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Intuition Paperback – 1 Jan 2010

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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: 12.8 x 2.7 x 19.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 133,211 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

"'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

3.9 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Dr. J. Brooks on 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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Eileen Shaw TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 11 Feb. 2011
Format: Hardcover
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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Quicksilver TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 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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