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The Blood Artists: A Novel Mass Market Paperback – May 26, 2009


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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Harper (May 26, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0380731460
  • ISBN-13: 978-0380731466
  • Product Dimensions: 1.1 x 4.2 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #198,451 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

"Clean human blood was a precious commodity as the first decade of the twenty-first century drew to a close. An onslaught of viral and bacterial disease had depleted the reliable source pool, and patients around the world were dying, stuck on long lists waiting for transfusions of unpolluted blood. Lucrative black markets had sprung up in every major population center, from New York to Beijing to Cairo, where illicit blood traded at fifteen to twenty times its weight in gold. Like many medical scientists of the day, Peter and I had dedicated ourselves to the great challenge of developing a safe, synthetic, human blood substitute..."

That's the gripping premise of Chuck Hogan's The Blood Artists. Doctors Stephen Pearse and Peter Maryk, working for the Bureau of Disease Control (the much tougher, FBI-like successor to the Center for Disease Control), track a killer virus out of Africa that makes Ebola look like a slight case of indigestion. This nasty bug seems to have both intelligence and an agenda, and when it acquires a human host it might just be too much for the world to handle. As he did in his first thriller, The Standoff, Hogan humanizes complicated concepts and creates characters with lots of energy. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

In his 1995 debut novel, The Standoff, Hogan proved himself expert at the political-action thriller. One wonders why, then, he has followed up with a speculative medical thriller?much less one that takes place nearly 20 years from now, that features such improbabilities as a virus that "has taken human form" and that unfolds via a narrative that shuttles awkwardly between first-person and third. The blood artists are Centers for Disease Control virologists Peter Maryk and Stephen Pearse (the opening narrator), who, in 2010, are working to develop a blood substitute enhanced by elements from Maryk's freakishly inviolable immune system. Together, they travel to Africa to investigate an unknown virus that devastates a remote outpost until Maryk, who's as coldhearted as Pearse is warm, orders a blanket bombing of the area. The story then jumps to 2016, as the pair receive a Nobel for the blood substitute. Their triumph is short-lived, however. The virus resurfaces in South Carolina, infecting Pearse. With his colleague dying, Maryk takes center stage as the third-person narration (interrupted by Pearse's fevered reflections) traces his struggle against the virus, which, having survived Africa due to an error by Pearse, is being deliberately spread by "a man colonized by an iatrogenic mutation of an immunopathic retrovirus. A humanized virus vector posed to infect the world." That man-virus is also posed to murder a woman whose blood may prove key to saving humanity from viral extinction. There's much to admire here: full-blooded (so to speak) characters, resonant prose, a scattering of crackling action sequences and an abiding and affecting sense of melancholy. The lack of a properly sympathetic hero, though, and muddled structure and plotting, place what should have been a robust thriller into the intensive care ward. Author tour.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

Chuck Hogan is the New York Times bestselling author of several acclaimed novels, including THE TOWN (aka PRINCE OF THIEVES) and DEVILS IN EXILE. THE TOWN was awarded the Hammett Prize for excellence in crime writing, and made into the movie starring Ben Affleck, Jeremy Renner, and Jon Hamm. He is also the co-author, with Oscar-winning filmmaker Guillermo Del Toro, of the internationally bestselling STRAIN trilogy: THE STRAIN, THE FALL, and THE NIGHT ETERNAL.

Customer Reviews

No characters that I really cared about.
Heather A Prochazka
If you enjoy a good medical sci-fi thriller then you will love Blood Artists.
Zepherous
It is well written and keeps the suspense and action going at a sure pace.
Will Readanything

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 26, 1998
Format: Hardcover
As a medical technologist, this book had special meaning to me. Hogan does a great job of exploring both major personalities in the novel, while at the same time showing a decent understanding of the viral world and medical technology. It catches you up in the evolution of this killer virus which displays its own personality throughout the novel and really becomes a character in and of itself. It is interesting to imagine when those of us in medicine/science will have to leave our labs and take more militant action in defending the human race. Hogan does a great job of portraying that...it kept me up many a night!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By - Kasia S. VINE VOICE on November 28, 2010
Format: Mass Market Paperback
My first time reading Hogan turned out to be a fun romp through mystery and science, a chase for the virus that spreads though blood, one commodity that is rare to keep and difficult to obtain. Blood is the river that links all the lakes in this story, all the characters have something in common, the latest epidemic of outbreaks that kill in a horrific way has to start somewhere, two brilliant scientists who are at the center of it all end up enemies, both have dome some questionable things, who is the bad good and who is really good?

This is the basis for the tale, add some sneaky backstabbing characters, a nasty virus that does some really icky things with its new favorite host; the human body, making you an expert at recognizing and diagnosing mortality rates after you learn about the blister sores and blood ratio on the victims and it makes you want to wash your hands, close the windows and not go outside, I love these types of books, they will cheer you up on the rainiest day, once you put them down of course, the moment when you feel safe after having a front row seat at a macabre show of man versus disease. This might be "Outbreak" lite but it still packs a punch, I enjoyed for what it was and had a good time reading it. Basically the story evolves around two people; Doctors Stephen Pearse and Peter Maryk. They work at the Bureau of Disease Control and have time and money to devote to doing fantastic research, they get tangled into a doomsday scenario upon truing to help victims in an isolated Congo village, where one of them though an act of mercy begins something that will haunt not only them but the world forever.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 14, 1998
Format: Hardcover
I love this book and since I live in the town that it takes place (i'll leave it up to you to find out)it makes it even more exiting. Though I doubt the town will ever reach 20,000 people. It's very interesting how a small town like ***** gets a deadly virus that kills every one exept 2. I don't want to give to much away so I'll leave it up to you.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Anonymous on November 27, 1999
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I cannot say enough (good) about this book! Not only does it "deliver the goods" in terms of adrenaline and suspense, but it has poetic language and uncommonly lovable characters. There's plenty of scientific, thought-provoking discussion, too. The book makes no bones about the fact that humanity is really straining its leash in terms of invading the environment. Also: I LOVE Dr. Peter Maryk! He does for the needle what Jimi Hendrix did for the guitar.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Zepherous on May 21, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Blood Artists isn't the most realistic story ever written and the author tends to over describe at times but all that aside, it is one of the most engaging books that I have ever read. Peter Mayrk is what makes this novel a great success. His physicality and personality make you love him and sometimes despise him at the same time. If you enjoy a good medical sci-fi thriller then you will love Blood Artists. By all means pick up a copy and read it today.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 18, 1999
Format: Hardcover
A nasty plot twist (the virus, Plainville, possesses a human host, resulting in a virus with intelligence). It is the ultimate expression of what viruses "set out" to do--turn hosts into virus. Who cares whether it's even remotely probable? (Retroviruses usually cause chronic diseases like AIDS and lymphoma, not acute, annihilating plagues as in this book.) The characters aren't the most profound, but who's looking for Shakespeare here? I certainly wasn't, and the book gave me several sleepless nights. If you want a technically competent book, read the Coming Plague. The Blood Artists is strictly for fun.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Will Readanything on October 26, 2007
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This not a book for someone who wants and "easy" read - you have to pay attention to what is going on! It is well written and keeps the suspense and action going at a sure pace. Definitely worth reading.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 2, 1998
Format: Hardcover
In 2010, virologists Peter Maryk and Stephen Pearse work together on developing a synthetic blood substitute. However, their work is interrupted by a new type of viral epidemic in Africa. Failing to stop the disease, they have the village and its residents destroyed to abort a pandemic outbreak. In 2012 that same virus kills most of the inhabitants of a Massachusetts town and seems to be eliberately striking other places as well.
By 2016, Pearse is dying from the disease, which seems to be purposely spread by a malevolent being who is a virus in human form. Only one person, a survivor of the Massachusetts outbreak, has the immunity to stop the deliberate and cunning killer, who plans to use more mundane means to eradicate his only threat.
THE BLOOD ARTISTS is a strange futuristic thriller filled with plenty of action. The characters are all top rate, especially the two virologists, the Massachusetts survivor, and the serial killing virus. Though there are moments when the tale seems to need a blood transplant due to uneven pacing, Chuck Hogan's newest novel will be fully enjoyed by fans of the sub-genre as a one sitting chiller.
Harriet Klausner
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