Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Intuition: Animal lovers, stay away...

IntuitionIntuition by Allegra Goodman

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I would give the first half of this book 4 stars, and the last half 2 stars, averaging to 3 stars.

In the beginning, I found the story compelling and the plot interesting. It is not for the fainthearted, though, or for animal lovers. I am no lover of rodents, but even I had difficulties reading about the experiments on the tiny mice that were given cancer and other ailments and then "sacrificed" at the end. (I do believe that animal research is necessary for scientific advances, but I had never read such intricate details about such research before.)

Many of the characters were interesting, but others seemed superfluous. Goodman was compared (on my copy of the book) to Jane Austen. Another reviewer compared this book, not in a flattering way, to Chris Bohjalian and Jodi Picoult (who in fact I enjoy a great deal!).

Goodman is no doubt a talented writer, and she knows her way around a story. But where the distinctions with Austen, Bohjalian, and Picoult fall apart is her ability to continue to engage the reader and bring the story home. The conclusion of the book seemed to drag on and on and the point where I found myself scanning the pages to get to the end.

That was a disappointing way to end what I felt at the beginning was going to be a highly satisfactory novel.

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