The Chemistry of Tears

The Chemistry of Tears

Peter Carey / Jul 20, 2019

The Chemistry of Tears London Catherine Gehrig conservator at Swinburne museum learns of the unexpected death of her colleague and lover of thirteen years but as the mistress of a married man she has to grieve in p

  • Title: The Chemistry of Tears
  • Author: Peter Carey
  • ISBN: 9780571279982
  • Page: 256
  • Format: Paperback
  • London 2010, Catherine Gehrig, conservator at Swinburne museum, learns of the unexpected death of her colleague and lover of thirteen years but as the mistress of a married man, she has to grieve in private Her employer at the museum, aware of Catherine s grief, gives her a special project to piece together both the mechanics and the story of an extraordinary automatoLondon 2010, Catherine Gehrig, conservator at Swinburne museum, learns of the unexpected death of her colleague and lover of thirteen years but as the mistress of a married man, she has to grieve in private Her employer at the museum, aware of Catherine s grief, gives her a special project to piece together both the mechanics and the story of an extraordinary automaton, commissioned in the nineteenth century by Henry Brandling to amuse his dying son Linked by the mysterious automaton, Catherine s and Henry s stories intertwine across time to explore the mysteries of life and death, the miracle and catastrophe of human invention and the body s astonishing chemistry of love and feeling.

    Department of Chemistry UC Santa Barbara Welcome to the Department of Chemistry Biochemistry at UC Santa Barbara We represent all branches of chemistry, from materials chemistry to chemical biology Our faculty, including two Nobel Laureates, a graduate program in Chemistry and Biochemistry, postdoctoral researchers, and staff are all dedicated to exploring the frontiers of chemical science. Chemistry Java Applets Edinformatics science projects, science curriculum, free software, science kits, science labs, chemistry set, experiments Chiral Publishing An Introduction to Chemistry An Introduction to Chemistry by Mark Bishop A textbook intended for use in beginning chemistry courses that have no chemistry prerequisite. Organic Chemistry etext Contents University of Calgary since August th Organic Chemistry On Line Learning Center The original contents of this site were developed by Dr Ian Hunt and Dr Rick Spinney for McGraw Hill to support Francis Carey s Organic Chemistry.The original materials are copyright of McGraw Hill and therefore any link to this site without their permission is an infringement of their copyright Oct . ChemTubeD Information ChemTubeD contains interactive D animations and structures, with supporting information for some of the most important topics covered during an undergraduate chemistry degree. Chemistry Chemistry is the scientific discipline involved with elements and compounds composed of atoms, molecules and ions their composition, structure, properties, behavior and the changes they undergo during a reaction with other substances. In the scope of its subject, chemistry occupies an intermediate position between physics and biology It is sometimes called the central science because it

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    About "Peter Carey"

      • Peter Carey

        Librarian Note There is than one author in the database with this name See this thread for information.Peter Carey was born in Australia in 1943 He was educated at the local state school until the age of eleven and then became a boarder at Geelong Grammar School He was a student there between 1954 and 1960 after Rupert Murdoch had graduated and before Prince Charles arrived In 1961 he studied science for a single unsuccessful year at Monash University He was then employed by an advertising agency where he began to receive his literary education, meeting Faulkner, Joyce, Kerouac and other writers he had previously been unaware of He was nineteen For the next thirteen years he wrote fiction at night and weekends, working in many advertising agencies in Melbourne, London and Sydney After four novels had been written and rejected The Fat Man in History a short story collection was published in 1974 This slim book made him an overnight success From 1976 Carey worked one week a month for Grey Advertising, then, in 1981 he established a small business where his generous partner required him to work only two afternoons a week Thus between 1976 and 1990, he was able to pursue literature obsessively It was during this period that he wrote War Crimes, Bliss, Illywhacker, Oscar and Lucinda Illywhacker was short listed for the Booker Prize Oscar and Lucinda won it Uncomfortable with this success he began work on The Tax Inspector In 1990 he moved to New York where he completed The Tax Inspector He taught at NYU one night a week Later he would have similar jobs at Princeton, The New School and Barnard College During these years he wrote The Unusual Life of Tristan Smith, Jack Maggs, and True History of the Kelly Gang for which he won his second Booker Prize He collaborated on the screenplay of the film Until the End of the World with Wim Wenders In 2003 he joined Hunter College as the Director of the MFA Program in Creative Writing In the years since he has written My Life as a Fake, Theft, His Illegal Self and Parrot and Oliver in America shortlisted for 2010 Man Booker Prize.


    349 Comments

    1. A hardback. I don't normally do hardbacks, but this was a birthday present to myself.Hardbacks do feel nice though don't they? It's a pity the appearance of this one is spoilt by a really sappy cover picture that makes it look like a Tasteful Ladies' Romance. Which it is not. Needless to say. I wish they'd used one of the perfectly splendiferous (false!) illustrations of Vaucanson's Duck:Or this spiffy Drais:Also needless to say it's bleeding brilliant, it is Peter Carey after all. Well, OK, he [...]


    2. Peter Carey, what is this??? You're all over the map here, nothing makes sense, nobody is likable, I am justcapable of getting this book. It started out promising, woman gets over grief in re-assembling automaton, story of automaton told in alternate chapters, and then, it dissolves into pixels the way my DVR playback does sometimes.I understand you're a genius and I thought we had a future. We are just too different. p.s. loved Oscar & Lucinda


    3. This novel seemed promising but never really reeled me in.Catherine Gehrig, grief stricken at the death of her (secret)lover, throws herself into her work at a London museum, restoring an enormous complex automaton. Along the way she learns the story of Henry Brandling, who commissioned the design of the automaton for his dying son, a century earlier.Neither Catherine nor Henry are particularly sympathetic characters. Catherine is prickly and difficult and though this is attributable to her grie [...]


    4. The Chemistry of Tears is one of those typical literary novels: no surprise that it was already a favourite for the Booker before the longlist was even announced (although it didn't end up being nominated). It starts with Catherine Gehrig, a museum conservator, discovering that her long-term (married, secret) lover has died suddenly. Consumed with grief which she cannot allow the world to see, she immerses herself in a new project to restore a swan automaton. During this process, she discovers t [...]


    5. I am usually so hard on books. I don't know why. But it doesn't take much to make me lop off a star. But this one I forgave, (although I didn't have to forgive much). I felt so protective of the characters and the story and forgave the fact that there are some things I still don't get. This is a story of love and hope. Of the inherent good and evil in all things. Of connection. Of separation. Of the past and the present.The automaton represents the beginning of the machine age. An invitation to [...]


    6. Having enjoyed Oscar and Lucinda I approached this book with interest and anticipation only to be really, really disappointed. To me it was a muddle of ideas, a lot of beautiful but meaningless prose and one of the worst endings I have ever read. I actually have no idea of what happened in the last few pages and have no inclination to go back and try to work it out. Carey is certainly an excellent writer but this particular book missed the point for me.


    7. Well. I will allow that this is probably an excellent book, written by an excellent author. Other reviews have noted that it might have been better to have read it with a book club, as insights would be gained by the comments of other readers.That comment does make me feel a bit better, because I must admit to being thoroughly confused throughout most of this book. And, that is just not why I pick up a book to read. I like to understand what is going on in a story, I don't enjoy wondering what j [...]


    8. The Chemistry of Tears is the story of an horologist, Catherine Gehrig, who works in a small London museum. Her lover, Matthew, one of the museum other curators, has just died suddenly and she is distraught. To take her mind off her grief her boss gives her a new job, to restore a mysterious automaton, which may or may not be a replica of Vaucanson's Duck. It arrives in her studio in eight gigantic tea-chests and amongst the myriad of broken parts she finds the diaries of its former owner, a Vic [...]


    9. 3 and 1/2 starsI read Carey's "Oscar and Lucinda" with an online group many years ago and I'm wishing I could've done the same with this, my second of his novels. Though I recognize his many merits, I'm just not sure Carey is for me.I was reminded of Oscar as I read about Henry. Both are men who find themselves on a strange journey in a strange place due to an obsession, obsessions that border on madness and have to do with the building of a folly at the intersection of Art and Science. Henry is [...]


    10. Disappointing for the latest book from such a significant writer. I've never been much of a fan of Carey, but this book is is even more disappointing than I expected. I was hopeful I would love it, as the subject matter was right up my alley. The plot is wonderful, a gift for any author - following the death of her secret lover, a antique watchmaker and antiquities specialist at the British museum is forced to grieve in complete silence lest her secret be discovered, until she learns some friend [...]


    11. I am not usually a fan of Peter Carey, but this is the first book I have ever read that I wanted to start reading again immediately I finished it (and I think I need to, now I have read the ending). I will not write here what the book is "about", as it has been written already in enough reviews and so it would be redundant. But what other reviewers have said the book is about, ie obsession, grief, etc, is what it is about on the surface. I am astounded only one other reviewer has noted another a [...]


    12. Well, that was disappointing.I love the title. I love the premise. I thought this would be dark, and quirky, and funny, and poignantly sad. I thought I'd be drawn into the world of an eccentric genius. Instead, I feel as though I was cornered by a tedious drunk who monologues, gets lost asides, and reiterates the same point over, and over, and over again. By the end, I wasn't even paying attention. I was nodding politely and edging my way to the door.But I finished it. or less.


    13. Peter Carey’s new novel is about robots. I think. And grief. Yes, I’m positive it’s got something to do with grief. And art restoration, computers and global warming. And possibly space aliens, but don’t quote me on that. The Australian two-time Booker winner, who lives in New York, is one of my all-time favorite novelists. For more than 30 years, he’s published dazzlingly smart stories about con artists and fanatics with deceptions nested inside confusion tied up with madness. But his [...]


    14. This book reveals the slightly off centre mastery and vivid imagination that is Peter Carey. The read follows 2 time lines, one 1854 to relative present day. Sometimes this type of writing can be difficult to keep up with, however in the scenes of this book this isn’t the case even with the story revolving around an “automata” with Carey taking from history, 1743 Jacques Vaucanson. The reader will recognise that both the main characters are desperate with their separate losses and loneline [...]


    15. I really wanted to like this book. I should love this book, as the blurb on the back makes it sound exactly like the sort of novel I would not only pick up to read once, but return to again and again.Sadly, this is not the case.The book centers around Catherine Gehrig, a conservator at a London museum, who tries to deal with the grief of losing her lover. As she grapples with this grief, her boss entrusts her with a mechanical bird he wants her to restore. The crates bearing the different parts [...]


    16. The Chemistry of Tears is the first book by Peter Carey that I've tried to read. I said 'tried to read' because I actually didn't manage to finish the book. I found the blurb to be quite interesting although I didn't know much about automatons, museum work or about nineteenth century Germany. I wanted to find out more about how Henry and Catherine's two worlds will be linked and was fully prepared to be sympathetic towards Catherine.However, The Chemistry of Tears didn't work out the way I expec [...]


    17. I enjoyed Peter Carey's Parrot and Olivier in America in which the author tells an interesting tale using two separate 'voices', those of the two protagonists named in the title. The Chemistry of Tears also uses the same formula, but with a difference. The result is the narration of a peculiar adventure using a fascinating interweaving of two connected plots.One of the voices speaks to us from times long past, the other from a woman rather than a man (ie the author). Thus, Carey set himself a fa [...]


    18. Clockwork is a fascinating concept to weave through a story in the digital age. I am old enough to remember winding my first watch but it is many years now since I have had anything other than a digital watch. If I put my mind to considering whether our household has any clockwork mechanisms at all, all I can come up with is a (somewhat twee) Christmas decoration featuring Santa on a music-box merry-go-round and our (rather unreliable) 1930s mantel clock. That’s probably typical of most househ [...]


    19. In two wordsry disappointing. I have read and enjoyed two other novels by Peter Carey and was looking forward to this book as well. Although it started out intriguing with a man, a woman, and an automaton, and the meaning of love in its states of that of a father for his son and a woman for her lover, it ended without an ending as our author seemed to lose his way frustrating this reader.Catherine, the protagonist is overwhelmed with grief as she tries to cope with the loss of her married lover. [...]


    20. "Not worth reading…"Great! How exciting to write a negative review of a book others seem to love. And how annoying! The main character is someone I would never want to know. She is a woman who has been the lover of a man for thirteen years but thinks no one knew of their relationship. Catherine is egotistical and manic. For a "mature" woman to behave with the poor judgment she displays toward one who is kind, over and over again, is rephrehensible. Catherine acts like a baby. She drinks, snort [...]


    21. My first Peter Carey was like eating Vegemite on fluffy sour bread toast, with melted butter. Vegemite is an acquired taste, salty, yeasty, fermented goodness. Carey has managed to toast the bread (Vegemite always tastes better on white bread) just right, grazed with heat, soft in the middle. Smothered with butter, then he dusts Vegemite light over, Carey managed to do this skilfully spread the yeast, lightly where needed, and larded it where needed. But not to much - every Vegemite connoisseur [...]


    22. If you like whiny adultresses whose lover has died and indirect storytelling lapsing into bizarre unwelcome philosophizing then this is the book for you. In the beginning I disliked the adulteress living in current times but I liked the journal entries written by a 19th century man. Then, as the story progressed and the man was confused by his interactions with the German townspeople where he hoped to have an automaton built and those interactions were never explained and instead the man's journ [...]



    23. Reason for Reading: Peter Carey's True History of the Kelley Gang is one of my all time favourite books and I've always meant to read another by the author. With this latest book coming out, the time period and the automata piqued my interest enough to decide to give him another go at this time.I'm not even going to try and analyze just what the hidden, under the surface meanings are in this story, there are plenty but it gives me a headache looking at this book that way. I just want to read it [...]


    24. I have spent almost six months with this 270 page novel, because I used it as a "handbag book". In one way or another, its characters have been on my mind constantly. Maybe this is why I can relate to the book so easily now, maybe I wouldn't have responded the way I did had I read it in one sitting. It is a different experience when you read half a chapter on a train journey and then wonder at every traffic light how your chapter might continue. This book fits me well - there are automatons, whi [...]


    25. I bought this book as a birthday gift for a friend, for whom I initially had felt very clever buying 'The People of the Book.' Turns out she already had it, bless my eavesdropping heart. Well, I had read a review of 'The Chemistry of Tears' that was sent to me by , which is terrifyingly good at guessing what I will like, and it occurred to me that my friend, who is not only Jewish and generally artsy (hence 'the People of the Book') but also, more specifically, has spent time interning and worki [...]


    26. Cover synopsis: "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 finest writers of our time." Sounds absolutely irresistible, right? Especially irresistible when one is standing in Schiphol Airport clasping a dead Kindle. Ultimately, not only resistible but unsatisfying. Told in two arcs spanning 150 years with occasional intersection. The problem is the [...]



    27. While there tends to be an OVERDOSE of "tears" in the book, I found myself drawn to the alternating narrators. The first, Catherine Gehrig, is a horologist in London, who has lost her long time lover and cannot cope. A friend gives her a mysterious project of restoring whatever eight chests hold. She finds, along with all the mechanical parts of an automaton, the notebooks of Henry Brandling, the mid 19th century owner of the contents of the chests.The books continues by alternating chapters bet [...]


    28. Really enjoyed reading this - and how very strange it is. I commiserate with Ron Charles in the Washington Post who said:As the gears of this story start to spin, I worried about losing a finger amid all the flying parts: the Brothers Grimm, the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, Charles Babbage’s calculating machine, the internal combustion engine, the resurrection of Jesus Christ, global warming, Prince Albert, extraterrestrial life.Add to that a meditation on grief, an unfolding mystery th [...]


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