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Intuition [Paperback]

Allegra Goodman
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
Price: 7.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Book Description

1 Jan 2010
This title is longlisted for the Orange Prize for Fiction 2009. Now in promotable paperback, Allegra Goodman's brilliantly original bestseller "Intuition" is a maginficently dramatic character-driven novel, at once an intricate mystery and a rich human drama in the tradition of "The Corrections". A charismatic doctor and a rigorous scientist are co-directors of a cancer research lab. They demand nothing less than complete dedication and obedience from their young proteges. In this high-pressure setting, one young man's experiments begin to show exciting results. At first the entire lab is giddy with expectation. But his colleagues become suspicious, and soon an all-too-public controversy engulfs the lab and everyone in it..."Intuition" is a rich and compelling human drama about the quest for 'truth', that asks: who can you trust when you aren't even sure you can trust yourself?

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Product details

  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Atlantic Books (1 Jan 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1843548429
  • ISBN-13: 978-1843548423
  • Product Dimensions: 13.2 x 19.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 225,356 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


"'Wonderfully written and as compulsive as Grisham... A riveting novel' The Times 'A brilliant fictional account of what might drive a scientist to manipulate data - and why a colleague might expose his misconduct... Breathtaking.' Financial Times '[Goodman] examines her subjects with exquisite precision, recording their reactions with thrilling subtlety.' Observer 'Goodman's characters so live and breathe on the page that they could get up and make you a cup of coffee while you finish the next chapter. Intuition is a stunning achievement.' Economist 'A thriller and a page-turner... Brilliant.' Lionel Shriver, Guardian * Optioned by Tom Hanks' production company, Playtone"

About the Author

Allegra Goodman is the author of a number of novels and collections of short stories. Named by the New Yorker as one of the twenty best American writers under forty, she has won several awards, and was shortlisted for the US National Book Award for her novel Kaaterskill Falls. She lives with her family in Cambridge, Massachusetts. This is her first book to be published in the UK.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Too good to be true......." 14 May 2009
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
"Too good to be true...." is a theme that runs throughout this excellent book that opens up the [often] closed world of the scientific research, and of humanising the [often] complex and complicated impersonal pursuit of scientific truth. "Too good to be true", in the book, refers to the manipulation of results and interpretation of experimental data so that they support desired conclusions. BUT "Too good to be true..." can equally be applied to this excellent book in the topic, storytelling, atmosphere, characters, subjectivity v objectivity of research and inter-relationships of the various researchers, colleagues, families and friends. 'Intuition' is compelling fiction, is at once intricate mystery carefully and creditably interwoven with rich human drama. It has an absorbing scientific plot, but its real strength lies in the clever and convincing portrayal and dissection of human motives and characters.

'Intuition' is set in the closed world of a research institute in Boston in the 1980s. A brash publicity-seeking oncologist, an exacting scientist driven by love of her research, and an ambitious young postdoctoral fellow are among the characters that populate this outstanding novel.

"The Lab" is awaken from years of unrewarding research when Cliff - a post-doc - 'discovers' a genetically modified virus that he has prepared that is positive and active in attacking cancer cells. A research paper is quickly published, major grant applications obtained, and publicity and promotion of this astonishing breakthrough is presented to the world.

All the laboratory and the Institute are excited and overwhelmed by this discovery - except for Cliff's ex-girlfriend and fellow researcher Robin.
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22 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great read - recommended! 6 April 2006
I bought this after reading the glowing review in the Economist magazine. The book reads like a thriller, but with vivid, complex characterisation. The author has done her research and the detail on scientific processes and the professional culture seems spot on.

The book involves themes of personal motivation and fulfilment, the consequences and ambiguity of success and failure, and the hazy line where honesty turns into something else. I find I am pondering the issues and implications days after finishing it. I predict that when this gets a proper UK publication it will be a hit, and rightly so.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Thought-provoking lab life 7 Sep 2011
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is extremely well-written with an interesting mix of characters. You are spared no grisly detail of the lab experimentation with mice and it seems very realistically detailed from a scientific point of view. You can really only form your own opinions at the end because there isn't a particularly conclusive outcome but it's a good read if you're not too squeamish.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing 26 Jan 2010
A gripping, subtle and deeply sympathetic novel, that takes a potentially dry subject and makes it one of the most enthralling mysteries that I have ever read. It genuinely keeps you guessing until the end.........
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best book I have ever read! 4 July 2006
What a great read! Allegra Goodman opens up a whole new world to me here - the world of the dedicated scientists. She does this in a thriller-like way which makes this book absolutely impossible to put down. An amazing book, don't miss it!
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4.0 out of 5 stars The inquiry takes its toll 11 Feb 2011
By Eileen Shaw TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Not exactly a thriller but certainly a page-turner, this novel is set in the rarified air of a scientific research unit. You will learn all about the techniques of research and the use of laboratory mice, so if you're squeamish you might find yourself skipping pages. The Medelssohn-Glass lab is run by Sandy Glass, father of three daughters and a marvel at raising money and interest in the research, and Marion Mendelssohn, married to Jacob with one young son, a maths and chess prodigy. Where Sandy is the publicist and go-getter for the Laboratory, Marion is the pure scientist, the brain behind the scenes. When one of their post-doctorate scientists, Cliff, develops a strain of virus that appears to shrink tumours in mice, the resulting excitement is hard to contain.

Cliff has just broken up with his older girlfriend, Robin, when the news breaks, and when she confides her doubts in Cliff's success to Marion's husband, he encourages her to challenge Cliff. Is this a matter of professional or sexual jealousy on behalf of Robin? Or is it genuine belief that Cliff is capable of falsifying some of his findings?

It's a very talky book and we get quite a lot of information about the practice of research science, as well as the doings of Glass's three daughters. I enjoyed it for it's obvious intelligent discourse as well as the ins and outs of the ensuing media frenzy and various tribunals that settle the question of whether Cliff has cheated or not. It took a fair time to get to the denouement, but it was mostly entertaining along the way.
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Data manipulation is something that many scientists don't think that they would ever do, and have no wish to encounter. This makes it a thrilling subject for this novel, and the story is brought to life by real characters, and real experimental details.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Subtle and Compelling 20 July 2010
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
'Intuition' is a slow burning novel, that deals with the less-than-exciting subject of scientific rigour. Despite most of the novel taking place inside the rarefied atmosphere of a research laboratory, and its plot hinging around the accuracy of some unseen data, 'Intuition' is remarkably readable.

It begins with Cliff, a post doctoral student, being hauled before his supervisors to explain why he is persisting with an unsuccessful line of inquiry. Faced with the termination of his research program, Cliff is at rock bottom, years of work look to be for nought. When his experiments unexpectedly bear fruit, he becomes flavour of the month, attracting prestige and, more importantly, funds to his cash-strapped research team. Other lines of research are halted as the other workers are told to direct their attentions to Cliff's experiments. The results represent a major breakthrough in the fight against cancer, but are Cliff's findings too good to be true? Robin, Cliff's on and off girlfriend, finds herself with reason to think so, but when she questions the integrity of his work, finds herself to be the group's pariah.

'Intuition' asks serious questions about scientific integrity and the temptations to misrepresent data, when in a highly competitive environment. Anybody who has ever worked in a post-graduate laboratory will recognise 'Intuition's' characters, and the political manoeuvrings that go on within an academic department. Goodman's characters are well drawn and flawed, making 'Intuition' credible read. Has Cliff deliberately forged his results to get ahead, or is Robin embittered by his success and the failure of their relationship?
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars dreadfully dull
I can only suppose that the 5 star reviews were written by friends and family. The writing style is mature, although the characterisation sounds a little too much as if real... Read more
Published 13 months ago by Marcus
3.0 out of 5 stars Lacks warmth
'Intuition' is undeniably well- written and well-researched. What it isn't though is unputdownable! Far from it in fact, it is quite often slightly boring and however much... Read more
Published 23 months ago by H. Lacroix
5.0 out of 5 stars Involving novel spot-on in scientific details
Many, if not all, novels I've read about science fall into the trap of exaggeration - most typically the scientists themselves are deranged or the discoveries they (attempt to)... Read more
Published on 1 May 2011 by Maxine Clarke
5.0 out of 5 stars 'Science fiction' - a novel starring researchers
At last I have found a book that really gets inside the academic scientific research community and turns the politics and intrigue that accompany research - along with the often... Read more
Published on 15 Jun 2010 by BookWorm
2.0 out of 5 stars very dull :(
After seeing all the comments from reviewers at the various newspapers shown on the back of the book I thought I was in for a good read.
Sadly, this was not the case. Read more
Published on 6 Mar 2010 by amliag
2.0 out of 5 stars A largely academic exercise
Research scientists are working away in a well regarded lab. They are dedicated, and yet the endless drudgery of their experiments conflicts with the dreams that first provided... Read more
Published on 6 Oct 2008 by M. Harrison
5.0 out of 5 stars Conflicts in a research lab
As myself who has always been in a lab of less than four people at one time, this was a great read. The environment is familiar: confined lab spaces and jokes about repeatedly... Read more
Published on 18 Aug 2007 by Mr. I. J. Tsai
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