- Hardcover: 368 pages
- Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing; First Edition edition (6 Jun. 2011)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1408818590
- ISBN-13: 978-1408818596
- Product Dimensions: 13.5 x 3.3 x 21.6 cm
- Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars See all reviews (174 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 118,293 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
State of Wonder Hardcover – 6 Jun 2011
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Every descriptive page leads the reader through an intriguing plot and ever closer to characters you really care about. It's a wonderful read. --Choce Magazine, June 24, 2011
SHORTLISTED FOR THE ORANGE PRIZE FOR FICTION 2012. A dazzling tale of science and ritual, terror and love, State of Wonder is the most ambitious and mesmeric book yet from the Orange prize-winning author of Bel CantoSee all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
I have read Ann Patchett's famous 'Bel Canto', which I thoroughly enjoyed although I was a little frustrated by the ending. Yet State of Wonder was exactly the opposite. I have seen so many glowing reviews of it over the last few weeks, many of which were by readers whose advice I almost always take. Everyone, it seems, loves this book. So when I picked it up I had high expectations and was looking forward to getting sucked into the world of the Brazilian jungle. Fifty pages later I was getting frustrated, and it felt as though the book was still going nowhere fast.
Although it took me a few days, I persevered, simply because of all the good things I had heard about it. Then, about halfway through, something just clicked into place, and I found myself reading faster and faster as I became engrossed in the story at last. I think part of the problem is that so much of the beginning of the book is taken up by waiting. You know that Marina (the main character) is going to go to Brazil in the end, and that she is eventually going to reach the jungle. The problem is that it takes so long, and while she is bored and irritated, it is all too easy for the reader to echo her feelings. In a way this is testament to Patchett's talent at drawing you into the world of the book, but it does slow the story down.
Nevertheless, despite the disappointing opening, I am so glad that I carried on and finished State of Wonder. Why? Because the second half of the book more than makes up for the first. There is real emotion in the writing, and the characters are well-drawn and more than a little real.Read more ›
Despite a slightly cold beginning, I was soon transported convincingly back to Manaus, where I did once spend a short space of time. The colour, the despair, the feeling of panic and culture-shock were all depicted wonderfully.
But then the real story begins, with the journey deep into the Amazon, and it is so vividly portrayed, the characters and their relationships, and the thread of mystery running through the pages.
I was swept away, I felt I was living it myself, I stayed up til after 2am night after night reading more and more.... and when I finished the book, for a week I felt homesick for it, I was actually in mourning!
I promptly bought a copy for my mother to take away on holiday, and she felt the same way, and ignored her travelling companion for the whole week!
Buy it, read it, love it.
Having slogged my way through Conrad's 'Heart of Darkness', (It's brilliant, yes, but not exactly 'light reading'), I was thrilled with this tale. There's a death. There's a large, mysterious company. There's a fantastic scientist, who's been sent to work in the Amazon. But she's gone rogue. A company representative is sent to find her. Sound familiar?
Highly recommended for those with a South American experience, and for anbody who enjoys a good mystery!
An excellent read.
It's a thought-provoking novel, that doesn't provide easy answers, and retains its ability to shock right up to the end. It would be a very interesting book to discuss, and I imagine will become a popular reading group choice. There isn't really a clear 'message' being given and doesn't wrap up neatly - which is a bit frustrating, but I think means it will stay with me for longer. It's well paced and plot driven, with twists and surprises throughout. Every time I thought I knew where it was going, something would change. I also liked its exploration of mentoring relationships, which can be very powerful and important in people's lives, but are rarely explored in books.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I read this book out of curiosity after reading big magic by Elizabeth Gilbert. I found it unexpectedly engrossing and I was cocooned by this world in the short time it took to... Read morePublished 28 days ago by wowbagger_the_third
This has the potential to be a great novel but it fails in the delivery.
While the storyline is very interesting the messy writing spoils it all for me. Read more
I was trying to buy the paperback of this but Amazon shot it straight onto my Kindle & there seems to be nothing I can do to reverse this. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Disgusting of Tonbridge Wells
Well, you have to suspend your disbelief a bit with this story as the whole scenario is pretty ludicrous, but despite this I found it difficult to put down. Read morePublished 1 month ago by M MYDDLE
I cannot believe that this book was written by the author who wrote Bel Canto.Published 3 months ago by Dr D.
Reminiscent of The Poisonwood Bible and The Mosquito Coast, even Heart of Darkness - this is a story that takes a while to get going but eventually hits the jungle and it hard to... Read morePublished 4 months ago by K. J. Noyes
Can't seem to get into this book, but maybe if I stick at it, it'll come and I'll finally get the gist of what it's about!Published 5 months ago by Aileen Devaney
Nice novel. There was one thing that happened at the end that did not need to happen, it seems to have been put in there just to sell because it didn't fit the story or the... Read morePublished 5 months ago by Dora