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Atmospheric Disturbances: A Novel Paperback – April 28, 2009
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Top Customer Reviews
The central puzzle afflicting clinical psychiatrist Dr Leo Liebenstein is essentially the unexplained disappearance of his wife, Rema, and her replacement with a simulacrum which only Leo recognises as not being the real Rema.Read more ›
When the protagonist, New York psychiatrist Leo Liebenstein, arrives at this conclusion, he is also dealing with a patient, Harvey, who believes that he is receiving secret orders from the Royal Academy of Meteorology in controlling the world's weather. Leo's "false" wife, Rema, whom he refers to as "the simulacrum", suggests that he pretend to be an agent of the RAM as well, transmitting directions from a meteorologist named Tsvi Gal-Chen. The relationship between this therapeutic fraud and Leo's search for the real Rema are the crux of Galchen's book.
Now, am I right? Those plots, and their intertwining, ought to make for good reading. But Galchen's prose is so dense and convoluted that it was hard to get through the book, much less enjoy it. I don't mind that it's never clear whether Liebenstein is himself suffering from mental illness (some reviews firmly state that he is suffering from Capgras Syndrome, though Galchen is never definite) or whether Rema really has been replaced by a fake. Nor do I mind that it's unclear whether the RAM really is trying to stop a cabal of errant meteorologists. What I do mind is that Galchen never makes me care about the outcome or her characters, so at the end (which is very unsatisfying, by the way) I just felt as though my struggle to finish had been a waste of time.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Beautifully written, clever, wacky, intriguing, multi-layered, awfully odd, funny and touching. Rivka Galchen pays extraordinary attention to details like clothing, speech... Read morePublished 6 months ago by Elana N.
Bear with Ms. Galchen through the seemingly random and misguided adventures of a novel that shamelessly assigns the authors name to a major character and you will find you are not... Read morePublished 8 months ago by Seth Roskos
This was the most boring book I ever had the misfortune to read. I kept hoping it was going to get better since
some editor thought it worthy of publishing. I was so wrong! Read more
Atmospheric Disturbances is adorably intriguing; it belongs to a tradition of the literary fantastic on the upper ranks of which we find Bruno Schulz, Leo Pertuz, Alexander... Read morePublished 13 months ago by Molly
I had never heard of Rivka Galchen until her hilarious short story "The Lost Order" appeared in the January 7, 2013 issue of The New Yorker. Read morePublished on February 10, 2013 by Constant Reader
ATMOSPHERIC DISTURBANCES is a disturbing book - as I'm sure it was meant to be. It is told from the viewpoint of a crazy psychiatrist who imagines that his real wife has... Read morePublished on January 23, 2013 by Chris Beal
This is a very odd book about a man with Capgras Syndrome, although it's never identified by that name. Read morePublished on October 23, 2011 by Martha E. Pollack
This was a rather disturbing read - mostly stream of consciousness from a likely deranged individual. Read morePublished on May 2, 2011 by petesea