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Foreign Body Hardcover – Bargain Price, August 5, 2008


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Putnam Adult; BCE edition (August 5, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0399155023
  • ISBN-13: 978-0399155024
  • ASIN: B003IWYHTM
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6.4 x 1.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 2.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (92 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,099,836 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Bestseller Cook (Critical) stumbles in this formulaic thriller about the timely subject of medical tourism, the trend in which U.S. citizens seek to save costs on expensive surgery through treatment overseas. At the center of the drama is Jennifer Hernandez, a fourth-year medical student at UCLA, whose grandmother has died in a New Delhi hospital following hip replacement surgery. Suspicious about the circumstances, Hernandez immediately flies to India to investigate. There she not only discovers a number of similar deaths of U.S. citizens but also runs into the one-two punch of a desperate Indian medical industry struggling to block all publicity about the deaths and a huge American HMO that wants nothing more than the widest exposure of the apparent medical missteps in the Third World. Implausible plot twists, unconvincing villains, silly dialogue and a convenient, all-too-happy ending make this one of Cook's rare weak efforts. (Aug.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Medical-thriller writer Cook has made a tidy sum scaring the bejesus out of his readers with medical catastrophes ranging from Coma (1977) to Seizure (2003). His latest homes in on the phenomenon of medical tourism, a new trend that sees many U.S. citizens traveling to foreign hospitals to obtain low-cost surgical procedures, often spending their recovery time in five-star resorts. Unfortunately for the three victims here, it’s not a five-star resort but a cafeteria freezer that is their resting place after three routine surgeries done in New Delhi, India, produce fatal results. One of the victims is the grandmother of Jennifer Hernandez, a UCLA medical student who is resisting pressure to have her relative cremated. The fact that her grandmother’s death was publicized on CNN before the hospital even contacted the family has made Jennifer suspicious. She turns to forensic experts Drs. Laurie Montgomery and Jack Stapleton (last seen in Critical, 2007), who quickly determine the best way to bypass India’s corrupt police force, perform an illegal autopsy, and figure who has the prime motive for sabotaging India’s burgeoning medical-tourism industry. Cook’s clever concept is undermined by the wooden characters, but what is most in need of resuscitation here is the painfully awkward dialogue. Still, this is an easy read that offers good background detail on India in addition to the medical drama and should appeal to the author’s many fans. --Joanne Wilkinson

More About the Author

Doctor and author Robin Cook is widely credited with introducing the word 'medical' to the thriller genre, and over twenty years after the publication of his breakthrough novel, Coma, he continues to dominate the category he created. Cook has successfully combined medical fact with fantasy to produce a over twenty-seven international bestsellers, including Outbreak (1987), Terminal (1993), Contagion (1996), Chromosome 6 (1997) and Foreign Body (2008).

Customer Reviews

It is not typical Robin Cook.
Milton Lewis
Conversation is stilted; characters talk in the most unnatural ways that it is almost unbearable to read.
anonymous
There was just too much in this book that was just too unbelievable.
S. D. Haltzman

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Maria Hernandez needs a hip replacement, Herbert Benfatti has to have a knee replaced and David Lucas wants his stomach stapled. All travel from the US to India as participants in what has become known as medical tourism.

With the cost of surgery marginally lower in India than in America, it seems like a no-brainer. Especially considering the surgeries are done in first-rate medical facilities by extremely qualified doctors, the families are put up in five-star hotels, and patients and loved ones are given every consideration. However, what appears to be a great deal soon turns into a nightmare. None of these patients expect to pay with their lives in order to save financially.

These three seemingly healthy people suddenly die one after another, all of apparent heart attacks. Is there a problem with the care they've received? Did they have underlying and undiagnosed heart problems no one was aware of? Or is there something more sinister going on here?

When Jennifer Hernandez, a fourth-year medical student at UCLA, learns of her grandmother's death via a CNN news report, she is shocked. She had no idea that the woman who raised her was even traveling to India for surgery, and intends to investigate this unexpected tragedy. A post-surgery heart attack in an individual who had a thorough cardiovascular checkup only months before makes no sense to this burgeoning doctor.

The fact that the representative from the Queen Victoria hospital is pressuring Jennifer for an immediate answer regarding either cremation or embalming also strikes her as odd. While she realizes that in India bodies are taken care of almost immediately after death, she does not appreciate being coerced into a decision.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Dog Lover on September 1, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Once again, RC takes on what is a really hot topic for the moment, and then apparently doesn't have a clue what to do with it. A book about medical tourism has the potential to be a phenominal read...this was just stupid. The whole issue is never really explored. The entire book is nothing more than page after page after page after...of idiotic conversations between the characters. I read a lot of comments here about the dialogue being ridiculous...seriously, I just want to know if this is how RC talks when he is conversing with friends, etc. My opinion is that he wants his characters to be superhuman in their intelligence and abilities, and he's assuming that if they go around speaking as though coughing up a thesarus, that will make them so. And I realize that he has to take some liberties with reality, but the events in this book are so stupid that it's not fun to read. I finished it only because I am compulsive and just can't start a book and not finish it, but instead of being sad it was over, I was relieved to see the last page. He used to put out such great books....I think that the stories are all told and the well is dry. Just one more painful read.
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46 of 57 people found the following review helpful By Brian Baker VINE VOICE on August 14, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Which book by Robin Cook features an Intrepid Young Medical Student stumbling onto a nefarious scheme by Evil Big Corporate Medicine to cynically line their own pockets by sabotaging legitimate health care and murdering hapless patients, and whose Evil Deeds are only brought to a halt by the courageous investigation by the Medical Student, who braves overwhelming odds and mortal danger to see that Justice ultimately prevails?

Answer: All of them!

Cook is simply a One-Note-Johnny, who hasn't had an original idea since "Coma". This sorry book is no exception; a simple regurgitation of the same old story line, featuring some of the same old characters from previous books, going through the same old tired motions, against the same old villainous types. The only difference here is that the locale has been changed to India, the only fresh breeze of originality in the entire book.

I was so bored that last night I finally gave up on this waste of paper a little over halfway through at Chapter 23.

Further adding to the laugh factor this time, Cook's villainous cabal of murderers are so inept and incompetent that in their attempt to discredit "medical tourism" to India, they leak the news of each of the patients' deaths to CNN, which airs the stories immediately, even before the dead patients' next of kin are notified of the deaths, thereby ASSURING that they leave a trail of suspicion in their own wake.

These idjits were so incompetent it was laugh-out-loud absurd, like The Gang That Couldn't Shoot Straight.

Good grief! Doesn't anyone at Putnam have the guts to tell Cook he's nothing more than a self-plagiarizing bore?

I'd give this minus stars if I possibly could. Save your money.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Melissa E. Bushman on August 31, 2008
Format: Hardcover
I was incredibly disappointed in this book. I'm generally a fan of Robin Cook, and I have read almost every book he has written. I was expecting this book to be at least as good as the others. Boy was I wrong.

The plot was great, in my opinion, and the action did keep my attention for a while. However, the ending was a huge let down. It seemed obvious that Mr. Cook had no idea how to end the story, so he just threw something in at the end in order to wrap everything up a bit too quickly and too neatly.

Too add insult to injury, there were several punctuation and grammatical errors throughout the book. Simply poor writing and poor editing. I wish I hadn't wasted my money on this one.
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