The Consciousness Plague

  • by Paul Levinson
  • Narrated by Mark Shanahan
  • 8 hrs and 26 mins
  • Abridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

From of the author of The Silk Code, winner of the 1999 Locus Award for Best First Novel, comes another intriguing blend of science fiction and hard-boiled police-procedural mystery. The Consciousness Plague is about memory, more particularly, how the loss of memory, in slivers of time deducted from a growing number of individuals, can subtly undermine and play havoc with everything from the investigation of serial stranglings to candlelight dinners. Dr. D'Amato, NYPD forensic detective, investigates a spate of unusual cases of memory loss and finds evidence of a bacteria-like organism that has lived in our brains since our origin as a species and may be responsible for our very consciousness.
There's evidence for this consciousness bug in the ancient Phoenician and Viking cultures and everywhere Phil looks in our world. A new antibiotic crosses the blood-brain barrier and inadvertently kills this essential bug. Phil himself becomes a victim of the memory drain, and must struggle to get the proper authorities to pay attention before everyone loses so much memory that they forget that they forgot in the first place.


What the Critics Say

Audie Award Finalist, Science Fiction, 2005
"Levinson's intelligent blend of police procedural and speculative fiction should appeal to fans of mystery and science fiction." (Library Journal)
"Intriguing speculation, solid sleuthing, and agreeably baffling suspects." (Kirkus Reviews)
"Levinson handles myth, history, science and police procedures with equal skill, earning high marks for intelligence and originality in the process." (Booklist)


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Mixed Feelings

I have mixed feelings about this book. It's based on a good premise, and the first couple of chapters do a good job at setting up the plot. After that, it's not quite downhill, but it is rather flat. As I listened to this book, several things really bothered me. Food was constantly mentioned -- specific foods. In fact, food was mentioned at least 2 or 3 times in every chapter. Great detail was put into things that you really didn't need to know. But there was virtually no character development. I didn't feel like I knew the lead character -- instead, I knew the things around him. True, it's a first person story, but I'd rather know more about what the character is thinking instead of what the character is seeing or eating. It never put me to sleep, but I did find myself drifting off once in a while. The last two hours were really painful -- I couldn't wait for it to end, unfortunately. I don't recommend this for a commute. It had a good "radio show" quality, but it just needed to be a little more entertaining.
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- Carl

Fun but predictable

Reminded me of "Snow Crash" but with mystery instead of humor. As detective stories go, it's somewhat predictable (a lot of 'who done it' intrigue). The science fiction part is also somewhat predictable. Overall, though, it's a fun listen - lots of sound effects/scary music - like an old radio mystery show.
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- J. Charley

Book Details

  • Release Date: 07-01-2004
  • Publisher: Listen & Live Audio, Inc.