Intuition

by Allegra Goodman | Women's Fiction |
ISBN: 0739471902 Global Overview for this book
Registered by wingbooklady331wing of Cape Coral, Florida USA on 12/8/2006
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3 journalers for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by wingbooklady331wing from Cape Coral, Florida USA on Friday, December 8, 2006
Pre-numbered label used for registration.

From Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. In another quiet but powerful novel from Goodman (Kaaterskill Falls), a struggling cancer lab at Boston's Philpott Institute becomes the stage for its researchers' personalities and passions, and for the slippery definitions of freedom and responsibility in grant-driven American science. When the once-discredited R-7 virus, the project of playboy postdoc Cliff, seems to reduce cancerous tumors in mice, lab director Sandy Glass insists on publishing the preliminary results immediately, against the advice of his more cautious codirector, Marion Mendelssohn. The research team sees a glorious future ahead, but Robin, Cliff's resentful ex-girlfriend and co-researcher, suspects that the findings are too good to be true and attempts to prove Cliff's results are in error. The resulting inquiry spins out of control. With subtle but uncanny effectiveness, Goodman illuminates the inner lives of each character, depicting events from one point of view until another section suddenly throws that perspective into doubt. The result is an episodically paced but extremely engaging novel that reflects the stops and starts of the scientific process, as well as its dependence on the complicated individuals who do the work. In the meantime, she draws tender but unflinching portraits of the characters' personal lives for a truly humanist novel from the supposedly antiseptic halls of science. (Feb. 28)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From The New Yorker
This intimate portrait of life in a research institute in Cambridge, Massachusetts, revolves around a scientific mystery: the groundbreaking, too-good-to-be-true discovery of a virus that fights cancer. Cliff, the rakish, headstrong post-doc responsible for the discovery, is on the verge of dismissal when his tumor-ridden mice exhibit stunning rates of remission; meanwhile, Cliff's co-worker and former girlfriend, spurred by personal and professional jealousy, begins to harbor suspicions about his lab work. The somewhat transparent plot is made compelling by the aesthetic delicacy of Goodman's writing—furless lab mice are "like quivering pink agar"—and by the care with which she sketches the social world of the lab. The omniscient narrative nimbly shifts perspective among a small number of complex characters, to produce a Rashomon-like inquiry into truth and motive.

Journal Entry 2 by wingbooklady331wing from Cape Coral, Florida USA on Friday, July 10, 2009
For One Word Title Released Challenge 2009

Journal Entry 3 by wingbooklady331wing from Cape Coral, Florida USA on Tuesday, July 14, 2009
A young scientist, searching for a virus-based cancer cure in an independent, Cambridge area research institute is being pressured to abandon his so far unfruitful work. Suddenly, sixty percent of his tumor-ridden experimental mice begin showing signs of remission from a modified virus labeled R-7. Has he discovered a cancer cure, or has he doctored his data in order to gain the glories of great scientific discovery?

Allegra Goodman begins with an earnest examination of life in the world of modern scientific research. Cliff's sudden breakthrough with R-7 rocks the institute and diverts the lab's full resources and attention to further investigation. All other projects are put on hold, much to the dislike of the eager-to-achieve Robin who also happens to have a somewhat on-again, off-again relationship with Cliff. Plans are made for public announcement, research papers, new NIH research grants until Robin begins having trouble replicating Cliff's results.

The first part of the book gives a behind-the-scenes look at an all-too-human group of scientists. They experience the same boredoms, frustrations, inside jokes and teasings, petty jealousies, administrative overload, and interpersonal conflicts that you could find in any corporate office or large institution. And then Robin takes her doubts public.

In the last section of the book, the author introduces the outside world. The media arrives looking not for the facts or the truth but simply a marketable story (instead of writing about Cliff, they settle on Feng as their human interest poster boy, their token immigrant struggling against all odds to achieve the American dream). Politicians arrive, represented by a pompous, thinly-disguised, anti-science neoconservative who hopes to use a case of reputed scientific fraud as an excuse to cut NIH's budget. Lawyers arrive, ready to trash people's personal lives to prove their cases. All are caricatures, satirical satellites revolving around the scientific firmament. Cliff seems increasingly shallow and single-minded, Robin appears naïve and whiny to the point of being unlikable, Sandy comes across as a money-grubbing opportunist who spouts idealistic phrases just for the way they sound, Marion crawls further into her shell, plagued by fears of personal inadequacy, and the politicians looking to control science and research.

With INTUITION, Allegra Goodman has crafted an entertaining and highly readable story that peeks behind the curtain at the day-to-day race for scientific breakthroughs. The next big discovery, the Nobel-winning result with its attendant fame and fortune, lies around the corner, just out of sight. In the meantime, even the best researchers have to deal with the trials and tribulations of everyday life and the constant fear of misdirected effort, wasted time, lost opportunity, not being first, or just not being good enough. In Ms. Goodman's literary realm, scientists are people, too. Their work is far less sterile, and far more prone to human failings and urges, than most of us imagine.

Journal Entry 4 by wingbooklady331wing at By Mail, A RABCK -- Controlled Releases on Thursday, August 13, 2009

Released 14 yrs ago (8/13/2009 UTC) at By Mail, A RABCK -- Controlled Releases

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Enjoy!

Journal Entry 5 by ciloma from Spirit Lake, Idaho USA on Monday, September 14, 2009
This one came in the mail today. THANX A BUNCH!!

Journal Entry 6 by ciloma at Spirit Lake, Idaho USA on Sunday, December 4, 2016
A nice look into the research realm. Easy to read and the story flowed easily for me. I did feel it was a bit weak towards the end, though.

Journal Entry 7 by ciloma at Spirit Lake, Idaho USA on Saturday, December 17, 2016

Released 7 yrs ago (12/17/2016 UTC) at Spirit Lake, Idaho USA

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On its way to ValPete

Journal Entry 8 by valpete at Walnut Creek, California USA on Tuesday, December 20, 2016
Thanks for your generosity! Although it took me six years to finally get around to reading it, I'm so glad I did. A wonderful glimpse into the research field!

Journal Entry 9 by valpete at Walnut Creek, California USA on Tuesday, October 5, 2021

Released 2 yrs ago (10/7/2021 UTC) at Walnut Creek, California USA

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Starting a small Book Ray.

Journal Entry 10 by valpete at Stanley Dollar Clubhouse in Walnut Creek, California USA on Wednesday, July 26, 2023

Released 8 mos ago (7/27/2023 UTC) at Stanley Dollar Clubhouse in Walnut Creek, California USA

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Sending this into the wild!

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