The Gold Bug Variations Summary
The basic theme of The Gold Bug Variations is a question: What is the role of humankind in the universal scheme?
Ressler went as far as he could to answer this question through understanding the physical components of human existence.
He could not, however, move beyond the physical, and therein are found the seeds of his withdrawal from the world in which he had, as a twenty-five-year-old suggested the promise of an ability comparable to that of J. D. Watson and Francis Crick, who led the DNA research that resulted in the discovery of the double helix.
The novel's four main characters—Jan O'Deigh, Franklin Todd, Stuart Ressler, Jeanette Koss—have fallen short of the fulfillment usually linked with success.
The two women are unable to bear children, which even liberated society, however reluctantly, views as women's fundamental function. Both men have voluntarily stopped...
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The Gold Bug Variations Short Guide
Essays & Analysis (6)
1,119 words, approx. 4 pages
In the following review, Suplee offers a positive assessment of The Gold Bug Variations.
This enormous book [The Gold Bug Variations] may be the most lavishly ambitious American novel since Gravity...
963 words, approx. 4 pages
Jones is an American novelist whose works include Ordinary Money (1990). In the following review, he faults the numerous puns and slightness of characterization in The Gold Bug Variations, but states ...
1,133 words, approx. 4 pages
In the following review, Harris suggests that The Gold Bug Variations may appeal to a limited audience for whom it is "essential" reading.
Let's begin with the Youngblood Hawke th...
400 words, approx. 2 pages
In the following review, Tabbi states that The Gold Bug Variations "merits serious attention from writers and scientists."
Early in The Gold Bug Variations, in one of many scenes in the ...
570 words, approx. 2 pages
In the following review, Porter offers a mixed assessment of The Gold Bug Variations, finding Powers's prose "temporarily exhilarating but ultimately exhausting."
Geneticists, we ...
634 words, approx. 3 pages
In the following excerpt, Bell offers a negative assessment of The Gold Bug Variations, stating that Powers's "brilliance, in the end, serves little purpose beyond his irrepressible exhi...