With such compelling and provocative novels as Red Planet Blues, FlashForward, and The WWW Trilogy, Robert J. Sawyer has proven himself to be "a writer of boundless confidence and bold scientific extrapolation" (The New York Times). Now, the Hugo and Nebula Award-winning author explores the thin line between good and evil that every human being is capable of crossing....
Experimental psychologist Jim Marchuk has developed a flawless technique for identifying the previously undetected psychopaths lurking everywhere in society. But while being cross-examined about his breakthrough in court, Jim is shocked to discover that he has lost his memories of six months of his life from 20 years previously - a dark time during which he himself committed heinous acts.
Jim is reunited with Kayla Huron, his forgotten girlfriend from his lost period and now a quantum physicist who has made a stunning discovery about the nature of human consciousness. As a rising tide of violence and hate sweeps across the globe, the psychologist and the physicist combine forces in a race against time to see if they can do the impossible - change human nature - before the entire world descends into darkness.
"Hugo and Nebula Award-winning author Sawyer's latest work is a fast-moving, mind-stretching exploration of the nature of personality and consciousness; it balances esoteric speculation with action and character." (Publishers Weekly)
We've sent an email with your order details. Order ID #:
To access this title, visit your library in the app or on the desktop website.
Discombobulated, but interesting
Philofun in a nutshell
I actually caught myself considering which friends to recommend this book to. On the one hand, I considered those with an academic interest in neuroscience, psychology and society. But then again, some of the novel's premises are really speculative and not based on science, and I suspect some of my scientifically inclined friends would have difficulties looking beyond those faults. Perhaps this is more for those of us who like to speculate more freely about human nature and society; we, the philosophers and private thinkers.
The book reads very well and is difficult to pause. It would have been easy to consume in one sitting, if the opportunity had materialised.
This is a novel that uses speculative neuroscience and psychology to pose interesting questions about human nature and society. It is one of those books that are difficult to talk about without dropping spoilers.
Of course, if one were to evaluate the scientific "basis" of the novel, it would be found wanting at best. But this is not science, it is entertainment and - I guess philofun would be an apt neologism; having fun with philosophical speculation.
Sawyer is getting better. I have read some earlier novels of his and this is an enhancement without doubt. I would argue Sawyer has particular problems with characterisations; his protagonists tend towards the generic. These tendencies are present in this novel as well, but at the same time Sawyer has succeeded in making the protagonists' personalities part of the plot itself. He is turning his weakness into a strength.
Overall very good story and narration. The ending tends towards the phantasmagorical in my opinion; it is interesting, but not quite as satisfactory as I would have liked. Still, a strong four stars book.
- Andreas Henriksson