Customer Reviews


10 Reviews
5 star:
 (2)
4 star:
 (3)
3 star:
 (5)
2 star:    (0)
1 star:    (0)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favorable review
The most helpful critical review


4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Life is dynamic
As someone who usually spends most of their time reading scientific literature instead of reading for fun...I truly enjoyed this book. The characters are well developed and multidimensional. Jones truly cares for her characters and uses them to illustrate a series of fables, or in some cases folleys. It proposes a general theory that is plausible (though scifi), and...
Published on April 14, 2005 by David Hart

versus
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Life- a thought provoking book
Life is a novel about a woman, Anna Senoz, as she makes her way through life as a scientist, a wife and a mother. The underlying theme that seemingly connects all these aspects of her life is sexuality. As a college student she freely explores her sexuality, in ways "nice girls" are not supposed to. During this time she winds up in a series of emotionally charged...
Published on May 11, 2005 by K. Desino


Most Helpful First | Newest First

10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Life- a thought provoking book, May 11, 2005
By 
This review is from: Life (Paperback)
Life is a novel about a woman, Anna Senoz, as she makes her way through life as a scientist, a wife and a mother. The underlying theme that seemingly connects all these aspects of her life is sexuality. As a college student she freely explores her sexuality, in ways "nice girls" are not supposed to. During this time she winds up in a series of emotionally charged situations. As a wife, she struggles with the loss of a child due to miscarriage and the issue of infidelity. Anna finds herself in a situation familiar to many working women- she must decide how to balance career and family. Furthermore, she deals with the role reversal of having a husband who stays at home and is the primary child care-giver. Lastly, as a scientist she studies human reproduction as well as the underlying genetics of gender. Throughout the book, Anna's research leads up to the discovery of an interesting (though fictional) genetic finding that could have major implications on the definition of gender in our society. Along with this discovery, Anna is forced to deal with skepticism within the scientific community as well as unethical, discouraging mentors. The author chooses to have Anna focus narrowly on the science of her discovery, and as a result glosses over the social implications of such a finding. Although this book is entertaining and has some quality character development, I believe the true value of this book is as a catalyst for discussion. The author briefly touches on a myriad of interesting topics such as gender equality, the definition of gender in society, and even the expectations of marriage-all of which are thought provoking issues.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Life is dynamic, April 14, 2005
By 
This review is from: Life (Paperback)
As someone who usually spends most of their time reading scientific literature instead of reading for fun...I truly enjoyed this book. The characters are well developed and multidimensional. Jones truly cares for her characters and uses them to illustrate a series of fables, or in some cases folleys. It proposes a general theory that is plausible (though scifi), and encapsulates the variety of differences we see in everyday life from person to person. I highly recommend this to anyone who is currently or has endured graduate school in the sciences. If you enjoy the dynamics of life, not just in terms of evolution, but how people change toward difficult situations to cope and manage...you will enjoy this book as well.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A really satisfying and rewarding read, December 30, 2004
By 
George (San Francisco, Ca USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Life (Paperback)
Anna Senoz is a young idealist at a south coast British university. Afraid to fall in love she turns to her friend Spence, an American exchange student, and makes him an offer he can't refuse...

"Life" is a science fiction novel with very little sci-fi, and a "big idea" that is a bit too subtle, and which takes rather a long time to become clear. But it's an incredibly satisfying read, and a wonderful, naked , painful picture of enduring love in an absolutely believable day-after-tomorrow world.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Insightful but the author tries too hard....., April 13, 2005
This review is from: Life (Paperback)
"Life" is a novel that initially finds our heroine, Anna, a promising young undergrad faced with matters pertaining to her personal life and career. Throughout the course of the novel the reader sees how these two affect one another in Anna's life. On the smaller scale, there are many issues that the author meshes together in this book. Two such issues are sexual liberation and career, important aspects of the feminist movement. The two are in constant conflict with the traditional societal and cultural views on women throughout the book and the author does a fairly decent job in exposing the reader to such. For example, the awareness of Anna's sexuality/sensuality is a very critical aspect in the early part of the story and lays the groundwork for what events proceed in her life. Another issue is scientific and personal integrity, the courage to stand up to defend your findings and beliefs, as Anna's discovery rocks the scientific world that is portrayed (which is not too far from what things really are like). Gender roles and how they relate to society are also touched upon.

Though the issues are very interesting and really make you think, the author seems to try too hard to make you notice. Insightful but I found it difficult to even care about the characters...
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Perspective of a graduate student, May 8, 2005
This review is from: Life (Paperback)
Life is the tale of Anna Senoz, an English graduate student and scientist battling a conflict that faces many women in the modern world; career versus family and so-called "appropriate" gender roles in each. These two areas of Anna's life do battle on a daily basis; yet it should be mentioned that neither is all that stable in its own right. Challenges within her career run the spectrum from a difficult and myopic boss to a publicly controversial scientific discovery that brings with it trouble from countless directions. In her personal/family life she faces the challenges of a seemingly loveless marriage, doubts over her sexual "purpose" and the anguish of losing a newborn child. Her tale is poignantly "real" as we discover that she (like any of us) does not have sound answers to any of these problems. Rather, each dilemma accomplishes one of two things; either brings her one step closer to an understanding of herself and the world around her or slowly buries her beneath an increasing mass of life's burdens. Which will win out becomes its own compelling story.

While Jones does a wonderful job of establishing the fundamental conflicts (traditional gender roles in both family and career), I feel much of her message gets lost in complex characters, subplots and otherwise trivial events. It is this reader's opinion that Jones spent too much time trying to shock the reader with controversial and sometimes uncomfortable characters and situations and far too little time developing the main message of gender roles in the 21st century. In many ways it seems this book could not decide what it wanted to be - either a racy and provocative exploration of sex or a thought provoking exploration of gender. Unfortunately, with this reader anyway, it missed the mark on both counts.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3.0 out of 5 stars Graduate student's perspective, March 3, 2005
By 
Fern (Lawrence, KS USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Life (Paperback)
The novel Life depicts the struggles and triumphs the heroin, Anna Senoz, experiences during college, career, and in relationships. The story begins with Anna recalling her past while she was an undergraduate. She describes the pleasurable experiences she has while exploring her sexuality but then sees it crushed when her lab mate rapes her. This incident causes a change in her graduate path and places her in the field of Human Assisted Reproduction. While in graduate school, she becomes pregnant from a weekend rendezvous. She decides to marry the father who promises to take care of their child while she would continue to work. However, she loses the baby and they decide to leave the area. From here, Anna works at several different jobs and eventually goes back to get her degree. Throughout her work in Human Assisted Reproduction, she comes across a major finding that would be controversial if published.

As a current female graduate student in the sciences, I found that I could relate to some of the emotions and trials that Anna experienced at different stages in her life. As a scientist especially at the graduate level, it is easy to completely immerse yourself in your work without the regard of close friends and family. This often occurs when important timely results need to be produced and published. As a female scientist, Anna often had to struggle with different forms of sexual discrimination inflicted by her boss, fellow coworkers and colleagues. I personally have not had to experience anything near the extremes that she has had to endure and was stunned at how blunt some of the instances were. One of my personal goals is to be able to balance both a career and a family. I feel that I first need to establish a career before considering a family. Anna however found herself unwed, pregnant, and a graduate student at the same time. The strength and courage that Anna possessed when she was pregnant with her daughter Lilly was amazing to me. Not only did she have to deal with being an unwed, pregnant graduate student but she also had to cope with a boss who now thought less of her as a scientist. Even through all of her tribulations, Anna is able to develop into a successful scientist who had the courage to publish results that created turbulence to the human race.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars "Life" the perfect title for this book, April 28, 2005
By 
This review is from: Life (Paperback)
Life is a narrative of a group of college students and how their life-stories intertwine and play out. The main character, Anna, is a graduate student in the field of genetics. She struggles with many life changing events, not the lease of which is her role as a women both in the family and scientific realm. These two roles seem to be in conflict as the age old question of career or family is addressed within a unique perspective of a life narrative.

The story-line, like life itself, is somewhat choppy and hard to keep straight at times. It seems as it the author emphasizes smaller things, like a "relationship" with a genetic modeling super computer, and not the bigger things like the birth of Anna's second child. I would say the author tries too hard to develop a story that intertwines all the characters, which only leads to superficial character development. The real jewel of the book is the issues that are introduced: family verse career, women in the work force, feminism... all of which can lead to interesting discussions.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4.0 out of 5 stars One to make you think..., March 31, 2005
This review is from: Life (Paperback)
Life is a novel that presents the reader with the quandaries that arise from trying to balance the roles of a working professional and an active member of a family. Anna Senoz starts as an undergraduate student trying to find her place, not only in the scientific community, but also socially. As she progresses through her life she discovers that an obsessive researcher and gifted mind can be both a blessing and a curse...

The progression of the book sometimes jumps around in time as you go from the present to long dialogues from sometime in the past. A well written novel - however, there are places that may have been a bit extreme in terms of content for my taste in some places in the book. As a current graduate student this book posed several questions that I often don't stop to think about and sometimes should consider. I don't know if I would call it a "must read" but there are several good lessons to be taken and considered from the book.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4.0 out of 5 stars Life as it is, January 29, 2007
By 
Sue Lange "Sue Lange" (New York, NY United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Life (Paperback)
It is not easy to write reality, but Gwyneth Jones certainly has done just that, and aprorpriately named the work "Life." That is what this story is about. It is science fiction, certainly. Science ideas are presented here and the story revolves around those science ideas and the techniques of science. Admirably it is real science, not the fantasy that much of modern science fiction actually is. In the end, though, the story is about life as we live it in modern times. A difficult subject to tackle. A difficult subject to entertain with. But like modern day soap operas the book includes numerous characters, most of whom are not very heroic, and a few subplots to keep us interested. The importance of the book, however, lies in the way it illustrates just how it is we get through life.

Sue Lange

author, Tritcheon Hash
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A novel that poses the quintessential question, November 8, 2004
This review is from: Life (Paperback)
Life is a novel that poses the quintessential question: what does it mean to be human in the twenty-first century? Sex, science, the limits of love, and the struggles of individuals seeking to find meaning in their own lives, in a future world so close to our own, set the stage for a dramatic play of human emotions and the crushing press of ruthless events. Highly recommended.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


Most Helpful First | Newest First

Details

Life
Life by Gwyneth Jones (Paperback - Oct. 2004)
$19.00 $17.08
In Stock
Add to cart Add to wishlist
Search these reviews only
Send us feedback How can we make Amazon Customer Reviews better for you? Let us know here.