State of Wonder

State of Wonder

Ann Patchett / Feb 17, 2020
State of Wonder There were people on the banks of the river Among the tangled waterways and giant anacondas of the Brazilian Rio Negro an enigmatic scientist is developing a drug that could alter the lives of women
  • Title: State of Wonder
  • Author: Ann Patchett
  • ISBN: 9781408818756
  • Page: 370
  • Format: Paperback
  • There were people on the banks of the river Among the tangled waterways and giant anacondas of the Brazilian Rio Negro, an enigmatic scientist is developing a drug that could alter the lives of women for ever Dr Annick Swenson s work is shrouded in mystery she refuses to report on her progress, especially to her investors, whose patience is fast running out Anders EckmThere were people on the banks of the river Among the tangled waterways and giant anacondas of the Brazilian Rio Negro, an enigmatic scientist is developing a drug that could alter the lives of women for ever Dr Annick Swenson s work is shrouded in mystery she refuses to report on her progress, especially to her investors, whose patience is fast running out Anders Eckman, a mild mannered lab researcher, is sent to investigate A curt letter reporting his untimely death is all that returns Now Marina Singh, Anders s colleague and once a student of the mighty Dr Swenson, is their last hope Compelled by the pleas of Anders s wife, who refuses to accept that her husband is not coming home, Marina leaves the snowy plains of Minnesota and retraces her friend s steps into the heart of the South American darkness, determined to track down Dr Swenson and uncover the secrets being jealously guarded among the remotest tribes of the rainforest What Marina does not yet know is that, in this ancient corner of the jungle, where the muddy waters and susurrating grasses hide countless unknown perils and temptations, she will face challenges beyond her wildest imagination Marina is no longer the student, but only time will tell if she has learnt enough.
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      Ann Patchett

    About "Ann Patchett"

      • Ann Patchett

        Patchett was born in Los Angeles, California Her mother is the novelist Jeanne Ray.She moved to Nashville, Tennessee when she was six, where she continues to live Patchett said she loves her home in Nashville with her doctor husband and dog If asked if she could go any place, that place would always be home Home is e stable window that opens out into the imagination Patchett attended high school at St Bernard Academy, a private, non parochial Catholic school for girls run by the Sisters of Mercy Following graduation, she attended Sarah Lawrence College and took fiction writing classes with Allan Gurganus, Russell Banks, and Grace Paley She later attended the Iowa Writers Workshop at the University of Iowa and the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, Massachusetts, where she met longtime friend Elizabeth McCracken It was also there that she wrote her first novel, The Patron Saint of Liars.In 2010, when she found that her hometown of Nashville no longer had a good book store, she co founded Parnassus Books with Karen Hayes the store opened in November 2011 In 2012, Patchett was on the Time 100 list of most influential people in the world by TIME magazine.


    383 Comments

    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 REALLY a creep [...]


    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 her [...]


    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 admiration S [...]


    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 Marlow is sent [...]


    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 th [...]


    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 achei [...]


    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 beautiful the 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 of the slow build up that carried us to the climax It occurs to me, though, that wanting of a book is as good a sign as any that it won me over completely Apparently I have [...]


    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, skillful writing For example, the plot [...]


    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 issues, okay, [...]


    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 missing colleague, a jou [...]


    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 her she a [...]


    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 Bein [...]


    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 school t [...]


    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 stunning surp [...]


    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 of Patchett than this book [...]


    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 She and [...]


    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 to a co [...]


    18. 3.5 stars I was enthralled with this story Yet, Its a good thing I m writing this review now because the 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 you started thinking about the absurdity of the storyline.you found yourself laughing Only to find, and fault [...]


    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 And when I star [...]


    20. I read this at my mother s request and recommendation She rarely recommends books and even 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 forcefully through o [...]



    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 Bel Ca [...]


    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 unusual [...]


    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 who d [...]


    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 back to me [...]


    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 hold u [...]


    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 than she bargain [...]


    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 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 about any of th [...]


    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 here as Marina journeys from Minnesota to Manaus to the depths [...]


    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 and re [...]


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