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A Novel and Efficient Synthesis of Cadaverine Paperback – November 18, 2009

4 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 472 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (November 18, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1448627176
  • ISBN-13: 978-1448627172
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 1.1 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,191,523 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Neurasthenic VINE VOICE on December 23, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Scoggin seems to have set out to write a version of Catch-22 set in the world of academic chemistry. Some aspects of the book (the academic setting, Boston suburbs, and supernatural elements) recall Infinite Jest as well. Make no mistake, this book is not in the same league as those masterpieces, but it should amuse those who have toiled through graduate school.

The first 150 pages or so are hard slogging; the author introduces too many characters, all of whom are too easily forgotten, and none of whom are doing much of interest. He then hits his stride as the absurdities and indignities mount in the lives of his grad students and professors of chemistry. Unfortunately, the book has three major subplots woven to make the major plot, and two of these subplots -- involving Massachusetts politics and trained assassins, are forgettable, and serve mostly to dilute the more entertaining parts of the book. The end, in which all three strands come together, didn't really work for me.

Scoggin has no natural gift for dialog or exposition. The book has long passages describing methods of chemical synthesis or analysis, none of it needed. Some of the amusing material feels as though it probably has been passed from grad student to grad student for years, rather than being original to Scoggin.

That said, I did enjoy it.
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Format: Paperback
This is probably not everybody's cup of tea, but for those who have done time in the scientific-industrial complex it's a good read populated with characters those of us in R&D have encountered at one time or another. Clearly the author has been around the block a few times.

For those unfamiliar with the world of R&D, it may be somewhat dense reading in places, but if you want to understand my world you can get a pretty good feel for it by reading this novel.

If you like [...] this may be right up your alley.
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By Erewhon on February 15, 2010
Format: Paperback
Why has no one reviewed this yet? IANAC (I am not a chemist) nor do I play one on TV, but I am a tenured faculty member at a research university, and I have seen a family member go through the grinder that the mysterious S A Scoggin so artfully describes. Scoggin has produced a delicious satire of academia that also happens to have a great story and be a really good read. Mystery, suspense, science, and good old fashion sardonic humor abound. Next to Richard Russo's "Straight Man" this is my favorite send up of the hallowed halls of the academy. Anyone who has been, or is considering going to graduate school should read this. And for that matter, so should anyone who is just looking for a really good book.
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