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Long for This World by Michael Byers

Long for This World (original 2003; edition 2004)

by Michael Byers

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124397,109 (3.75)4
Title:Long for This World
Authors:Michael Byers
Info:Granta Books (2004), Hardcover, 448 pages
Collections:Your library

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Long for This World: A Novel by Michael Byers (2003)



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A sweet book about life and death, mortality and immortality. The main character is a research physician studying accellerated aging, who happens upon a child who has the gene but is not aging. ( )
  Phyllis.Mann | Jul 13, 2015 |
One of my favorites. A doctor struggles with a patient, and his reaseach, while dealing with family issues. ( )
  karenzukor | Jul 16, 2010 |
Set in Seattle at the peak of the dot-com boom, it's a time and place where greed repulses & tempts the nice, decent middle-class family at the heart of the story: middle-aged parents with a teenaged son & daughter. The 17-year-old daughter, a 6'1" basketball player & straight-A student, and the 14-year-old son are trying to find their place in the world, experimenting at low level, in age-appropriate ways, with sex--and talking to their parents, in mutually respectful but cautious & not fully open ways. The mother, a native Austrian, is frustrated with a sense of lack of accomplishment in her work as a hospital administrator, takes up running, & otherwise, like her kids, tries to define or redefine herself. But the plot line that most drives the narrative involves the work of the father, a geneticist who specializes in research on a rare disease that causes children to age rapidly & die by their mid-teens. He stumbles across a potential cure--one that may even have the potential to slow or halt the aging process in normal humans. He faces a series of ethical dilemmas, but the author keeps them relatively low-key & they never displace the domestic relationships. If that sometimes means the story moves slowly, it also makes for a refreshingly honest portrait of a decent, talented, professional family, presenting life from the perspective of each member of the family. ( )
  mbergman | Nov 9, 2007 |
Showing 3 of 3
A long book (432 large pages) written by the son of a research geneticist, living in Seattle. The plots involve a disease that brings rapid senility to children, who will not survive beyond their teens; the ethics of the proper procedure following research discoveries; property dealings in Seattle; and problems of US adolescents. As a matronly English lay reader, I found the medical jargon and company dealings baffling, as well as the teenagers' idioms. The most interesting of the story-lines tails off, not properly resolved, and the solution to the mystery proposed is never given.
added by KayCliff | editNew Books, Hazel K. Bell (May 31, 2014)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0618446486, Paperback)

A wise and richly symphonic first novel, Long for This World is a thoroughly contemporary family drama that hinges on a riveting medical dilemma. Dr. Henry Moss is a dedicated geneticist who stumbles upon a possible cure for a disease that causes rapid aging and early death in children. Although his discovery may hold the key to eternal youth, exploiting it is an ethical minefield. Henry must make a painful choice: he can save the life of a critically ill boy he has grown to love — at the cost of his career — or he can sell his findings for a fortune to match the wealth of his dot-com-rich Seattle neighbors. Henry turns to his family for support, and in their intimately detailed lives unfolds a story of unforgettable characters grappling with their own demons.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:09:10 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

"Dr. Henry Moss has long sought a cure for a congenital disease in children, called Hickman, that drastically ages their young bodies and results in very early death. A thoughtful and empathetic man, Henry wants only to give his heartbreaking patients some small share of the bounteous American future. To his amazement, he stumbles upon a key to the elusive cure. A family consults him about their three-year-old son, Giles, who is clearly stricken with Hickman. Giles's teenage brother also tests positive for the disease - but he displays no symptoms. In fact, all the aging mechanisms in his body seem to have halted. The discovery is a potential goldmine - if Henry can bring himself to exploit it. But it is also an ethical minefield." "To Henry, instant wealth is a powerful temptation. All around him in dot-com Seattle his neighbors luxuriate in easy comfort while his own family's longings go unfulfilled. His wife, Ilse, trained as a doctor in her native Vienna, languishes in a dead-end job. Their two teenage children dwell among their own yearnings. Sandra is a gifted basketball player who is in love with her sport but also with the wrong boy. Darren, at fourteen, drifts haplessly into adolescence. Henry would do anything for them, but in this case the personal price may be too high."--BOOK JACKET.… (more)

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