49 pages 1 hour read

Richard Powers

The Echo Maker

Fiction | Novel | Adult | Published in 2006

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Part 2Chapter Summaries & Analyses

Part 2: “But Tonight on North Line Road”

Part 2, Pages 96-116 Summary

As summer approaches, the cranes crowding the Platte riverbanks begin to migrate north. They travel in families of lifelong mates and their yearling colts (or juveniles).

Dr. Gerald Weber enters the story; he is a neuropsychologist who writes popular books on how the brain operates. He is stuck on his next book, which concerns memory. Weber has been feeling that he is spending too little time on pure research. He is also withdrawing from contact with other people. Although he makes brief intimate connections with his subjects, those connections disappear as soon as he is done with them. He has to remind himself to care about his subjects’ feelings.

Weber receives an email from Karin describing Mark’s condition and asking Weber to see Mark. Weber is interested in Mark’s case, which is rare—Capgras induced by head trauma. He discusses this with his wife Sylvie, and she encourages him to go. They have been together so long, she can practically read his mind.

Mark is initially suspicious of Weber. He hopes Weber will get him out of the brain trauma center, but he fears Weber is a plant or a spy like the “false” Karin.