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Flashback Mass Market Paperback – October 30, 2007


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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 480 pages
  • Publisher: Tor Books; 1st edition (October 30, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0765348535
  • ISBN-13: 978-0765348531
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1.3 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (68 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,275,449 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. So many dreams—it's hard to pick out the right one," reads the epigraph from E.B. White for Braver's exceptional medical thriller, a timely story about how the human brain deals with memory, the current possibilities of developing a drug that cures Alzheimer's disease, and how the search for such a drug leads to greed and murder. On a trip back to Cape Cod on the anniversary of his mother's death by drowning, Jack Koryan, a prep school teacher turned restaurant owner, is stung by a school of rare jellyfish, whose toxins send him into a three-year coma. Haunted by dreams and memories that may or may not be real, Jack wakes to discover that he's of great interest to pharmacologist Rene Ballard, who's testing those same toxins on Alzheimer's victims with extraordinarily successful results—though some have also committed acts of inexplicible violence. A strong plotter, Braver writes clear, clean prose that heightens the suspense. Under his expert guidance, Koryan and Ballard explore a scientific mystery that is touching and believable. With this latest book, Braver (Gray Matter) marks himself as a worthy successor to Robin Cook, Michael Crichton and Tess Gerritsen.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

Rene Ballard is a pharmacologist monitoring the medication of hundreds of nursing-home patients. After a patient suffering from Alzheimer's disease somehow escapes from her residence and kills someone, Rene learns that the woman was part of a group of patients testing a new drug that could be a cure for Alzheimer's. Meanwhile, Jack Koryan, a healthy young man, is in a deep coma after being stung by a rare jellyfish. When other Alzheimer's patients taking the new drug begin displaying frightening delusional side effects, and Jack awakes with unusual powers of memory, Rene suspects this revolutionary cure may not be all it's cracked up to be. At once a fast-paced medical thriller and a thoughtful rumination on the nature of memory (look out, Michael Crichton). David Pitt
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

Gary Braver is the award-winning and bestselling author of eight critically acclaimed psychological thrillers. His novels have been celebrated for their high-concepts, careful craftsmanship, well-rounded characters, and page-turning momentum. Some of his titles have a medical slant including ELIXIR, GRAY MATTER, and FLASHBACK, which is the only thriller to have won a Massachusetts Book Award for Fiction (2006). His latest novel, SKIN DEEP, about cosmetic surgery, was published in July 2008 and was called "a gripping, twisty thriller that deserves a wide audience" by Booklist.

His next novel, TUNNEL VISION, which centers on near-death experiences, will be published on June 21, 2011. Of that book, legendary author Ray Bradbury has said, "I have long believed that science will move us more toward God and give us proofs of His creations. With TUNNEL VISION, Gary Braver provides a wonderfully frightening and insightful tale on this theme that shatters my bones and leaves me to piece myself back together."

Three of Gary Braver's novels have been optioned for movies, including ELIXIR by director Ridley Scott. He is the only thriller novelist to have three titles listed in the top-10 highest customer reviews on Amazon.com at the same time.

Under his own name, Gary Goshgarian, he is an award-winning professor of English at Northeastern University where he teaches courses in Modern Bestsellers, Science Fiction, Horror Fiction, and Fiction Writing. He has also taught fiction-writing workshops through out the United States and Europe for over twenty years. He is also the author of six popular college writing textbooks, now in 34 editions.
He lives with his family outside of Boston. His website: www.garybraver.com

Customer Reviews

With Flashback, Gary Braver has topped his previous excellent medical thrillers, Elixir and Gray Matter.
Caitlin Scott-Turner
I identified with main characters Jack and Rene, the Alzheimer's patients, their families, and even those in the pharmaceutical industry.
L. Lilly
The author has written a pharmaceutical thriller that will keep the reader turning the pages of the book until the very last.
Lawyeraau

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Lawyeraau HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on January 22, 2006
Format: Hardcover
The author has written a pharmaceutical thriller that will keep the reader turning the pages of the book until the very last. It is a fairly well-written, suspenseful novel that heralds a novelist whose prose is spare, lean, and taut, moving the story along at a brisk pace. Although it is wholly a plot driven, rather than character driven, book, the two main characters are sufficiently fleshed out. Some of the secondary ones, however, are less so. Although not as good as two of the other books that the author has written, "Elixir" and "Gray Matter", both of which are five star reads, fans of Michael Crichton and Robin Cook will, undoubtedly, enjoy this well-paced thriller, as will anyone who appreciates a good story.

The story line is fairly simple. A young couple with a shaky marriage, Jack and Beth Koryan, are on the brink of changing their lives, but not in a way that they would ever have imagined. On the eve of Jack fulfilling a dream of opening a restaurant with his best friend, disaster strikes. While commemorating the thirtieth anniversary of his mother's mysterious death, Jack has a one in a million run-in with a school of rare jellyfish. Attacked and repeatedly stung by these jellyfish, Jack sustains toxic burns that send poison into his bloodstream, causing him to enter into a comatose state.

Meanwhile, a pharmaceutical lab has created "Memorine", a drug that is believed to be a miracle cure for Alzheimer's disease, and the origin of this wonder drug is the toxin of the same jellyfish that attacked Jack. Drug trials are being conducted on nursing home patients that are suffering from Alzheimer's disease. At first blush, patients are responding favorably to the drug.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Barbara I. Zvodar on February 7, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Though an arresting and thoroughly enjoyable book with a scarily plausible premise, my delight was in the word pictures that Mr. Braver so expertly crafted throughout the story: "... a SWAT team of waiters..." and "...geriatric terrarium..." are two of my favorites. In describing those brief flashes of recognition that those with Alzheimer's occasionally have, could it be better worded than to say "...little pilot lights of personality..."? (definition: that essence of a person that remains largely lost to the present yet nevertheless continues to burn at some level now hidden from sight- See how many words it took for me to conjure up what Mr. Braver did with only 5 words?) It has been said that a picture is worth a thousand words. I would add a codicil: a few well-chosen words can create an amazing picture. My first encounter with Mr. Braver's writing will definitely not be my last.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By L. Lilly on November 9, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Flashback reads fast and is full of suspense, and the characters are well-developed and multi-faceted. I identified with main characters Jack and Rene, the Alzheimer's patients, their families, and even those in the pharmaceutical industry. Each character faced complex choices and behaved authentically. I felt both the thrill the patients and their families felt at the improvements in their cognitive abilities, and their terror at being trapped -- or suspecting loved ones were trapped -- in painful memories and flashbacks. I rooted for Jack and Rene all the way and still understood why some people, including ones with good intentions, wanted the drug on the market. This is the ideal thriller -- it has a fast-paced plot with plenty of twists, characters you really care about, and real concerns that linger long after the book is finished. I'm planning to read Gray Matter next (already read Elixir -- also an amazing book), and can't wait for the next Braver thriller.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Sandy Bardas on December 11, 2006
Format: Hardcover
It's unusual to see a clinical pharmacist as the protagonist in a suspense novel. The profession of pharmacy rarely captures the curiosity of the thrill-seeking public. In Flashback, author Gary Braver opens us to the world of investigational drug research. Quality of life is object of millions of dollars of research with the potential to enhance the bank accounts of the clever scientists who discover and develop a medication for memory. The thrill is in the quirky flashbacks of memory. The science of the novel is meticulously researched. I should know. I am an investigational drug pharmacist who works at a large academic center. In these days of hurried and sloppy inquiries, I admired the accuracy of the facts involved in the description drug development. Research in any field is a labyrinth. The weaving of fact and fiction makes this medical mystery tour unnervingly close to reality.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By F. T. Hoskins on October 28, 2005
Format: Hardcover
This really is a terrific book. Although similar to some of Braver's earlier novels, such as Elixir and Grey Matter in that it focuses on medical science, this is a more complex story and has elements of thriller, of mystery and of drama related to medical and corporate ethics. There are really two stories here -- related, but, seemingly distinct. I won't spoil it for others, but, as you might suspect, they do converge -- and in ways that I, at least, didn't see coming. Very enjoyable read, while raising some very interesting ethical questions related to aging and medicine.
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