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Vitals by Greg Bear


by Greg Bear

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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688820,134 (3.2)3
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» See also 3 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 8 (next | show all)
Vitals sets itself up as a novel about a scientist researching how to extend life through the use of certain bacteria, which is an interesting enough premise. Unfortunately, the book turned out to be a complete and utter mess, disappointing in so many ways. Hal Cousins is a scientist who seeks the favor of the super wealthy to fund his projects but things go haywire after his twin brother is murdered and his life begins to crumble around him. Ultimately the story becomes about this ancient scientist who was around in pre World War 2 Soviet Union and discovered bacteria that can mysteriously brainwash people and put them under his control. At least that’s what I think it was about, since it was so all over the place that I’m not even sure.

This novel is so utterly convoluted and hard to follow. It was almost as if the author was intentionally trying to confuse the reader, and after a while it caused me to lose interest. There is absolutely not a shred of believability to the novel. The premise is neat but the mechanics of the plot is groan inducing. The characterization in the novel is weak. There were loose plot points that were never resolved. It was solid for about the first quarter of the book before it became dreadful to read. I kept holding out hope that this novel would right itself and get better but that never came to fruition, and toward the end I just wanted it to be over. This was the first and last book by Greg Bear that I will read.

Carl Alves - author of Reconquest: Mother Earth ( )
  Carl_Alves | Jan 24, 2017 |
Good story with some interesting concepts. ( )
  gregandlarry | Oct 29, 2011 |
Good read, but kind of a downer. Inconclusive ending begs for a sequel.
  rondoctor | Nov 3, 2010 |
I've been a fan of Bear for a while, but Quantico failed to engage me, and unfortunately Vitals left me cold about half way through. It's a conspiracy theory based around a scientist's search for immortality, as a result of modifying bacteria in the body. It starts early, with shock after shock, building credibility with Bear's usual factual and informed approach to fiction. However, midway the story starts to rotate the central character, and although this is a vehicle to accelerate the plot and offer anther angle, it created a disjointed approach. As the end approached I had lost interest in the actual characters, although I was still intrigued enough regards the actual story to continue until the finale. ( )
  SonicQuack | Apr 15, 2009 |
Showing 1-5 of 8 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (4 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Greg Bearprimary authorall editionscalculated
Greco,TonyCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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My mitochondria compose a very large proportion of me. I cannot do the calculation, but I suppose there is almost as much of them in sheer dry bulk as there is the rest of me. Looked at in this way, I could be taken for a large, motile colony of bacteria, operating as a complex system of nuclei, micro-tubules, and neurons, for the pleasure and sustenance of their families, and running, at the moment, a typewriter.
--Lewis Thomas, "Organelles as Organism," 1974
We love Comrade Stalin more than Mommy and Daddy. May Comrade Stalin live to be one hundred! Now, two hundred! No, three hundred!
--Song sung by Soviet children, early 1950s.
Poul Anderson (For Poul Anderson, my friend, who long ago decided not to)
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The last time I talked to Rob, I was checking my luggage at Lindbergh Field to fly to Seattle and meet with an angel.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0345423348, Mass Market Paperback)

Reading Vitals, Greg Bear's dark, suspenseful, paranoid thriller of high-tech bioterrorism, would be terrifying even without real-world anthrax attacks. But the news stories of late 2001 add layers of resonance to the book.

You'd think the secret of eternal life would be an eagerly awaited boon to humanity. Yet when cutting-edge researcher Hal Cousins travels deep below the ocean's surface in a two-man submersible, seeking primitive lifeforms that may hold the key to immortality, his pilot attacks him. Barely surviving, Hal maneuvers the sub to the surface--and finds a fellow scientist has shot up his research ship. Then his lab is destroyed, his twin brother leaves a mysterious message saying they're both being pursued by an unknown force, and his sister-in-law calls to tell him his twin, who is also researching life extension, has been murdered. Someone or something has already discovered the secret of eternal life. It has immense power and influence, and it will stop at nothing to protect its secret. --Cynthia Ward

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:08:10 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

After a terrifying attempt on his life, scientist Hal Cousins finds himself trapped inside an ever-twisting maze of shocking revelations. He is not the first person to come close to uncovering the key to immortality, and those who came before him will stop at nothing to keep the secret to themselves.… (more)

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