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The Honest Look Paperback – 19 Nov 2010

4.9 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 300 pages
  • Publisher: Cold Spring Harbor Press (19 Nov. 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1936113112
  • ISBN-13: 978-1936113118
  • Product Dimensions: 20.8 x 2 x 14 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 550,115 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Paperback
The cultural divide between the worlds of science and arts has stirred much debate since CP Snow diagnosed it in the 1950s. How much specialisation is good for society, and how much general knowledge from the sciences should extend to the other side of the divide? The idea has inspired several generations of science popularisers, but we rarely read about its effect on people who straddle both sides or are unsure which side they should be on.

The protagonist of "The Honest Look", Claire Cyrus (no relation of Miley I hope) is one of the straddlers. She has just completed a PhD in biology, but is more passionate about writing and reading poetry than about her science, which involves a monstrous proteomic analysis instrument, a machine with the size, complexity, and neediness of the Beckman model E ultracentrifuge from the 1960s (no, I'm not that old, but my PhD supervisor still used two of these in the 90s).

Adding to the culture shock is the fact that her first post-doctoral appointment, taking care of the first commercial specimen of that machine, is in a biotech start-up, where we have the corporate culture conflicting with her hitherto purely academic upbringing. A third cultural divide opens up as the company in question is based in the Netherlands, but most of the scientific staff members are Brits who migrated there with the scientific founders. Oh, and our heroine is bilingual, the child of a Spanish mother and British father.

Unlike Rohn's first lablit novel, "
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
It's rare to find a book that is both well-plotted and well-written, but Jennifer Rohn has pulled it off. Her use of language is imaginative and vivid, and you quickly get caught up in the lives of the characters. I enjoyed the unusual setting in a science laboratory, with a plot revolving around the pressures to come up with positive results. The story goes along at a good pace and retained my interest.
My only quibble is not with the book itself but with the Kindle version: from time to time (perhaps 3-4 times in the book) a line of text seemed to get lost in the page transition.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I absolutely loved this book. Like the first one I read, Experimental Heart, it was quite hard at the start, introducing you to the world of biology. I am a chemist so the biology is pretty new to me; the scientific description is amazing but not so much as to put you off. The real story starts after the ground has been built, and it is a whirlwind of deception, love and business strategy. Kept me guessing to the end as to what the outcome would be. I have learnt so much by reading the two books. I hope there are more to come.
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Format: Paperback
Very briefly...this is very readable, with a good romantic story which should carry most readers along. Like the author's earlier novel it is firmly routed in its lab setting, rewarding the reader with a scientific background without alienating the rest. No mean feat!
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