State of Wonder

State of Wonder

eBook - 2011
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Ann Patchett has dazzled readers with her award-winning books, including The Magician's Assistant and the New York Times bestselling Bel Canto. Now she raises the bar with State of Wonder, a provocative and ambitious novel set deep in the Amazon jungle.Dr. Marina Singh, a research scientist with a Minnesota pharmaceutical company, is sent to Brazil to track down her former mentor, Dr. Annick Swenson, who seems to have all but disappeared in the Amazon while working on what is destined to be an extremely valuable new drug, the development of which has already cost the company a fortune. Nothing about Marina's assignment is easy: not only does no one know where Dr. Swenson is, but the last person who was sent to find her, Marina's research partner Anders Eckman, died before he could complete his mission. Plagued by trepidation, Marina embarks on an odyssey into the insect-infested jungle in hopes of finding her former mentor as well as answers to...
Publisher: 2011
ISBN: 9780062049827

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librarylizzard Apr 02, 2014

I enjoy Ann Patchett's writing very much, and this was no exception. As other reviewers have pointed out, the narration of the audiobook was also top-notch. The story keeps the reader guessing up until the very end, and the plot is so interesting that it does leave one in a "state of wonder.... Read More »


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samdog123 Jun 19, 2017

My first book by Ann Patchett--wow what a story and so beautifully written too. I listened to this in the audio book format. The reader was excellent and really brought the story alive for me. When Pharmacologist, Dr. Marina Singh, is sent off to the jungles of Brazil to check on the progress of her drug firm's research team, she is continually amazed by everything she encounters. From the native tribes, the intense Dr. Swenson and the jungle itself, it is a state of wonder. Also key to the plot is the mysterious death of the previous researcher sent to check on the team. The story unfolds in such a compelling way. I really loved this book.

JCLMelodyMK Mar 24, 2017

This book is set mainly deep in the Amazon jungle. Scientists are studying a native village in Brazil. One of the scientists, Dr. Anneck Swen-son, recently arriving at the village goes missing and then said to be dead. Dr. Marina Singh is sent to track down just what happened to her coworker Anneck. As I moved farther into the story the more engaged and curious I became. A captivating read that takes you to an Amazon jungle. Another great read from Ann Patchett, truly an interesting read that made me think back to how many medicines are developed from rain forests, they don’t start out as pills and liquids.

j
jr3083
Mar 21, 2017

See my review at:

https://residentjudge.wordpress.com/2017/03/21/state-of-wonder-by-ann-patchett/

s
spiderfelt_0
Jan 29, 2017

Without resorting to narrative tricks, or creating a chronology salad, Patchett has mastered the art of telling a straight story well. With no experience academia, I was struck by the level of research that must have gone into this book. Also, the complex moral questions would make this great for book clubs.

Props to Hope Davis for narrating a stunning audiobook. Every sentence uttered by Dr Swenson made me cringe, so palpable was her derision.

x
xiaojunbpl12
Nov 14, 2016

All are predictable (I was like Karen, did not believe her husband died...) and satisfactory, still full of "small" wonders (*), except for the reunion of Marina and Anders which is sublime. A semi-sci-fi, but I wasn't awed as much as Teddy Roosevelt's real adventure in "River of Doubt".
Knowing too much of any of the non-essential prerequisites (reproductive biology, mycology, ecology, drug chemistry, clinical trial, bioethics, capitalism...evolution) can add cynicism to reading of such sumptuous tribute to several modern concerns.

*: The mushroom (gives high pleasure and hallucination to brain), the tree (which barks preserve women's fertility to old age), the blue moth (produces anti-malaria immunity) - all are in symbiotic relationship as nature should be. Human (women) don't necessarily want to have numerous children spanning 60 years, nor tirelessly seek a rational remedy for tropical malady, but they cannot help getting ecstasy along with receiving its inadvertent effect, wow, this is more ingenious and efficient than having sex! A drug derived from such a source would, in one dose, have efficacy in triple usage.
- My wild guess provoked, I'm not sure if these thoughts were in author's mind. But I don't find her real intention - character studies of two females (...) - is interesting enough.

d
dano62
Oct 29, 2016

This story really made me think, it is filled with profound allegory. The author's writing style describes well and is down to earth, transitioning to different scenes at times-I might like to try her audiobooks. There is a sense of balance with a satisfying ending, but not everything is resolved.

s
santiano9
Sep 21, 2016

Excellent story, well written. Did not want it to end. Highly recommend for a good read.

LPL_KateG Jan 08, 2016

Excellent story for fans of lush, descriptive writing and becoming engrossed in another place. You know it's a good audiobook when you get in your car the next day and feel sad once you remember it's over.

Chapel_Hill_MollyL May 10, 2015

Ann Patchett's amazing skills as a writer are on display beautifully in State of Wonder. She can evoke place, mood, and character in a way few other contemporary writers can match. Her plotting is probably her greatest weakness, and the ending of this otherwise great novel suffers.

a
africanannie
Feb 09, 2015

This is my first Ann Patchett book. It took me about 1/3 of the book to get into it, but once I did, I couldn't put it down! I loved her characters and she is a master of dialogue, as well as plot. I've now reserved all her books and can't wait for the next one!

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mill01pj Apr 05, 2012

Without revealing too much and running the risk of implying the book is one-dimensional, let's just say the book is about an extensive research project into a new, potentially earth-shattering drug.

Michael Colford Mar 02, 2011

Patchett takes us from Boston to the deepest hidden realms of the Amazon in this layered, haunting tale of biomedical exploration and the search for ourselves. Outstanding writing is Patchett's hallmark in this intricately layered novel. Deep, complex strands of narrative all come together beautifully and characters, both main and incidental are fully explored and brought to life. This is a masterful work.

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