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The Silk Code (Phil D'Amato series Book 1) [Kindle Edition]

Paul Levinson
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Phil D'Amato, an NYC forensic detective (also featured in several of Levinson's popular short stories and two subsequent novels), is caught in an ongoing struggle that dates all the way back to the dawn of humanity on Earth--and one of his best friends is a recent casualty. Unless Phil can unravel the genetic puzzle of the Silk Code, he'll soon be just as dead.

Winner Locus Award for Best First Science Fiction novel of 1999.

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Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 702 KB
  • Print Length: 320 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: JoSara MeDia; 2 edition (23 Aug. 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0091W43JW
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
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  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #648,600 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Paul Levinson, PhD, is Professor of Communication & Media Studies at Fordham University in New York City. His eight nonfiction books, including The Soft Edge (1997), Digital McLuhan (1999), Realspace (2003), Cellphone (2004), and New New Media (1999, 2nd edition 2012) have been the subject of major articles in the New York Times, Wired, the Financial Times, and have been translated into ten languages. His science fiction novels include The Silk Code (1999, winner of the Locus Award for Best First Novel, author's cut Kindle published 2012), Borrowed Tides (2001), The Consciousness Plague (2002, 2013), The Pixel Eye (2003), The Plot To Save Socrates (2006, 2012), and Unburning Alexandria (2013). His short stories have been nominated for Nebula, Hugo, Edgar, and Sturgeon Awards. Paul Levinson appears on MSNBC, Fox News, BBC Radio, and numerous national and international TV and radio programs. His 1972 LP, Twice Upon a Rhyme, was re-issued on re-mastered vinyl by Whiplash Records in the UK in 2010. Levinson reviews the best of television in his blog, and was listed in The Chronicle of Higher Education's "Top 10 Academic Twitterers" in 2009.

Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars
4.0 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting, clever, but not too literary. 30 Jan. 2015
By Sheena
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
There are aspects to this book that are very cleverly conceived, and the story is innovative. However, in common with many books published to Kindle, it reads more like a first draft. If only the author had got someone impartial to read it and give constructive criticism, then acted on it, or if he had carefully reviewed each aspect of it himself, it might have been a very good book indeed.
There are many original ideas here which could have done with a bit more elaboration. In particular I found the relationship between the Singers and the female guide puzzling. Also the implications of the genetic issues could have been explained more clearly, as I didn't understand altogether the relationship between the Singers and the Amish. I found myself occasionally thinking "Who is this?" when a character came on the scene too, which is very unusual for me, as I read a lot. Maybe there are too many fleeting characters, or they are not too well defined.
Nevertheless, it is really difficult to find original ideas in science fiction, and it is a book to make the reader think, which is my personal preference. For a first attempt it is not bad at all, so I am looking forward to the next one in the series.
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5.0 out of 5 stars LARGE ideas, excellent first novel 15 Nov. 2006
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Paul Levinson mixes LARGE ideas, from Amish scientists manipulating genetics the old fashioned way, to immortality and worldwide encoded plagues and immunities. The novel focuses for the most part on Detective Phil D'Amato, who is trying to determine why seemingly healthy people, including some Neanderthal-esque folks, are keeling over to violent allergic deaths.

There is a detour that takes us back in time to Neanderthal's, the Silk Road and some further clues. This break in the narrative threw me at first, leading me to see this first part as one short story and this as a second. But the last half of the novel moves quickly and pulls all of the ideas together nicely, while leaving events open for a follow-on story (I haven't yet read the rest of Paul's books, don't spoil it for me!).

Excellent hard-core sci-fi, especially in describing the Amish scientists doing in-depth gentics without lab equipment. The lanterns are especially cool.

Skipping ahead to read Paul's "The Plot to Save Socrates", then back to the other Detective D'Amato books.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Promises more than it delivers 22 April 2001
This book has a fairly intriguing start and some interesting premises develop but, somehow, by the end it has contrived to be less than the sum of its parts. I found the 'historical' chapter rather lost its way. Overall there did not seem an adequate explanation of the possibilities inherent in the overriding theme of the book.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 3.2 out of 5 stars  44 reviews
27 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is a cool book. 15 Dec. 1999
By Kate Savage - Published on
I found The Silk Code to be wonderful. I had just finished reading Patricia Cornwell's "Black Notice" and had been disappointed. A pinch of enthusiasm is worth a pound of technique. This was a real treat and had exactly what I had been looking for. It blends mystery and science fiction perfectly. One of the most pleasant aspects of the book was that it clear the author was excited to be writing it and that excitement really shines through. The plot was well thought out, creative and unique. I found the characters to be very believable. I never had any interest in the Neanderthals before, but found myself intrigued enough to watch a Discovery Channel special on them. I always have shelf space for books that expand my interests. The fact that people either love or hate it speaks to its originality. I hope that there will be sequel or at least more offerings from Dr. Levinson.
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Delightful diversion from new science fiction novelist 20 Jan. 2002
By Jennifer Juday - Published on
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I am always delighted to find a new science fiction author. There are simply not enough of them being published these days to suit me. I found "The Silk Code" in an airport bookstore, where the science fiction pickings were very slim, and was delightfully surprised. This one came with recommendations from Stanley Schmidt and Connie Willis, so I had to give it a try.
Levinson is still new at writing novels, and it occasionally shows. I sometimes wanted a section to move faster, and occasionally felt that the dialog dragged a bit. Overall, it was was too interesting to put down. The annoyance of an extra-long morning in the airport and an aching back disappeared by the end of Part One, and it kept me engrossed until the very end.
"The Silk Code" is is a solid first novel, and I very much hope to see more from Paul Levinson.
18 of 21 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Nice premise, painful writing 14 Dec. 2001
By Bob Carpenter - Published on
Format:Mass Market Paperback
The premise of Paul Levinson's "The Silk Code", subcultures exploiting low tech but high science genetics through the ages, provides more than enough interesting material around which to tell just about any kind of story. But, like so many other first-time science fiction novelists, Levinson writes in first person and never shows you something when the main character can think it instead. Sometimes even that's too much: "A soft, pervasive light engaged us as we walked inside---keener than flourescent, more diffuse than incandescent, a cross between sepiatone and starlight maybe, but impossible to describe with any real precision if you hadn't actually seen it, felt its photons slide through your pupils like pieces of a breeze." (p. 35, paperback). Levinson seems to take the "science" part of "science-fiction" a little too literally. The dialog isn't any better, and is often indistinguishable from a character thinking to himself: " 'Ah, we come full circle--this is where I came in. Alas, we unfortunately are not the only people on this earth who understand more of the power of nature than is admitted by your technological world. You have plastics used for good. You also have plastics used for evil---you have semtex, which blew up your airplane over Scotland.' " (p. 38)
Levinson spends far too many paragraphs with the main characters simply wondering what'll happen next, summarizing what's already happened, and stating the obvious. Read the sample from Amazon, it might be all you can stand.
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Compelling Mystery 26 Jan. 2000
By Sherry Briggs - Published on
In The Silk Code, Paul Levinson has crafted a mystery that reaches back to the dawn of humanity for answers to an intriguing mystery. Investigation of sudden death brings anomolies to light, and it's up to Phil D'Amato to find the facts as he reaches into unexpected areas and finds startling answers. One of the things I enjoyed most was spending time with a variety of people who were both interesting and delightful. As a history buff, I appreciated Levinson's invitation to speculate about events in our earliest prehistory. Good read, generous spirit. Enjoy!
14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars fascinating and exciting 2 Dec. 1999
By A Customer - Published on
This book uncovered a world I never knew existed -- I grew up in Pennsylvania, and saw the Amish, but I never imagined the possibility that they could do some of things they do in this book. I also loved the part about the ancient world -- it becomes real to you. My grandfather used to talk about how much he loved science fiction. I bet he had stories like this in mind.
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