The Immortalists Kindle Edition
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|Length: 333 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
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Question: The Immortalists is the story of a billionaire's desire to stop aging. What was your inspiration for this unique take on the age-old fountain of youth tale?
Kyle Mills: The myth of the fountain of youth is one of the oldest and most widespread in history, with writing on the subject dating back before Christ. The one thing that all those stories and elaborate quests had in common was that they were nonsense--just another example of our superstitious nature. With all the recent advances in genetics, though, the myth is quickly becoming a reality. Not many people know it, but not all animals get old. Lobsters, for instance, just seem to keep going until they get sick or something eats them. The idea that we could identify the portion of their genome that provides longevity and splice it into our own becomes less far-fetched every day.
This brings up a lot of interesting issues. Our history isn't exactly one of equality and benevolence, and death is hard-wired into our minds and societies. Will the people who discover this therapy pass it along to everyone, or will they try to keep it for themselves? Would our population explode if life expectancy suddenly rose to 500 years or more? Would advancement grind to a halt if scientists and politicians consolidated their positions, then stagnated in them for centuries? Would our existence become less life and more a tedious, endless avoidance of death? All this is perfect fodder for a thriller because change can very easily turn into chaos, and chaos makes for great stories.
Q: What kind of research goes into writing an in-depth medical thriller?
KM: I spent a number of months on research before putting pen to paper. The main character's daughter suffers from a rare genetic disease that causes her to age at a wildly accelerated rate. The disease, a real syndrome called progeria, generates some fascinating questions about the causes of aging and whether it can simply be “cured.” Unfortunately for my friends and family, I am now a fount of useless information about genetics and aging, but I think that extra effort gave The Immortalists its realism and the sense that it could actually be happening right now. In truth, it probably could.
Q: You recently stepped into Robert Ludlum's Covert-One series by writing The Ares Decision. What is it like to become part of such a rich canon with a devoted readership?
KM: A bit frightening. I have to admit I almost didn't accept the job--those are pretty big shoes to fill. But in the end, I'm glad I did. It was a really fun project, and I found that I still could learn a thing or two by studying the works of one of the genre's masters. Even better, Ludlum's fans have been really enthusiastic about The Ares Decision, and I think I came out of the project a stronger writer.
Q: Your father was an FBI agent. How much does that background find its way into your writing?
KM: A great deal. Spending so many years hanging around FBI and CIA agents, soldiers, and diplomats gave me an inherent sense of what makes them tick. It also gave me a long list of people I can contact when I need the final word on how that world works.
Q: What are you working on now?
KM: A new installment of Robert Ludlum's Covert-One series. It's a novel about a new technology that I think will be the next step in human evolution. Of course, the question becomes whether that step will save us or destroy us.
Q: Which books do you like to read over and over again?
KM: George Orwell's 1984 for its incredibly dark take on human nature. Rian Malan's My Traitor's Heart, a book about Apartheid-era South Africa that has a more hopeful view of our species. And Steven Pinker's The Blank Slate, an entertaining and enlightening book about why we are who we are and how much of our destiny is already written on the day we're born.
From Publishers Weekly
- Publication date : December 6, 2011
- File size : 501 KB
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 333 pages
- Publisher : Thomas & Mercer (December 6, 2011)
- Language: : English
- ASIN : B00514OZ6A
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Lending : Not Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #39,101 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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Mills' characters are a wonderful group of heroes and villians, where even the bad guys are mostly charming. The plot development is superb, with just the right amount of zigs and zags, twists and turns, such that I ended up not wanting to come to the end of this one.
I highly recommend it, especially if you have the time to read it through to the end. You're not going to want to put it down.
You'll wish the book lasted as long as the title suggests. I know I did.
With all of the scientific reality of Robin Cook, and all of the suspense of Dean Koontz, Kyle writes a story as believable as the headlines of today's news. In this story, Richard Dramun has invested his life in finding a cure for progeria, a battle he faces each day in the eyes of his own daughter. But the implications of finding a cure for this childhood disease go far beyond simply looking at the premature aging of these children, into the structure of aging itself.
When Richard is approached by the husband of a colleague who died in an apparent suicide, he begins to unravel a plot hiding the possibility of an actual cure to progeria and the end of aging.
From the moment he steps onto this path there is no turning back, and as he proceeds he has to make decisions concerning friendship, love, and the meaning behind life itself. What would he be willing to give up for a cure?
Well worth reading! I love finding great authors!
Richard Darman, is the main character. He is a world renowned biologist, which means he is someone that most people would never have heard of before. Mills dervelops a very compelling story around Dr. Darman and his average family dealing with a common theme...child illness and parents' love that will stop at almost nothing to heal their child...in an uncommon way. Mills brings to light an illness that most have probably never heard of, as well as the spin off repercussions of fighting to find a cure that most would have never thought of, and he does so in such a way that you are more than willing to suspend belief along the way and you find yourself just rooting for the Dr. and his family to have that American happy ending.
Good story written by a man that knows how to spin a tale. Worth the read!
Our hero, a brilliant but struggling microbiologist Richard Draman is trying to find a cure for the rare disease progeria. His eight-year-old daughter, Susie, suffers with the radically aging disease. The story becomes very involved when Richard is given a flash drive by the widower of a colleague who supposedly committed suicide but the husband thinks otherwise.
As he discovers the information on the thumb drive and the data she was working on, he and his family go on a whirl wind adventure running and hiding from those who would kill them all. Apparently, Richard manages to find a serum which he injects into his daughter and soon notices her improvements. I don't have a scientific background so I can't judge the material used to come to the conclusions in the book. However, I was fascinated with it and thrilled when young Susie stops aging and the story leaves us all wondering and hoping, and praying for a real "shot" of realism.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book.
However this book has none of that. Straight forward, zero twists, zero surprises. Flat ending. Went no place. With his past history, Im still gonna grab the next one he puts out! But this one was extremely disappointing.
Top reviews from other countries
A good book to read on a sun lounger where you can switch your brain off and chill, then not feel guilty about donating the book to the hotel library.
The author deals with the moral, ethical and practical dilemmas of immortality and reversing the aging process from angles I'd never considered.
The writing style meant it was easy to read and every page propelled the story forward.
The ending was satisfying. I've read so many books with great plots and characters only to be disappointed with the ending where, in some cases, I felt I'd spent 5 or 6 hours for nothing.
It would have been great to find out how one of the antagonists ended up as they did, nevertheless this didn't detract from the story.
This book is the best one I've read so far in 2018.
I liked this but I didn't love it. The story is a little bit 'samey' with a youth serum being discovered and covered up (the conspiracy) and a dedicated doctor trying to find a cure for his sick daughter before she dies (the unlikely hero).
The pace is nice and fast, and lots of things happen very quickly. Some new characters are brought in pretty quickly and established well. There's a few pieces in here which seem pretty unbelievable but hey it's fiction, so just go with the flow and enjoy the ride. I did find his wife a little bit lacking in character - too against there being a conspiracy at the start and then suddenly going with the action. The daughter felt a little bit sidelined through the story too. Some of the 'bad guys' were pretty good though - people with more money and power than scrupples!
The end came a little abruptly, which is OK but it almost felt like a bit of a cop out.
I'll definately try another book by this author. It's a good, fast-paced thriller. If the ending had been different and I'd felt a bit more 'pull' with some of the central characters, then it would have pushed this up to a 5/5!