The story weaves the lives of the four main characters through time and
through many different countries. The four main characters captivate the reader into their various stories and, even more amazingly, their psyches. The characters are: Jan O'Deigh (a reference librarian), Stuart Ressler (a geneticist in the 1950s), Keith (an advertising executive), and Franklin Todd (a reference librarian/ general renaissance man). The careful thought that Richard Powers put behind the characters makes them come alive on the page. The reader's experience mutates from a simple reading of a story into the feeling of these characters as they tie into each other's lives.
Stuart Ressler is a scientist from the 1950s that travels to Indiana to "put an 'I' state on the map." His specialization is genetics and coding. This is continually show throughout the story by Richard Powers actually showing the reader Ressler's break troughs and his break downs. he shows this by showing his work away from the prose in vario...
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...ve your life again, by all means let us
J. O'D., 6/23/83"
On multiple accounts some of the questions are signed "FTODD" a clear link in the relationship between Franklin Todd and Jan.
The story The Gold Bug Variations should be read for many reasons. The main reason being that it is a truly great story that captivates the reader. The reader should be willing to put forth the effort to understand, as much as humanly possible, the many variations of the story. The story is the current standard of storytelling. The integration of, science, art, and music into the story alone begs to be read over and over. The story is a romance, a history lesson, and an adventure all rolled up into one novel. If a reader can't find something of interest something is remarkably wrong. As in the final aria, the story should be read "one more time with feeling."
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