The Chemistry of Tears: Book summary and reviews of The Chemistry of Tears by Peter Carey

The Chemistry of Tears

A Novel

By Peter Carey

The Chemistry of Tears
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' rating:

     Not Yet Rated
  • Published in USA  May 2012,
    240 pages.

    Publication Information

  • Rate this book


Buy This Book

About this book

Book Summary

An automaton, a man and a woman who can never meet, a secret love story, and the fate of the warming world are all brought to incandescent life in this hauntingly moving novel from one of the most admired writers of our time.

London 2011. Catherine Gehrig, a museum conservator, learns of the death of her colleague and lover of thirteen years. As the mistress of a married man, she must keep her grief a secret. She is rescued by the only person who knew of this affair - her boss. It is he who arranges a project that demands she work in isolation. In deep mourning, she will bring back to "life" a nineteenth-century automaton. Usually controlled and rational, but now mad with sorrow, Catherine discovers a series of notebooks written by Henry Brandling, who, in 1854, commissioned the extraordinary, eerie mechanical creature. Henry's is a personal account of his adventures in the wilds of Germany, a diary that brings Catherine unexpected comfort and wonder. But it is the automaton itself, in its beautiful, uncanny imitation of life, that will link Henry and Catherine, as they are confronted with the mysteries of life and death, the miracle and catastrophe of human invention, and the body's astonishing chemistry of love and feeling.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Reviews

Media Reviews

"Starred Review. ...[A] powerful novel on the frailty of the human body and the emotional life we imbue in machines." - Publishers Weekly

"An A-plus purchase." - Library Journal

"It's a novel that will amuse or challenge some and frustrate others." - Kirkus Reviews

"Mr Carey is one of the finest living writers in English. His best books satisfy both intellectually and emotionally; he is lyrical yet never forgets the imperative to entertain." - The Economist

"Audacious yet restrained, tender yet sardonic, and filled with moments of emotional complexity... A beautifully elegiac hymn to lost love." - Patrick Arlington, Australian Book Review

"A master-class of writing and human insight is to be found in Peter Carey's new novel with its thrillingly off-kilter focus... There is so much powerful human emotion rising from the pages." - Liam Heylin, Irish Examiner

"Masterly historical fiction that both talks about now, and makes the past seem immediate... I loved this book for its mysteries, its hinted back stories, its reserve, and its underlying complexity." - Lucy Daniel, Daily Telegraph

The information about The Chemistry of Tears shown above was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's online-magazine that keeps our members abreast of notable and high-profile books publishing in the coming weeks. In most cases, the reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author of this book and feel that the reviews shown do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, please send us a message with the mainstream media reviews that you would like to see added.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Author Information

Peter Carey Author Biography

Photo: Maron Ettlinger

Peter Carey was born in 1943, in Bacchus Marsh, Victoria, Australia.   His parents, who had a General Motors dealership, sent him to Geelong Grammar School, one of the leading private schools, "where the children of Australia's Best Families all spoke with English accents". He studied briefly at Monash University, but left after failing his first year science exams, after which he left to work as a copyrighter in advertisign agencies in Melbourne and London. He started to read passionately, especially the work of Joyce, Beckett, Kafka and Faulkner, and in 1964 he began to write.  He moved to Sydney in 1974 where he continued copyrighting.  His first collection of surreal short stories, War Crimes, was published in 1979, followed by The ...

... Full Biography
Author Interview
Link to Peter Carey's Website

Other books by Peter Carey at BookBrowse
  • True History of The Kelly Gang jacket
  • Theft jacket
  • Parrot and Olivier in America jacket

5 more...

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

More Recommendations

More Recently Published Novels

more...

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!
Member Benefits

Join Now!

Check the advantages!
Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year

    •  
    • FREE
    • MEMBER
    • Range of media reviews for each book
    • Excerpts of all featured books
    • Author bios, interviews and pronunciations
    • Browse by genre
    • Book club discussions
    • Book club advice and reading guides
    • BookBrowse reviews and "beyond the book" back-stories
    •  
    • Reviews of notable books ahead of publication
    •  
    • Free books to read and review (US Only)
    •  
    • Browse for the best books by time period, setting & theme
    •  
    • Read-alike suggestions for thousands of books and authors
    •  
    • 'My Reading List" to keep track of your books
    •  

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: The Promise
    The Promise
    by Ann Weisgarber
    Canadian author, Lucy Maud Montgomery of Anne of Green Gables fame, once wrote that "...all things ...
  • Book Jacket: Black Moon
    Black Moon
    by Kenneth Calhoun
    The popularity of book-turned-movie World War Z and television series The Walking Dead points to a ...
  • Book Jacket: Hyde
    Hyde
    by Daniel Levine
    In Robert Louis Stevenson's 1886 novel, The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, the story ends ...

First Impressions

Members read and review books ahead
of publication. See what they think
in First Impressions!

Books that
expand your
horizons.

Visitors can view a lot of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only

Find out more.

Book Discussions
Book Jacket

The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry
by Gabrielle Zevin

Published Apr. 2014

Join the discussion!

Win this book!
Win The Steady Running of the Hour

The Steady Running of the Hour

"Exciting, emotionally engaging and ambitious. I loved it!" - Kate Mosse

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

I T T O A Eye

and be entered to win..

Books thatinspire you.Handpicked.

Books you'll stay up all night reading; books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, books that will expand your mind and inspire you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.