The Chemistry of Tears

The Chemistry of Tears

by Peter Carey
2.8 8


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The Chemistry of Tears by Peter Carey

An automaton, a man and a woman who can never meet, two stories of love—all are brought to incandescent life in this hauntingly moving novel from one of the finest writers of our time. 

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 Annexe. 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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780307592712
Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date: 05/15/2012
Pages: 240
Product dimensions: 6.68(w) x 9.32(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

PETER CAREY is the author of eleven 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.

Date of Birth:

May 7, 1943

Place of Birth:

Bacchus Marsh, Victoria, Australia


Monash University (no degree)

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The Chemistry of Tears 3.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 7 reviews.
CliffWhoReads More than 1 year ago
There are two stories here, neither of which seems believable. The characters make strange decisions, and one is hard pressed to find any logic for their actions or thematic connection between the stories. The writing itself can be a bit cumbersome.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I had purchased this novel based on other reviews and perhaps expected the same or similar impact, an outcome that didn't come about with me. The plot, confusing at times; characters, non-developing/at a stagnant place; the protagonist, needy/stuck in a place of no personal advancement. The language, however, consisted of a reader-friendly composition.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book got great reviews everywhere-- but it is so hard to read, not interesting, moves slowly, and I cannot even finish it
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Peetie More than 1 year ago
Fascinating. Enjoyable. All of the characters cling to sanity but not without lapses, loss of reality, heightened emotions and failures of judgement. Evenly paced and a compelling read. Yes, there are two stories but they are linked (mirrored?).
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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