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Fragment [Paperback]

Warren Fahy
3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (68 customer reviews)
Price: 14.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

29 April 2011

Jurassic Park meets Lost in this electrifying new adventure thriller.

When the cast and crew of reality TV show ‘SeaLife’ land on picturesque, unexplored Henders Island it’s a ratings bonanza. But they’re blissfully unaware that the decisions they make there will shape the fate of mankind … if they can only survive.

For they quickly discover that the island is seething with danger. Having evolved in total isolation from the rest of the planet for millennia, Henders is home to host of vicious and exotic predators, terrifying creatures who live in a lightning fast blur of kill or be killed.

A team of crack scientists is sent in to assess the situation and they are astounded by what they find. It soon becomes clear that if even the smallest bug ever made it off Henders island, life on earth as we know it would change very quickly indeed.

The President is faced with the toughest decision of his career: take the risk of letting one of these creatures escape so that further research can be done, or nuke the island to protect the rest of planet Earth? Just when it seems the stakes couldn't get any higher, the scientists make a surprise discovery that changes everything…


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Product details

  • Paperback: 496 pages
  • Publisher: Harper (29 April 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0007299540
  • ISBN-13: 978-0007299546
  • Product Dimensions: 11.1 x 17.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (68 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 351,945 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

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Product Description

Review

‘Fahy's imaginative debut puts a fresh spin on the survival-of-prehistoric-beasts theme popularized by Jurassic Park.’ Publisher’s Weekly

‘Good, fast fun’ Bookseller

From the Author

What inspired you to start writing Fragment?
Having been fascinated with biology since I was a child (at the age of 9 I used to dig for fossils in the Hollywood Hills by myself after school, and I attended a neurobiology course at Cal-Tech when I was 11 years old), I have been a life-long student of naturalism, weaned by far-off heroes like David Attenborough, Louis Leakey, and Charles Darwin. That was my general inspiration in all things evolutionary. What specifically inspired the premise of Fragment were some of the writings of Stephen Jay Gould and the discovery of the Movile Cave in Romania, where 33 previously unknown species had evolved in total darkness after being sealed off for five million years. After tinkering with ideas based on these and other fascinating facts, the whole story suddenly fell into place in a flash of inspiration – and I dropped everything else I was working on and never looked back until it was done.

The scientific detail is very impressive, how long did it take you to research the background to the novel?
In a sense, all of my life. I have always pondered what forces brought about the emergence of our planet’s incredibly diverse life forms. It’s a constant audio track in my head. Once I began work on the novel proper, however, it took about three years of intense research to flesh out the ecosystem of Henders Island.
The creatures from the island are included in sketch form in the book. Did you always know how you wanted them to look?
Yes, I knew precisely how I wanted them to look, what kind of locomotion I wanted them to have, etc., then worked with scientists and artists to bring that to life, and during that process they evolved as necessary adaptations emerged. It was a very Darwinian process! What surprised me most was that no matter how outlandish and alien the species I thought I was creating, I nearly always found that nature had beaten me to it and that there was some living allegory that used precisely the same process or mechanism – sometimes in an even more outlandish form! Ironically, trying to outdo nature with all the freedom of my imagination gave me a renewed respect for nature’s staggeringly boundless invention.

Do you have any one scene in Fragment that you most enjoyed writing?
Without giving too much away, I had a blast writing the rover scene. One of the things I love to do is put characters into the most terrifying position I can imagine, with no clue how to get them out of it, strand them there and sit back to watch what happens. Did you find that the characters behaved as you had planned, or did they ever surprise you? They surprised me, often, and certainly did what they wanted to in most respects. Sounds odd perhaps, but I don’t create characters so much as identify them, put them in the situation, and then report on what they do. I know what kind of characters, in terms of skills and personality, I will need to have present to accomplish certain things, and outside of that, I let them go. Curiously, they won’t let themselves die sometimes, even if that’s what I had planned, and if and when they do die, it’s very hard for me to report the news of their deaths.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The lost Jurassic Park 17 Jun 2009
By Michael Watson TOP 500 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
With a strapline which essentially covers the whole ethos of this book, 'A Jurassic Park for the Lost generation' you certainly know what to expect. And you get it - in hordes of man-eaters, swarms of ditto and, frankly, with more than half an eye on the blockbuster film, a gripping yet not unexpected grand finale and a meeting of minds/bodies for our two hero characters.

It is formulaic, hence my four stars but it is very well written and the author seems to well understand how to create a scientific explanation for his creatures. Whether it works so well when villains (a villain, really) and terrorist threats loom into the picture it a moot point.

But if you like gore and action and gore and beasts and gore and...well, you catch the mood of most of the book, this one should be right up your jungle trail.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fragment: A whole new world undone 5 Jan 2012
Format:Paperback
Fragment: A whole new world

My first book in 2012, and it is going to be very hard to beat! I just could not put it down, and even if the rare fight scenes were a little bloody (but they had to be, for the point to be communicated) the story was simply breathtaking, and mind-boggling.

An intelligent and coherent narrative, with a wide cast of characters, but which never get derided and whose weaknesses are never presented gratuitously.

Some deeply researched science that was instructive, and interesting, and all relevant to the core of the plot. It is definitely not trite or superficial, but the writing tells the science in a fun and easy-to-grasp manner, all the while being very serious stuff.

Comic scenes, followed by action, and more action, and then lots of thinking about what is happening...

"Jurassic Park" was just the beginning. "Dust" was another milestone. This is another eye-opener, and it opens many cans of worms. Just don't look at them.

I don't really want to say too much about the story, as it simply needs to be read. It is proper science-fiction: not the space kind of stuff, but the real earth-grounded matter that asks the questions and proposes some frighteningly plausible answers.

The action never overflowed into Alien-monster stuff, but remained within a terrifying but coherent scientific context. The characters reacted with the whole scope of human ability, and there are no superheroes who dominate the scene or who are there as casual reminders that this is just a story. It is all perfectly credible, which makes it all the more thought-provoking.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars . 12 Jan 2011
By Shaw
Format:Paperback
Contrary to what most people here have said, I really enjoyed reading this book. It's not the best, conceptually, but it's flowingly written, there's a good mixture between serious and non-serious, the dialogue works well and the characters, though a little mundane and A-typical also worked well. It's full of great action when called upon but it doesn't overdo it. Honestly, such a fun read, I definately got into it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wow and double wow 2 May 2010
Format:Paperback
Picked up a copy of this book by shere chance when I had nothing else to read, couldn't put it down. I'm not going to write war and peace about this book it'll spoil the story. Do yourself a favour and get hold of a copy.
PS this would make a great film especially in the wake of Avatar, the special effects would be awesome.
PPS Enjoy
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback
This story begins well. It has a solid and fascinating premise - the discovery of a lost island with an ecosystem so invasive and advanced that it threatens all life on Earth. The characters are cliched cutouts, but the island itself is the real star, as the native ecosystem exhibits its bloody savagery, and the weird animals go on a killing spree.

It even manages to play around with some of the standard modern tropes - such as by having the environmentalist be the bad guy. But while it does manage to provide some interesting ethical arguments, they are presented clumsily, with no doubt as to which side the author is on. Still, twin threats of nuclear and ecological devastation successfully maintain tension until about two thirds of the way through, and I was enjoying it.

But then it is ruined, RUINED, by an absolutely STUPID ending. It veers off into a ridiculous and completely implausible tangent, which absolutely shatters any semblance of credibility. Suspension of disbelief was snapped completely, and I ended up rolling my eyes at the ridiculous implausibility of it all. There is only so much impossibility that a reader can be expected to accept, even in trashy sci-fi, and this ending goes much too far, and ends up being just stupid.

One of the worst endings to a book I have ever read. Such a shame, such a waste.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Fragmented 29 Sep 2009
By CJ TOP 1000 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I hate to re-iterate comments from other reviewers, but in this case it can't be helped. Starting with the books strapline `Jurassic Part for the Lost generation'. Well, there are no dinosaurs and OK, it does take place on an island, but I'm struggling for many more Lost comparisons.

Based on the strapline, the publishers are presumably inviting comparisons with Michael Crichton. The trouble is, Crichton knew how to pace a story and lace it liberally with suspense. These are things Warren Fahy still has to work on.

The idea is that an island, completely isolated in the middle of the ocean, houses species of creature which have evolved in a very different direction to most other life on Earth. They are almost all predatory and vicious in nature. Which means early human contact with these native animals is rather messy.

It's a great idea and there are passages of the book where it works pretty well, but the pacing is all over the place. After a good start, Fahy then wanders off into a lengthy `essay' on the science of evolution and natural selection. This kills off all of the early intrigue, but the book does recover somewhat....then he does it again, on more than one other occasion! Any lengthy explanation of such things through dialogue always seems very clunky, and it's done too much in this novel.

The predators on the island are described in great detail and are uniformly fearsome creatures. For quite some time I was wondering what the eventual outcome was going to be as the island's residents clearly had the upper hand against man, until an extremely convenient event crops up and things lurch off in an admittedly unexpected direction and ended up with a sickly sweet ending. Granted, I didn't see it coming but it was quite disappointing.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Thought provoking, imaginative.
Although proposed from a left over of a previous era of earth's history, This story is frightening in its implications in it's genetic implications for the future' As Wm Fehy says... Read more
Published 10 months ago by Marion Athorne
5.0 out of 5 stars Thoroughly Enjoyable
This was my first Warren Fahy book and I'm please to say it certainly won't be my last.
I wasn't too sure what to expect and maybe a little at times the science was a bit over... Read more
Published 12 months ago by M. Marchant
1.0 out of 5 stars Jurassic Park for the haven't read Jurassic Park Generation....
OK, there's fun to be had here...initially, how can you not have fun with monsters? An undiscovered island filled with beasts so feral it's a wonder they hadn't already wiped... Read more
Published 21 months ago by Macready
5.0 out of 5 stars A Debut To Write Home About
Just wanted to say , contrary to a lot of poor reviews on here, well done Mr Fahy on a rip-roaring read. Read more
Published on 31 Aug 2010 by G. Ferris
2.0 out of 5 stars Uninspiring
As its tagline suggests this book may as well be a complete rip off of Jurassic park and Lost. With man eating monsters chasing the poor reality tv stars all over the island. Read more
Published on 26 Aug 2010 by Smallvillenews
5.0 out of 5 stars Live fast, or die!
I bought this book under recommendation of my friend Chris, who knows a good story when he reads it, and can also recognise something I'd like from a distance of 50 yards. Read more
Published on 18 Jun 2010 by Beedo Sookcool
3.0 out of 5 stars Topsy turvey sort of read
Reading at the start of this book is like being on a smooth car journey, when suddenly someone hits the brakes hard and slows to a crawl. Read more
Published on 26 May 2010 by Big D
4.0 out of 5 stars Savour the good bits and ignore the bad bits.
Other reviewers have pointed out the book's failings as literature, the writing isn't sophisticated and the ending is twee ... Read more
Published on 3 April 2010 by KJ44
2.0 out of 5 stars An imaginative world in an otherwise unimaginative novel
The premise itself is not especially original: far out in the south Pacific, an island is discovered that harbors strange and unique forms of life. Read more
Published on 10 Mar 2010 by Mark Klobas
2.0 out of 5 stars jurassic park for the discovery channel generation
the title of this review would be a much better tag line for this novel in my opinion. when i bought this book, i was expecting non stop violence and gore as the members of the... Read more
Published on 14 Feb 2010 by andrew from llangollen
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