Dwight Garner at the NYT:
“The world had enough novels,” Richard Powers wrote in “Galatea 2.2,” his semi-autobiographical and arguably best novel, published in 1995. “Certain writers were best paid to keep their fields out of production.”
Among those writers, a quarter of a century later, may be Powers himself. His new one, “Bewilderment,” is so meek, saccharine and overweening in its piety about nature that even a teaspoon of it numbs the mind.
“Bewilderment” is the follow-up to “The Overstory” (2018), his beloved novel about trees, the importance of maintaining forests and people, in that order. It won a Pulitzer Prize and made Powers something close to a secular saint. Let no one say it was overrated.