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Wicker Paperback – 17 Aug 2006

4.8 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 608 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin; New edition edition (17 Aug. 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0141021926
  • ISBN-13: 978-0141021928
  • Product Dimensions: 11.2 x 3.9 x 18.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,852,606 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

About the Author

Kevin Guilfoile lives in Chicago with his wife and son. Wicker is his first novel.

Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

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I finished this book last night in the small hours after being unable to put it down, this is particularly odd as I didn't think much of the first half and was considering abandoning it. The idea of the vengeful doctor using the DNA of his daughters murderer (which he conveniently and accidentally received from the police with her personal effects) to clone the killer was both mental and brilliant. However, the book seemed to meander around the point for quite a while without very much pace or progression until the part with the video game began which was even more original and weird than the main premise of the novel. It is quite silly and melodramatic in places but also quite depressing. The ending is pretty good and I kept thinking about it for a while afterwards as it was quite sad and quite surprising and I'm glad I continued reading. For something that was on the surface a pretty easy read and a bit daft it actually posed some pretty good moral questions by the end.
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Format: Paperback
The premise: A Doctor, specialising in cloning as an alternative to adoption and fertiltiy treatment, receives the DNA of his daughter's rapist and murderer. The authorities have thus far been able to produce any viable suspects, so with the perpetrators DNA to hand, the Doctor opts to clone his daughters killer thus surveying the child from birth through adolesence.

This was a fantastic read, and although somewhat in the realm of science fiction, the cloning practices are completely medically plausible today but for international red tape on moral and ethical grounds.

As an avid reader, this book has remained memorable over a month after I completed it. Guilfoile is a talented and innovative writer, deserving of a vast readership.
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Format: Paperback
Every once in a while I come across a book like this and thank the stars I bought it. Put quite simply, it's one of the best reads I've had since "Bad Monkeys".

And to think the first time I picked it up in my local bookstores basement I put it down...

The premise is one I wish I'd thought up myself and the writing style and prose is the kind that draws you in so that you have to turn the pages. (I read it two sittings). The concept is sci-fi but if that puts you off don't worry - it is our modern world the events are set in.

So do yourself a favour and read the few pages. Then get it.
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Format: Paperback
i loved this book i couldn't put it down it was amzing it takes you on a complete rollercoaster of emotionas throughout the book, its a never resting in the story line, and there is always something going at some point. An amazing read. highly recommended, easily one of the best books i have read.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.0 out of 5 stars 2 reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Solid Cloning Thriller (also published as Cast of Shadows) 4 Oct. 2005
By Craig Clarke - Published on
Format: Hardcover
When his teenage daughter is killed, and no one is arrested for the crime, Dr. Davis Moore does the unthinkable: he clones the unidentified murderer from the genetic evidence and has the child adopted by an unsuspecting couple, the Finns, who name him Justin. With his partner as Justin's pediatrician, Moore is able to follow the child's development, hoping to eventually identify the killer through their similarities. But that's not as easy as it sounds.

Modern thrillers appear to be getting more and more sophisticated. Following the success of The Da Vinci Code (with its focus on religion, art, history, and puzzle solving), the average readers of bestsellers are no longer satisfied with the basic running-against-time plot. Now a book must exercise their "little grey cells" and purport to educate them in addition to raising their heart rate. (If only they would read something besides other Dan Brown novels.)

Kevin Guilfoile's debut novel, Wicker does just that. In addition to the suspense and tension created by the various scenarios (all interconnected, but often with conflicting motivations), there is a medical and philosophical thread that even the most jaded reader will find fascinating (and here, I guess, is where I'm supposed to say that the story is "ripped from today's headlines!!!").

But the science isn't overwhelming. Just enough information is given to keep things interesting and clear. And that's only the beginning -- the meat of Wicker concerns eighteen years of aftermath. Which brings Guilfoile's skill at characterization to the fore. In following characters over major spans of their lifetimes, the author cannot merely draw ciphers that only exist to further the plot: he must construct whole personalities that develop along with the different stages of life, and he must keep up with their possible choices (and those consequences) along the way.

Fittingly, the most fully developed character is the one for whom Wicker encompasses his life from before its beginning: Justin Finn, Boy Clone. Showing his development (physical, mental, emotional) throughout his childhood could have been no easy task (although making him precocious does take away the need to present truly childlike thoughts), but Guilfoile pulls it off with confidence, making Justin even more fascinating than the "villain" (and I always have a soft spot for those guys).

Watching Justin's thoughts advance so quickly that he even becomes aware of how he should behave at a given age -- and wondering which side the author is going to take on the nature/nurture debate -- was really what kept me enthralled throughout Wicker; I didn't really care all that much about the parents and doctors, though their actions were mostly responsible for the plot advancement. Even Guilfoile doesn't seem to care as much about them as he does the others. For example, the tragedies that befall Moore are not given nearly enough weight for their importance. We're told that he is distraught, but, other than the cloning itself, I never saw any evidence of this from Moore himself. Even when the second death occurs -- which, cumulatively, would have broken any average man -- Moore just goes on like always.

That said, there is a lot to recommend Wicker, not the least of which is his depiction of a video game called Shadow World, that sound utterly addictive. And his clever method of having characters swear without populating the book with gratuitous oaths. However, in trying to find the morally and philosophically "correct" ending, Guilfoile comes up with one that is overcomplicated and less satisfying than the rest of the book deserves. But, just like a terrific meal topped off by a mediocre dessert, it's still an event to remember and discuss long after the experience has ended.
4.0 out of 5 stars Very readable 13 Aug. 2012
By BarryR - Published on
Format: Hardcover
This is a very readable book. The basic idea is very clever, use a clone to trap a killer. The interaction of a large cast is handled well. There is, for me, one problem though. A large part of the book takes place in a computer model of the real world called, Shadow World. There is a killer in this imitation world. There should be, but doesn't seem to be, an investigation of who it is as part of the game. Since the killer parallels a real world one, I can't understand why the gamemasters or webmasters don't reveal the identity of the killer.
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