The book has some fine ideas that are never realized. One potentially great theme after another is introduced and abandoned. The supposed scientist is not very scientific or even particularly curious. He is said to spend his life in one lab or another and yet all we know is that he feeds salted turtle meat to mice and then waits a couple of years.
The author takes her sweet time as well. The first 270 pages or so are an extended prologue with elaborate inventions of history, mythology and even an entire language. Then she breathlessly rips through the rest of the story, accelerating as she goes, as if running out of time or patience. The entire arrest, arraignment, detention, indictment, prosecution, defense and conviction of the protagonist, which is teased at the beginning and looms like a wraith throughout, is less than five pages.
For someone to make a movie out of this, it's going to take a lot more writing. Anyone who expects "Native Intelligence" or "The Mosquito Coast" or "At Play in the Fields of the Lord" is going to be disappointed, like I was.