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In Gain, Powers puts our modernity through the wringer once again. This time, though, he points the finger at one villain in particular: rampant, American-style capitalism, as exemplified by a conglomerate called Clare International. His novel, it should be said, is no piece of agitprop, but an intricate lamination of two separate stories. On one hand, Powers describes the rise (and fall and rise) of the Clare empire, beginning in its mercantile infancy: "That family flocked to commerce like finches to morning. They clung to the watery edge of existence: ports, always ports. They thrived in tidal pools, half salt, half sweet." The author's Clare-eyed narrative amounts to a pocket history of corporate America, and a marvelously entertaining one. Lest we get too enamored of this success story, though, Powers introduces a second, countervailing tale, in which a 42-year-old resident of Lacewood, Illinois, is stricken with ovarian cancer. Lacewood happens to be the headquarters of Clare's North American Agricultural Products Division, and lo and behold, it seems that chemical wastes from the plant may be the source of Laura Bodey's illness. The analogy between corporate and cancerous proliferation is pointed--too pointed, perhaps. But no other recent novelist has written so knowingly, and with such splendid indignation, about capitalism and its discontents. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
One of our truly great writers. Story is riveting, and the writing is spectacular. Author's knowledge is profound, and the story style alternating between past and present is... Read morePublished 7 months ago by Jeremy Glass
DAMN. GOOD. AUTHOR.. I LOVED THIS BOOK IN CONCEPT, STORYLINE, CHARACTERIZATION AND EXECUTION. VERY WELL DONE.Published 14 months ago by rwjohnson
Thoughts on the novel Gain by Richard Powers
Gain tells two alternating stories.
The first is the journey of a woman diagnosed with Cancer. Read more
This is not an easy novel to read. But it is well worth the effort. The author Richard Powers is either a person who spends a great deal of time researching his subject or a... Read morePublished on October 19, 2013 by Hanan B
The great thing about "Gain" is that it imagines a history without government. I don't mean a world without governance but a perspective on the sweeping changes that have brought... Read morePublished on June 10, 2013 by Randall L. Wilson
If I don't write this post/review right now, tonight, I will never write it. It has been festering beneath my skin, down near my bones for a little over a week. Read morePublished on July 18, 2011 by Jabiz Raisdana
This is a very dissapointing book by Richard Powell.It traces a history of a company up into the age of corporations, then pollution and the possible high incident of cancer caused... Read morePublished on May 22, 2011 by D. Nash