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Intuition Paperback – March 13, 2007
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From Publishers Weekly
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 The New Yorker
Copyright © 2006 The New Yorker --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
The novel is a character study rather than a whodunit, or more precisely, whodonewhat. The central plot of alleged fraud in the lab provides the dissecting knife to tease apart the complicated relationships among the lab mentors and serfs--postdoctoral researchers and technicians. Goodman absolutely nails the depiction of the claustrophobic, almost cloistered ambience and power structures of a high-powered research institute. She treats all of her characters with fairness and honesty, which is the key to the novel's success. I myself was a neuroscience graduate student at Stanford. Reading "Inutition" brought back those days, adding the gifts of compassion and universal perspective to my hindsight view of many challenging years of study.
"Intuition" is an old-fashioned novel, and I am interested to know if that is why Allegra Goodman chose to set the story in the late 1980's (1987 is my best guess). This was a technologically simpler era of cell biology, the moment just before molecular biology and gene cloning took off. The particular science performed in "Intuition" is secondary. There are no whiz-bang scenes of technological madness. That's the brilliance of the novel: distilling scientific ambition, reward, disappointment and betrayal down to its human essence. "Intuition" is the rare book that will be enjoyed by lab geeks and English lit majors alike.
Allegra Goodman's latest novel, INTUITION, begins as a seemingly earnest examination of life in the world of modern scientific research. She populates her novel with a full panoply of scientific archetypes: the glad-handing, self-promoting head of the institute (Sandy Glass), his more introverted and self-doubting partner Marion Mendelssohn, their respective intellectual but self-sacrificing spouses and overachieving superchildren, and a striving, United Nations collection of young researchers, assistants, and lab techs: Cliff, Robin, Natalya, Prithwish, Feng, Nanette, Akira, and later Mir and Miki. Cliff's sudden breakthrough with R-7 rocks the institute and diverts the lab's full resources and attention to further investigation. All other projects are put on hold, much to the dislike of the eager-to-achieve Robin who also happens to have a somewhat on-again, off-again relationship with Cliff. Plans are made for public announcement, research papers, new NIH research grants until Robin begins having trouble replicating Cliff's results.
For the first half to two-thirds of the book, Ms. Goodman gives us a behind-the-scenes look at an all-too-human group of scientists.Read more ›
Just as the protagonist in Goodman's previous novel PARADISE PARK was obsessed by a quest for spiritual truth, INTUITION's single-minded cancer researcher Robin Drecker becomes obsessed with seeking truth of the scientific and moral kind at the prestigious Philpott Institute where she works alongside her self-assured boyfriend Cliff. Hungry for grant money --- and therefore in desperate need of results --- their small Cambridge research lab is quick to jump on the groundbreaking new findings demonstrated by Cliff's experiments with a promising viral strain that seems to bring about remission in cancerous tumors.
Lab co-director Sandy Glass, a brash oncologist and "evangelist of the most remarkable sort," insists on plunging ahead to herald the discovery with great public fanfare while his more circumspect partner, the rigorous and no-nonsense scientist Marion Mendelssohn, advocates a more cautious approach pending further experimentation. But Glass's contagious enthusiasm and relentless persistence eventually wins out, and the scientific world is set ablaze with news of the stunning breakthrough.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I found the book very boring and not worth my time to finish the book.Published 3 months ago by Nancy Hall
One of the worst books ever written about medical researchers. It is an insult to the many highly educated hard working low paid people dedicated to finding the next new... Read morePublished 11 months ago by David D Libenson
Love this book. And I hate science.
But this book is about people. What I enjoyed was Allegra Goodman's empathy, her constant care for her characters, so no one was a... Read more
Tedious, repetitive, long winded, excessively detailed while being confusing all at once. This book was pointless. I'm sorry I didn't stop reading it.Published 17 months ago by Monica
In this novel Allegra Goodman, a very talented youngish writer, desribes the workings of a Harvard-subsidized research lab in which a startling discovery by a young researcher... Read morePublished 18 months ago by Elizabeth Bennet
A wonderful, insightful book. The characters are fascinating, but what is really unique about this book is that the setting - a laboratory - is unusual for a novel. Read morePublished 18 months ago by Amazon Customer
For people familiar with the scientific life, this story tells some aspects of science that people are no exposed to. Very joyful reading.Published 23 months ago by NY