventure + medical drama), but I couldn't finish it. In fact, I gave up after the 4th disc (the audio book has 11 discs). The story plods on like the stifling heat of the jungle, so slow, that it was all padding and no plot for almost half of the book! The author wrote painstaking all the tedious details of Marina's past (she has father issu [...]

    10. I won’t give too much detail; you need to read this spoiler free. It’s deliciously gloomy and atmospheric, a dark adventure with Hitchcock style suspense. You’d expect a fearless heroine in a novel like this; instead you get Dr. Marina Singh, a neurotic woman with a really bad case of low self-esteem quite content with her life as a pharmacologist. That is till her boss & lover Mr. Fox (exactly the kind of ass insecure women go for) bullies her into taking on the quest of finding a mis [...]

    11. First, if you haven't read the book and intend to, don't read this review. I spoil just about everything, including the ending, below. This just didn't work for me. So much bothers me about the way State of Wonder is written and the way the story plays out that I'm overwhelmed by where to begin. I guess the first thing that bothered me was Dr. Swenson - she's a caricature. Her actions and words are absurd and the way the other characters respond to her is worse. It's not just that I didn't like [...]

    12. WARNING: SPOILERS PRESENT!When everyone was in about second grade, their teacher taught them about how each butterfly was once an entirely alternative being called a caterpillar. She also must have thrown in the term "cocoon" while you were thinking about how mean the cockney in front of you was for stealing your colorful eraser. Nevertheless, most everyone conceived the concept that there were two inseparable stages to a butterfly's life, two states completely indistinguishable from one another [...]

    13. Full disclosure: I fucking hated Heart of Darkness, so when I read that this was sort of a female version of the story, I was wary. But State of Wonder is, fortunately, nothing like Heart of Darkness. For one thing, it's coherent (bazinga!) and although there are thematic similarities, the story stands on its own merits. Conrad can suck it. The story follows Marina Singh, a researcher at Vogel Pharmaceutical. For years, Vogel has been funding a research project in the , led by Singh's former med [...]

    14. From the official blurb:"Award-winning "New York Times"-bestselling author Ann Patchett (Bel Canto, The Magician's Assistant) returns with a provocative novel of morality and miracles, science and sacrifice set in the rainforest--a gripping adventure story and a profound look at the difficult choices we make in the name of discovery and love.In a narrative replete with poison arrows, devouring snakes, scientific miracles, and spiritual transformations, State of Wonder presents a world of stunni [...]

    15. This book has made me despair for the American publishing industry in a way I hadn't, yet. Why despair? Because it is only the constant pressure to produce, to publish, that would make a company like HarperCollins and a writer with the ability of Ann Patchett push forward this work, which is at best uneven and at worst something that I would expect to emerge from a blinded-by-friendship writer's group. Does that seem harsh? If it is, it's because I expect -- perhaps unfairly -- more of Patchett [...]

    16. STATE OF WONDERAnne PatchettThis marvelous atmospheric and multi layered novel takes place in the jungle where an emissary from a pharmaceutical company dies under mysterious circumstances at a research facility.Dr. Marina Singh is sent to find the remains and effects, but must first locate the famous and reclusive gynecologist, Dr. Swenson who is in charge of the research. Dr. Swenson is researching the women of a local tribe who can conceive well past middle age, and other secret remedies. Sh [...]

    17. Patchett brings the to life in this novel. It's a smothering, overwhelmingly hot, green, creature-filled jungle approachable by waters infested with beings that can kill humans in myriad ways. Yet it's also home to tribes of natives who live with and from the jungle. There are fantastic birds and scary insects and snakes. And there may be a cure for infertility. That is the beginning of the story and the basis on which the protagonist, Dr. Marina Singh, travels to Brazil to track what happened [...]

    18. 3.5 stars! I was enthralled with this story. Yet, Its a good thing I'm writing this review 'now' --because the more I think about the details of the 'entire' story iself, my review could get get lower and lower. I was going to give it 4 stars (some inconsistencies going on in this novel), Yet, this was also a compulsively readable book! Have you ever read a book that you loved 'while' reading itt, the more you started thinking about the absurdity of the found yourself laughing? Onl [...]

    19. My all-encompassing love for Ann Patchett is not a secret. She is my absolute favorite living author and I own every single one of her books. (Side note: remember that time she came to Chattanooga and I couldn't afford to go to the signing - still bitter about that). I've been anxiously waiting on the release State of Wonder for a while now, so when TLC gave me the opportunity to review, you know I was all over it. The day it came in the mail I called Luke at work because I was so excited. An [...]

    20. I read this at my mother's request and recommendation. She rarely recommends books and even more rarely asks me to let her know when I've finished so we can discuss it. And also, it talks place in the ian rain forest, a place where I had recently spent some time. As you can probably tell, I'm delaying the start of this review. The book was okay. And I guess for me it falls into those categories of books I sometimes describe as "writers workshop-y" where the author's hand of god is felt forcefull [...]

    21. The second time around for this one. Ironically this time it was a book club selection that I chose. I was curious whether I would think it was as horrible the second time around. I'm a glutton for punishment, what can I say? Here is my review combined with my previous reviewd for the record, nothing has changed.Maybe Patchett and I just don't speak the same English. I disliked Bel Canto intensely but the description of State of Wonder made it seem rather intriguing and so I decided that maybe B [...]

    22. I really liked this story a lot, but at times found myself getting bored. What? Bored? I think this had to do with Patchett's language being so straight forward at times, when what was happening was so fantastical, magical, and extraordinary. It might also be unfair, as I have been reading some very provocative writing styles. This is a story of a secret lab in the who's researchers have discovered a tribe who have amazing abilities. I won't spoil what these are, only to say they are extremely [...]

    23. I can only give this book 2 stars because the whole thing was so silly. To believe that a giant international pharmaceutical company is going to write checks for research for 2 years without any updates/input/proof of progress from the researcher is crazy. Even crazier, when they finally do decide they want to find out what she is up to, who do they send to find her deep in the ? An employee who works in a lab in Minnesota who has never been out of the country. Then they get word he is dead, so [...]

    24. Most definitely my favorite Patchett book. Such an adventure, interesting and complex characters; and throughout the jungle scenes I found myself thinking of Barbara Kingsolver and the many wonders she has created for us on the pages of her books. I had imagined so many horrible endings from other reviews I read, but nothing like what played out here. The "rushed" conclusion seemed fitting to me, to match the emotions and actions that developed. I know that down the road this story will come bac [...]

    25. This was my first Patchett book and I wasn't disappointed. I've read the thoughtfully-written positive and negative reviews, and can see the points some people have made about the main character's (Marina) unbelievable naivety, stupid choices, and deep feelings about a seemingly shallow relationship with her boss. Thoughts of marriage to him, come on! One reviewer said she should have run off with Milton and I absolutely agree. I wanted to shake her silly sometimes. And, yes, the science doesn't [...]

    26. I had a good time with this book, and would like to give it 4 stars for enjoyment, but some significant flaws detract from my ability to recommend it to others.State of Wonder is about a scientist, Dr. Marina Singh, working for a pharmaceutical company that is attempting to develop a new fertility drug in the . The company sends Marina to the research site to report on the progress of the drug, the brainchild of Marina’s former teacher, Dr. Swenson. But Marina, naturally, finds much more than [...]

    27. I should have known there would be opera. After Bel Canto, I should have known. I'm sorry, but Patchett, Pretty Woman and Moonstruck notwithstanding, I just can't get behind the idea of opera as a redemptive force.A modern retelling of Conrad's Heart of Darkness, that feels more like Apocalypse Now. Beautifully written. Some good situational humor ("The shaman would no doubt have direct billing with Vogel."). Plot wandery and repetitive, and, I suppose most damning for me, I didn't give a hoot a [...]

    28. For all its faults and flaws, there is something very sublime about State of Wonder and I really enjoyed reading it, so I'm going with 4 stars.The plot's been discussed many times: roughly speaking, the protagonist, Dr. Marina Singh, embarks on a mission to the to discover what truly befell her reportedly deceased colleague, and what progress (if any) has been made on a new drug under the direction of her former mentor. But there's much more here as Marina journeys from Minnesota to Manaus to t [...]

    29. I thoroughly enjoyed listening to this audiobook while driving in my car. The narrator added to my pleasure by giving creditable audible voices to the characters. Ann Patchett expertly drew me into her story, and along with Dr. Marina Singh I willingly promised Karen that I would go to the jungle and locate Dr. Annick Swenson and find out what happened to her husband. The development of the characters emerged in a natural way with each appearance and interaction in the story. I eventually liked [...]

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