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Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
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The Investigation Kindle Edition
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Top Customer Reviews
From start to finish this floored me. The tension between order and randomness -- light and dark -- is thrilling and makes for a sensational reading experience. Lem also creates setting (dark restaurants, bars with women in bare shoulders) in magnificent ways. His ability to keep a complex tale simple also is admirable because this is a book with deceptively heavy themes. Finally, unlike a lot of books with similar themes, the ending here is perfect, in that, often humans are left crying in the wilderness.
Correlated facts are suggestive, but when the number of facts does not amount to a meaningful statistical sample the correlation may be an artifact, and then sound inductive reasoning often gives way to wild speculation. In "The Investigation", lieutenant Gregory of Scotland Yard desperately tries to puzzle out a consistent explanation for a bizarre series of disappearing corpses while receiving input from a scientist, a doctor, and fellow detectives --- each with his own ideas. The problem is that there doesn't seem to be enough solid evidence to decide whether the facts of the case have causal structure or whether they simply form "fortuitous patterns". Hmmm.
The category of "science fiction" is usually reserved for whimsical flights of fancy, but here we have a book that breathes fictional life into part of the intellectual apparatus that is at the very heart of science --- the empirical, or scientific, method. No pedantic statement is made about the empirical method, it's darker corners simply serve as a compelling thematic backdrop for a detective story.Read more ›
Frankly, the novel is a bit baffling. In some ways, it seems as though the conclusion doesn't merit the build-up. I don't want to give anything away, but readers who are expecting easy answers to the mystery are going to be disappointed. In reality, there really is no ending to speak of, though that doesn't mean the book is incomplete. It just means that it will probably frustrate many readers.
There are other aspects that will likely exasperate. The writing itself I thought was rather clunky, though one never knows if that isn't the fault of the translator. And there are several scenes within the novel that seem to be unrelated to anything else - some are as surreal as Kafka's interludes in THE TRIAL, some reminiscent of Poe's macabre atmospheres (in fact, it seems like there are several direct homages to Poe's most famous short-stories). These last segments were bizarre in relation to the rest of the story, especially if one is reading the book as an ordinary account. Taken in context with its questioning nature, though, and it seems as though they could be hazy, indistinct pictures of the puzzle. It was these odd extracts I enjoyed most about the novel.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
"Who would an armed constable run away from?" Gregory repeated, a blank expression on his face. He didn't expect an answer, and he didn't get one. Read morePublished 13 months ago by Rui del Negro
Did not enjoy this book, the typography errors, more than one per page,totally unacceptable, story poorly told 0 stars,do DO NOT RECOMMEND.Published on June 26, 2013 by malachy smith
To me, this book read like one of Philip Dick's less focused works. It sort of meanders along, following a police detective as he investigates a series of mysterious crimes that... Read morePublished on April 24, 2013 by Rob Kroese
Don"t bother with this one. I kept waiting for something, but nothing really happened . That part of my life is gone forever.Published on April 23, 2013 by Dean
I didn't like the way Sheppard and Gregory interacted; especially Sheppard's character. The end left me in the lurch...who was the guilty person? Read morePublished on April 12, 2013 by Diane
Not as good as the few other novels of his I've read. But entertaining enough for fans. (Three more words required, here they are.)Published on April 4, 2013 by VoxVulgus
This becomes one of the more convoluted stories I have read. It is difficult to follow the story through because of the way the primary protagonists are made to interact. Read morePublished on April 4, 2013 by S. E. Potts
It was too much about how police. It seemed less about the crime and more about manipulating the police officer.Published on April 3, 2013 by Anne Nusbaum
Went on way too long, it took forever to finish! I can't start a book & not finish it but this was a struggle! Tons of typos & spelling errors. Read morePublished on March 30, 2013 by ksue