“A heartfelt cry for climate awareness, with fantastical digressions to other planets and a rueful celebration of our own.”


Just finished Bewilderment by Richard Powers. Audio version. The authors last book, Overstory, won the Pulitzer Prize. Bewilderment has been short listed for the Booker Prize.
This is the story of Theo Byrne, a young and brilliant scientist and his son Robin, who is autistic. Robin is very smart and talented but he has trouble dealing with some life events which can cause him to be violent to himself or others. Theo is trying his best to raise him by himself but it is increasingly becoming more difficult. The mother, another brilliant scientist, has died in a recent car crash, making life with Robin that much more difficult.

A scientist friend of the mother has funding from the government for an experimental plan that might help Robin’s behavior. It involves using the mother’s brain patterns, she had assisted in the development of the program, to train Robin about coping with the things that now upset him so much. Theo reluctantly agrees to let Robin participate as he is growing increasingly worried that Robin will have to be placed on a strong drug regimen, which he feels would affect Robin’s intelligence and creative process besides altering his behavior to one of a person who could end up robotic.
The story then centers around how this program affects Robin in so many different ways. Some of the changes that Robin goes through are astonishing and could change Robin’s life forever.

The relationship between Father and Son as written is so emotional that you can’t help being drawn in to their
everyday lives, it’s ups and downs, it’s turn for the better and for the worst. In his previous book, the environment was an important factor and it is again in this book.
You will be caught up in their story until the very final page.
Highly recommended.


Reviewed by:

Richard Franco

Added 11th November 2021

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Richard Franco