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The experiment
John Darnton
Adult Fiction DARNTON

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From Publishers' Weekly:

The author of Neanderthal returns with a second science-drenched thriller that's as au courant as you'd expect from a veteran New York Times man (Darnton is that paper's cultural news editor). The novel is timely because it concerns human cloning; unfortunately, its plot is every bit as contrived as that scientific sleight of hand. Initially, the narrative follows two young men separately: Skyler lives on an isolated island off Georgia, on an estate called the Lab, where he has been raised according to strict dictates (enforced by hulking Orderlies) along with other boys and girls. Occasionally, a kid is taken away for medical work, or turns up dead. Now Skyler finds his girlfriend, Julia, eviscerated in the Lab's operating room, and escapes the island. At the same time, Jude Harley, a Manhattan tabloid reporter, is assigned a piece on identical twins. His main interview subjectÄand future bedmateÄis twin-researcher Tizzie Tierney. Down South, meanwhile, Skyler sees a photo of Jude, and tracks him down. Legwork and labwork point to Skyler being Jude's clone; Julia, it seems, was Tizzie's clone. But how, and why? Jude, Skyler and Tizzie undertake a cross-country hunt for clues, all the while hunted in turn not only by the Orderlies but by a renegade FBI faction involved in the grand conspiracy behind all the fuss. Darnton is a prize-winning reporter (including a Pulitzer), and that expertise shows in his careful employment of scientific detail about twins and cloning. His novelist's skills are less honed. The story is driven not by character, but by plot, which has a strung-out feel, featuring one chase or killing or crisis after another. Darnton's prose is impeccable but flat, while the book's climax, involving a mad doctor, is howlingly melodramatic. This novel may reflect today's news, but Ira Levin wrote a much snappier cloning thriller, The Boys from Brazil, more than 20 years ago. (Aug.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

From Library Journal:

One way to achieve longer life might be to clone people who could provide body parts when yours wear out; clandestine research might reveal better but equally diabolical ways to extend life for those willing to pay large sums. When reporter Jude Harley discovers his apparent twin, a man raised in a mysterious island colony, he joins forces with a beautiful expert on twins, and the three uncover a genetic engineering plot of monstrous proportions, extending into the government and backward into their own childhoods as part of a secret project deep in an Arizona cavern. Following his first novel, Neanderthal, bought by Steven Spielberg for seven figures, New York Times editor Darnton again combines cutting-edge science with fast-paced suspense. Skillfully popularizing medical dilemmas while juggling a variety of characters and plot lines, he makes a lurid tale seem almost possible, certainly unsettling, and probably filmable. For all public libraries. [Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 5/1/99.]ÄRoland C. Person, Southern Illinois Univ. Lib., Carbondale (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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main characters Skyler
Genetically identical to Jude.

Jude Harley
Age: 30

Elizabeth "Tizzie" Tierney, Dr.
Jude's girlfriend.

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