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Download The Chemistry of Tears Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample The Chemistry of Tears, by Peter Carey Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (1,452 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Peter Carey Narrator: Susan Lyons, Jefferson May Publisher: Recorded Books, LLC Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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Critics have used every possible superlative to praise the works of Peter Carey, two-time Man Booker Prize winner. In The Chemistry of Tears, Carey continues to astound with a story of love, death, and human invention. Two stories of love are brought to incandescent life in this hauntingly moving novel.

London 2010. Catherine Gehrig, conservator at the Swinburne museum, learns of the sudden death of her colleague and lover of thirteen years. As the mistress of a married man, she must struggle to keep the depth of her anguish to herself. The one other person who knows Catherine’s secret—her boss—arranges for her to be given a special project away from prying eyes in the museum’s Annex. Usually controlled and rational but now mad with grief, Catherine reluctantly unpacks an extraordinary, eerie automaton that she has been charged with bringing back to life.

As she begins to piece together the clockwork puzzle, she also uncovers a series of notebooks written by the mechanical creature’s original owner: a nineteenth-century Englishman, Henry Brandling, who traveled to Germany to commission it as a magical amusement for his consumptive son. But it is Catherine, nearly two hundred years later, who will find comfort and wonder in Henry’s story. And it is the automaton, in its beautiful, uncanny imitation of life, that will link two strangers confronted with the mysteries of creation, the miracle and catastrophe of human invention, and the body’s astonishing chemistry of love and feeling
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Quotes & Awards

  • “Few writers manage so consistently and delightfully as Peter Carey to conjure wondrous scenes populated with idiosyncratic yet credible characters. The Chemistry of Tears does not disappoint…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…A wholly enjoyable journey.” 

    Economist (UK)

  • “Characters that beguile and convince, prose that dances or is as careful as poetry, an inventive plot that teases and makes the heart quicken or hurt, paced with masterly precision yet with a space for the ideas to breathe and expand in dialogue with the reader, unusual settings of place and time: this tender tour de force of the imagination succeeds on all fronts.” 

    Independent (UK)

  • “A powerful novel on the frailty of the human body and the emotional life we imbue in machines…Catherine and Henry, linked both by the automaton and by grief, ponder questions of life and death, questions that, as posed by Carey, are more fascinating than any solution.” 

    Publishers Weekly (starred review, Pick of the Week)

  • Man Booker Prize
  • Commonwealth Writers’ Prize
  • Miles Franklin Award

Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Gretchen | 2/20/2014

    " This novel is about Catherine Gehrig who works at a museum in London and is responsible for restoring clocks and other automaton pieces. At the start of the book, she learns her lover of 13 yeas, Matthew, has died. This sends her into a tailspin of tears, emotional outbursts, irrational behavior and more. Her boss at the musuem (and a friend of Matthew's) gives her the task of repairing and restoring an automaton from the 1850s. Along with the automaton are several diaries written by the man who commissioned the piece, Henry Brandling. Catherine's story and Henry's story are told in alternating chapters. While I generally liked Catherine's character, her misery and her wallowing in it wore a bit thin. At the end of the book, I had expected more to have had happened. I felt it ended seemingly a bit unfinished. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 by Dianne Lange | 2/11/2014

    " Tedious. The intertwining tales become too convoluted and unbelievable to be interesting. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Morgana | 1/30/2014

    " Marvelously clever, moving and thought-provoking. So much to think about between the dual narratives of Catherine, the grieving, prickly 21st century horologist charged with restoration of a 19th century mechanical swan, and Henry, the patron who originally travelled to the Black Forest to commission the swan in the hope the joy it would cause would cure his frail young son. The relationship between the two main characters underscores beautifully the ellipses inherent in any attempt to understand the past. Really rich exploration of the relationship between people and machines, too. I want to go on thinking about this one for a long time. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Riet | 1/19/2014

    " Dit is het eerste boek van Peter Carey waar ik een beetje mijn twijfels over heb. Het is prachtig geschreven en wel zo interessant, dat je het achter elkaar uitleest. Maar dan komt de vraag: wat wil hij eigenlijk met dit verhaal? Een vrouw, die haar minnaar verliest wordt "getroost" met een speciale opdracht van het museum waar zij werkt. Het in elkaar zetten van een automaton, gemaakt in de 19de eeuw. Daardoorheen loopt het verhaal van de opdrachtgever voor dit automaton. Om en om vertellen beide hoofdpersonen hun verhaal. Soms wat erg larmoyant (vandaar ook de tranen uit de titel, denk ik)en soms is het ineens weer een spannend verhaal. "

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About the Author
Author Peter Carey

Peter Carey is the author of ten previous novels and has twice received the Booker Prize. His other honors include the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize and the Miles Franklin Literary Award. Born in Australia, he has lived in New York City for twenty years.