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3.4 out of 5 stars
Doctor Who: Turing Test
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 18 December 2000
I've never been a fan of Paul Leonard, finding his previous books too depressing and confusing for my taste. Well, this is also depressing and confusing, but I loved it! I read the whole thing in one sitting because I couldn't put it down.
The quality of the writing here is just superb. But it might not be to everybody's taste. If you want a simple, traditional Dr. Who story you will be disappointed.
I would give this five stars, but for the fact that I personally prefer comedy to tragedy, and because I thought the character biographies at the end spoiled the sense of mystery. Oh, and when are these books going to get decent covers?
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 30 October 2003
I've always been a fan of the Doctor Who series. Lately more from a nostalgic point-of-view, because - face it - the series is mostly a bit childish. It is some of the novels that have sparked my interest again in Doctor Who. Yes, there are too many books and too many poor books. But there are some great ones and as far as Doctor Who novels go, you won't find many better novels than "The Turing Test".
The story is told from three different points-of-view: Turing, Greene and Heller. They're constantly questioning their loyalty, humanity, beliefs (and sanity). The Doctor is kept mysterious all along the way, as it should be.
This novel is about good & bad, trust & deceit. It is a mature novel, with stylish writing and good plotting.
"The Turing Test" doesn't make for a novel with a lot of action, but if you're looking for an intelligent, introspective story, this is the one you want to read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 28 September 2000
Paul Leonard returns to the world of the Eighth Doctor in "The Turing Test" and finds himself halfway through the Doctor's lost memory cycle. This is probably the best one of this run so far.
Leonard has made an interesting choice to have the book told from the perspective of three of the figures within the story. The fact that these are 3 famous real life figures enables the reader to learn about these individuals background as well. The approach works well, as Leonard manages to alter the tone of each of his narrators sufficiently so that it is obvious which one is narrating and they have individual voices.
The story is a little fragmented, because of the way that the narration parts are set out, but ultimately it works superbly. Each of the books narrators takes off where the other finished and fills in subsequent details. The most important point to the narration is that it gives the reader three different perspectives on the Doctor. The Doctor is currently almost unrecognisable from his regular self, having lost his memory, and as the Doctor said himself, a man is the sum of his memories - a Time Lord even more so. The fact of this, coupled with the three perspectives on him, mean that the Doctor of "The Turing Test" seems more alien than ever before.
The quality of Paul Leonard's writing is excellent, as always, and this ensures that the reader is drawn into the story completely. After reading the first twenty pages or so, I found it almost impossible to put it down.
This is certainly the best of the current arc series, and with excellent and interesting writing, and a good plot, "The Turing Test" is probably one of the best Doctor Who books for quite some time.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 5 August 2003
I found the first half of this book, written by Leonard in the first person as Turing, gripping. The characterisation of the Doctor is lovely, particularly when he's clambering over griffin statues. Unfortunately, the author decides to switch narrator half way through and I found this really jarring, and disappointing, as I thought Turing was a fascinating character. I would have given this a five star rating but for this.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 12 January 2001
For once we get an 8th Doctor novel with a literate writing style and an intriguing plot which relies upon narrative style and characterisation for its success rather than fan-boy continuity. Several leagues better than any of this author's previous efforts, this is an essential read if you follow the series, and a good place to start if you don't
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 9 October 2000
This is Leonard's best book in a while, and far better than Revolution Man. Never the less the excellent first third fails to substain interest towards the end and it tends to peter out a bit. Who stories set in either of the world wars are starting to get a bit samey. All that said, recommended but this is the weakest of the "Stranded on Earth" novels to date.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 22 November 2000
After having just read 'Ancestor Cell' and 'Casulties of War' I was really looking forward to 'The Turing Test'. I found this book to be quite confused in places and I often got very bored. This book just does not express itself clearly and the climax to the story is garbled and rushed. Only buy this to complete this story arc.
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1 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 23 August 2001
Terrible. One of the few books that I quit reading, rather than slogging through to the end. No element of the 'Doctor Who atmosphere', even for an eighth Doctor novel, dull prose, and horrendous characterisation - we seem to see Turing only as a homosexual rather than as a fully rounded human. Avoid.
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0 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 8 March 2001
If I had to rate this novel purely on characterisation, I'd have to give it 5 stars. If, on the other hand, I had to rate it purely on its story, I'd find myself 'awarding' it with a total of 1 star. The characters in a novel can be so realistic that they leap off the page at you in glorious 3D. But if those characters are in an unengaging story, then...
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