April Books 24) Generosity, by Richard Powers

To be honest I was a little underwhelmed by this book, set in the present day, featuring an Algerian refugee living in Chicago who turns out to have been genetically programmed for permanent happiness and ends up fleeing her own sudden celebrity. I thought it was charming enough but not terribly profound, and the author’s appearances in parentheses wondering about what he will write next seemed to me rather precious. At least it’s not very long.

That means I’ve now read all six shortlisted novels for this year’s Arthur C. Clarke Award (which will be announced on Wednesday). They fall pretty easily into three categories:

Underwhelming – Generosity, by Richard Powers, and Lightborn, by Tricia Sullivan

Good, but seem odd inclusions on the shortlist – Monsters of Men, by Patrick Ness and Declare, by Tim Powers

Excellent, and I hope one of them wins: Zoo City, by Lauren Beukes and The Dervish House, by Ian McDonald. Local pride would incline me towards The Dervish House. Good luck to ’em all.

One thought on “April Books 24) Generosity, by Richard Powers

  1. I’m currently reading the whole Bible in Spanish at the rate of roughly one chapter a day, in an attempt to further both my general aim of being fluent in Spanish by the time and I do our next Camino, and the more specific aim of being able to follow the readings at the Pilgrim Mass this time. I completed the Pentateuch last week and am currently making my way through Joshua. It’s been interesting so far – reading it in a less familiar language is making me notice new things about it, despite having read the whole thing in English several times, most of it in German at least once, and large chunks in Greek. I won’t deny that I’m looking forward to getting out of the histories and into the Prophets, mind you.

    Somehow, whenever I embark on a major Bible-reading project, I do end up starting with Genesis for lack of better ideas (and perhaps also due to a sense that I might as well get it over with.) Like you, I wouldn’t recommend it to most other readers, though. Fortunately, having specialised in Biblical topics for my degree gives me enough context not to get discouraged.

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