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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A gene for telepathy!
There's no doubt that Robert Sawyer can merge the most recent scientific concepts with fictional narrative flawlessly. Frameshift brings the latest revelations in genetic research to a story of murder and conspiracy. To that, he's added a strong historical element, rarely found in speculative fiction. The combination makes an overwhelming tale of perseverance in the...
Published on October 12, 2000 by Stephen A. Haines

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Promising but Flawed
The strength of this work is in its characters, which are drawn well enough that it is hard to put down the book. The plot moves forward quickly and sustains reader interest as well as any thriller. Both main characters are genetics researchers and, therefore, all plot complications revolve around the science of genetics and some pretty good speculation as to the future...
Published on August 25, 2006 by J. Brian Watkins


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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A gene for telepathy!, October 12, 2000
This review is from: Frameshift (Mass Market Paperback)
There's no doubt that Robert Sawyer can merge the most recent scientific concepts with fictional narrative flawlessly. Frameshift brings the latest revelations in genetic research to a story of murder and conspiracy. To that, he's added a strong historical element, rarely found in speculative fiction. The combination makes an overwhelming tale of perseverance in the quest for justice. This story is astonishingly relevant to today's circumstances.
Sawyer's characters are always excellent images. His Canadians are a wonderfully disparate group [Illegal Alien provides another good example]. Pierre's character is well drawn, although probably the most 'heroic' of all Sawyer's characters. It was surprising that he remains silent on the issue of Quebec independence. That Molly loves Pierre him because he thinks in French, which doesn't intrude on her 'space', was a charming idea.
At first, Molly's telepathic abilities seemed to suggest Sawyer had finally exceeded credibility. Telepathy, mysticism and inspiration from some divinity have too often been brought together to inspire religion with all its hurtful dogmas. That reaction was quelled after reading a fellow Canadian, Sharon Butala. Her non-fiction book, Wild Stone Heart, depicts a perfectly rational person subjected to 'experiences' she can't explain. Why do some people have these 'visions' while others don't? Perhaps, as Sawyer suggests here, there really is a genetic base for telepathy. It's an intriguing notion.
As usual, Sawyer's science is up to the minute. The current attempts to restore extinct species include the quagga, the thylacine [Tasmanian Devil] and even the Neanderthals Sawyer depicts here. He recognizes the need for a proper environment to make the restorations succeed, in this case, Molly herself. If it can happen, this is exactly the mechanism that will be required. He has detailed the process to perfection. This is a highly readable book, stretching the reader's mind just enough to maintain interest and some suspense.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Genetics, Evolution, Telepathy and Mystery, July 13, 2001
This review is from: Frameshift (Mass Market Paperback)
This book really weaves some very diverse elements into a single plot, and has you guessing right up to the end.
The true strength of this book is the core protagonist of Pierre Tardivel, a french-Canadian genetecist who has to battle the uncertainty of being a man who may - or may not - have inherited Huntington's Disease. His struggle with his own genetic future is centre stage in this story.
But woven into this tale is a woman who can read minds, Molly. Though a genetic quirk of fate, her ability puts her in the forefront of a potential murder, and the story picks up steam from there.
Evolution, genetics, Nazi experimentation, murder, and a whole stream of incredibly rich plotlines cumulate into one great showdown of SF writing. As always, Sawyer's strong characterizaitons and his respect for science shine through, and I was gripped right to the end.
Give this a shot, you won't regret it.
'Nathan
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A terrific book about genetic destiny, September 19, 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Frameshift (Mass Market Paperback)
This is a terrific book about genetic destiny. The chapter in Treblinka is incredibly powerful stuff, some of the most moving and disturbing prose I have ever read. And the tale that grows out of that --- of a Nazi-hunter, a man who might have Huntington's disease, a mute child, and a telepathic (and very convincing, for a male author) woman --- is affecting, memorable and deeply moving. I recommend this book both to SF readers AND to mainstream readers.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Promising but Flawed, August 25, 2006
This review is from: Frameshift (Paperback)
The strength of this work is in its characters, which are drawn well enough that it is hard to put down the book. The plot moves forward quickly and sustains reader interest as well as any thriller. Both main characters are genetics researchers and, therefore, all plot complications revolve around the science of genetics and some pretty good speculation as to the future impacts of genetic research. A superior work of science-fiction in just about every respect.

The politics are clearly Canadian. But such politics are a staple of science-fiction. If you wish to draw a different world, it is your right as an author. Mr. Sawyer is better than most and seems to have made some good guesses about the future of medical insurance here in the US.

The flaw? Completely unnecessary and sexually explicit dialogue. I'm not talking about the depiction of ugliness in the concentration camp--that has, arguably, some necessary link to the story. And, let us stipulate that losers trying to pick up women might not have G-rated thoughts. However, the worst and most offensive writing inexplicably takes place in the description of a marital relationship where the emotional attachment of the characters did not require any further exposition. Why take a fine story that could potentially fire the imagination of a young person to study genetics and mar it with cheesy pornographic references? It is just a waste; takes a four-star book down to three.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars What do you do when your field is killing you?, May 25, 2000
This review is from: Frameshift (Mass Market Paperback)
Sawyer again used a professional couple, but at a California university, and explored fascinating aspects of genetics. Central to the story, but a gut wrenching part of it, is the hero's dealing with the likelihood that he suffers from an incurable genetic illness while he's a practicing geneticist. This brings out the utmost good in his character but his boss is the geneticist from hell. Very gripping story that once again shows this writer has a terrific imagination. I am not highly knowledgable in science myself but I can follow the vast majority of the science he presents, which is a big plus in any sci-fi writer I choose to read.

Visit my blog with link given on my profile page here or use this phonetically given URL (livingasseniors dot blogspot dot com). Friday's entry will always be weekend entertainment recs from my 5 star Amazon reviews in film, tv, books and music. These are very heavy on buried treasures and hidden gems. My blogspot is published on Monday, Wednesday & Friday.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sawyer's earlier Neanderthal book, December 29, 2003
By 
Donal T. Tighe (Orlando, FL, USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Frameshift (Mass Market Paperback)
When you think of Robert J. Sawyer and Neanderthals, you think of his Hugo Award-winning HOMINIDS and its sequels, HUMANS and HYBRIDS. But it turns out that he was writing about Neanderthals and characters who were geneticists long before those books, as this earlier Hugo Award-finalist by Sawyer demonstrates. The settings are Montreal, Canada, and Berkeley, California, and the template is that of a Robin Cook-style medical thriller (but with richer characterization than Cook ever provides). Interestingly for a science-fiction book, it's not set at all in the future. Rather, the setting is the Human Genome Project in 1997, where all is not what it seems, and people have dark secrets in their pasts. Wonderful stuff, would make a great movie.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gripping Thriller, July 30, 2004
By 
Melissa McCauley (North Little Rock, AR) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Frameshift (Mass Market Paperback)
Robert J. Sawyer delivers a fast-paced medical thriller (reminiscent of Robin Cook) in FRAMESHIFT. Pierre Tardivel, a Canadian scientist working in Berkley on the Human Genome project, falls in love with Molly, a beautiful psychologist who can read thoughts. The two are caught up in an intricate web of genetics, corporate conspiracy and the hunt for a fugitive Nazi death camp soldier. Pierre has Huntington's disease and his feelings about his fate and his dignified fight against the disease make him the most three-dimensional Sawyer character I've encountered. An impossible-to-put-down page-turner. Don't miss it.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Science fiction with an underpinning of real science!, May 9, 2003
This review is from: Frameshift (Mass Market Paperback)
So much that is labeled 'science fiction' has only the very minimum of real science in it. It was this reason, in fact, that I pretty much gave up reading in this genre some years ago. But I came across Sawyer's recent 'Hominids' and was swept away. That one was about Neanderthals and was accurate in most respects. This one is about several things: the genetics of Huntington's disease (the disease that killed Woody Guthrie, to jog your memory about it), telepathy and the possibility that it could be a real condition with a genetic origin. On top of that the book is a thriller and a romance. And very well written, too.
What more could one ask? I know I'll be reading more of Robert Sawyer's books now.
Scott Morrison
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good but not great, April 29, 2005
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This review is from: Frameshift (Mass Market Paperback)
I really did like this book, but it was my least favorite novel by this author so far (and I've read most of them).

As usual for his books, there is a good moral story, but the science really seems to take a back seat in this one. It is more of a mystery novel.

The science comes through in the last 1/3 of the book and does not disappoint.

Robert Sawyer is an excellent author, and this book deserves to be read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A good thriller, March 24, 2000
This review is from: Frameshift (Mass Market Paperback)
This is a thriller, a scientific low-key sci-fi thriller, and it's a very good yarn. The action is well paced and makes for a real page-turner. The writing range from fair to quite good with some downfalls to yuch-bad; at which points clichés upon clichés are thrown at the reader who must not be too choosy. But on occasion the writing is perfect, such as when Avi Meyer hears about his father's life in Treblinka or the final family photo session between Pierre, Molly and Amanda. Sawyer's writing at those moments is elusive, almost moody, and touching-yet he resists the temptation to reveal all (which is a major failing with sf writer as I see it, this compulsive need to tell all and everything, to let no stone unturned, this absence-excuse my French- of subtlety). On the whole, Mr. Sawyer is an energetic writer and a sound craftsman, with buckets of interesting ideas and the will and enthusiasm to produce first and foremost a Good Story. And he's Canadian, eh!
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Frameshift
Frameshift by Robert J. Sawyer (Paperback - November 1, 2005)
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