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The great thing about Sawyer is that he never writes a bad book. This is my 11th and some are better then others, but none are boring and none of them do not fail to engage your brain. This book published in 1979, one year after Terminal Experiment, seems a little on the amateurish side when it comes to writing style. The beginning of the book, after the murder attempt, starts out in a Nazi concentration camp. It is interesting stuff and Sawyer does tie it into the rest of the story, but it does seem to be written for sensationalism. It gives the story kind of a jerky motion. There are some moments that seem a little beyond believe in the eyes of the listener. There is one big moment that is crucial to the rest of the story, where my inner voice said, "That's stupid, they would not do that." the reason given is money. It is a poor excuse and the plot lies heavily on it.
The story has lots of genetics, Nazi's and opinions. The kind of stuff that Sawyer always has in his books and the kind of stuff I love. Sawyer is never afraid to let his opinion known and often takes lots of grief over it. In this book he gets pretty preachy. I like an author who takes a stand, even when I don't agree and sometimes he takes the less politically correct stand, which has probably hurt his book sales.
My favorite Sawyer is Illegal Alien, followed by The Terminal Experiment and then by Flash Forward. You may want to skip Red Planet Blues and W.W.W. Wake.
16 of 16 people found this review helpful
I love pretty much all of Robert J. Sawyer's books. I like this optimistic take on the future of humanity, and the way his books usually have a lot of fascinating ideas combined with characters that I really care about. I've read most of his books at least three or four times.
This book was also really good, but I don't think I've ever re-read it after one physical book read and one listen to this audiobook version. It's just too draining to read. The suffering the main character (Pierre Tardivel) goes through is very gripping. It's like what the main character suffers in FLOWERS FOR ALGERNON, but even worse in several ways -- Pierre has a wife and child, his affliction is something that real people go through, he will eventually die from his disorder, etc, I just can't deal with it. Eventually, though, I hope to be able to read this one again, not least because I now do bioinformatics and so a lot of the subject matter will probably be even more interesting to me now.
And I'm glad that I read it through in the first place, too. I highly recommend it to everybody interested in genetics, telepathy, insurance conspiracies, Neanderthals, Nazi hunting, and science fiction in general.
8 of 8 people found this review helpful
When I started reading this book I thought it wasn't going to be up to Robert J Sawyer's usual standards as it seemed a bit slow to get going. In retrospect, however, the start of the book was absolutely on target as the characters needed to be established and understood before the story plot was developed. This book deals with genetics amongst other issues and as is usual with Robert Sawyer, it had me thinking a lot about genetics and the role they play in society. It is a well-written book and the naration was absolutely outstanding.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Having read www trilogy a year ago I was looking for something else to hear from Sawyer. This was worth the listen! I do like the slightly socialist Canadian slant on things. The French Canadian leading man was likeable and seemed to be quite real. I liked his tie shift technique and the science was sufficient to be interesting without being tedious. So all in all I think this is an intelligent, thoughtful and worth while listen.