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Blasphemy Paperback – 4 Dec 2009


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Product details

  • Paperback: 555 pages
  • Publisher: Pan (4 Dec 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 033044865X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0330448659
  • Product Dimensions: 11.1 x 3.4 x 17.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 585,834 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

Douglas Preston is the New York Times bestselling author of Tyrannosaur Canyon and The Codex. With his frequent collaborator Lincoln Child, he has written such bestselling thrillers as Relic which became a major Hollywood motion picture.

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Customer Reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By BookWriter on 4 May 2009
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This is a good yarn. You have to suspend disbelief and 'just go with it'. If you can do that, and you like thriller type books with a scientific and religious twist you will just find it enjoyable.
A group of scientists have built a massive supercollider (atom smasher) underground in the middle of the Arizona desert which by accelerating atomic particles close to the speed of light and smashing them together (they are trying to do this at CERN, Switzerland in real life) are creating conditions similar to those at the Big Bang which created our Universe. They are on the frontiers of science investigation and have the chance to 'look into the eyes of God'.
They find an amazing secret that they try to hide from the Authorities whilst they investigate further and ex CIA man Wyman Ford is sent in (ostensibly to liaise with the locals -Navajo Indians- who are unhappy and unsettled by the whole thing), but actually to find out what is going on. Of course, to add some sexual chemistry, one of the scientists just happens to be Ford's ex lover (huge coincidence I know, but just go with it).
Pretty soon a group of religious fundamentalists springs up and they see the scientists as Antichrist blasphemers who, by probing the 'beginning of the Universe' are denying God's existence and questionning all they have come to accept about God, religion and mankinds place in the cosmos.

Anyway, a tense thriller follows, with Politicians trying to find out what is going on, religious nutters who take up arms, locals who are protesting, scientists who lock down the facility to probe their amazing secret and our hero guy, Wyman Ford who is in the midst of it all.
It could be argued that what the book is missing is good characterisation and that the whole premise is a bit far-fetched.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By NeuroSplicer TOP 100 REVIEWER on 26 Sep 2009
Format: Hardcover
Writing is a lonely endeavor, yet Preston is one of those rare writers who thrive in collaboration but straggle when writing alone. When writing in tandem with Lincoln Child more often than not lightening strikes (THE RELIC, THE RELIQUARY, THE ICE LIMIT to name a few). In contrast, his previous solo efforts (THE CODEX, TYRANNOSAUR CANYON) fall just short of their mark. BLASPHEMY goes a bit further.

Isabella is the supercollider that American particle and high-energy physicists dreamed about (but congress killed in 1993). In this novel it is actually built, not in Texas but in Arizona. In an abandoned coal mine, under a Native American burial grounds. And if these were not ominous enough, when it is run at full power, all heavens seem to break loose.

Navajo medicine men and frothing tele-evangelists; a lonely pastor driven over the edge and a cynic ex-monk turned deniable-PI for the government; a president risking riots only to protect his legacy and a Nobel-prize winner scientist with a severe Messianic fixation. The science may be half-baked and the characters underdeveloped and monochromatic but the story will keep you turning pages well into the night.

A particle beam worth a ride.

RECOMMENDED.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful By C. Green TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 17 July 2008
Format: Hardcover
On thing you can never accuse Douglas Preston of is writing books that lack ideas. As with his previous works such as Tyranosaur Canyon or the novels he writes with Lincoln Child, Blasphemy weaves a large number of pretty complex concepts, issues and and ideas into an accessible techno-thriller. In this specific case its concepts such as the nature of faith, issues such as the place of science and religion in modern western society and ideas such as how humankind would react when faced with possibility of direct communication with God.

All of which should make for a read that is both facinating and exciting. Unfortunately as a book Blasphemy doesn't really work. It nothing do with the writing style or the central concept of the book per se. The prose is good, dialogue feels real and the structure is sound. Preston is too experienced an author to produce a badly written novel.

The flaws, and to my mind they are pretty big ones, are the characters on display and the events that they cause to unfold as the story progresses. Put simply I found that I could not believe that the characters on display would a.) be placed in the positions they were given, b.) would react to events the way they did or c.) that events would spiral out of control in the fashion that they do.

Without giving away the plot Blasphemy relies far too much on hapenstance, coincidence and irrational human behaviours for it to really be believable. It feels as if the author has crafted people and events purely to service the ideas and issues he wishes to address, rather than creating an organic plot that develops naturally and feels believable. Blasphemy is like a functional, precise machine; it does what it is designed to do, but it lacks real emotion and soul in the way it does it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Ioannis Glinavos VINE VOICE on 15 Aug 2010
Format: Paperback
This is a fun book, perfect for a summer read. It combines the right amount of action and mystery to make it worth buying. So long as you are not too annoyed by the author's frequent use of the word "transcendental", you should be fine. Who knows, you may even buy into a new religion...And well done to the author for having the guts to tell some of the truth about the falseness of religions, especially the Tom Cruise type ones.
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