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Intuition by Allegra Goodman

Intuition (2006)

by Allegra Goodman

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Showing 1-5 of 45 (next | show all)
I loved this book which just fizzed with intelligence. I know very little about science, and the process by which research is carried out, and it was good to be educated by something as readable and well constructed as this novel. It is gently paced, to give plenty of personality time to all the main characters, and to make sure you can sympathise with all of them. I would definitely read more by this excellent author. ( )
  jayne_charles | Dec 27, 2016 |
I am glad that I decided to give Allegra Goodman a second try. Though I'm not sure she'll ever be a favorite, I really admire her ability to follow multiple povs while keeping the main trajectory of the story moving forward. I also like the way she really digs into the ethos and sensibility of a particular community - in this case, a science lab in Cambridge.

This may be the only novel I will ever read where mice are experimented on. That is usually a dealbreaker.

( )
  laurenbufferd | Nov 14, 2016 |
This is a fascinating read about the personalities and politics of a cancer research lab. A struggling postdoc suddenly starts to achieve startling results with his experiments, bringing some fame and kudos to his lab. But another postdoc, a soon-to-be-ex girlfriend, can't replicate his results, and she starts to wonder about the integrity of his processes. The story is told from numerous viewpoints, showing that truth is relative, not easily defined. Supposedly objective and unassailable hard data, the backbone of rigorous science, is only a tool in the hands of humans, who cannot help but be defined by their own subjective, shifting and wavering human emotions. Goodman has captured the intricate and complex dance of how humans interact and relate -- that was the real triumph of this book. ( )
  TheBookJunky | Apr 22, 2016 |
The story of a fictional cancer-research lab, this is a great picture of lab life but not a great book. I was terribly impressed with all the detail Goodman got right, and how well she captured the mindset and zeitgeist of lab work in this era, but the story itself is so lackluster, and the characters so un-enticing, that I wouldn't reread it. ( )
  wealhtheowwylfing | Feb 29, 2016 |
I didn't like this book and gave up on it about half way through. The characters were not believable to me nor could I find it in my heart to care about them. I don't know if this is a fault in me or the writing of the book. My only reservation in my rejection of the book is that I was listening to an Audible download and some of my assessment may reflect the reader. I wonder if I might have reacted differently if I were reading the book rather than listening. ( )
  jdukuray | Dec 31, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 45 (next | show all)
It has been Goodman's particular talent to create quirky, poignant characters and put them in deeply affecting relationships, and these relationships carry her novels. "Intuition," by contrast, is full of querulous people whose emotional tics stand in for personality.
Fresh from Kaaterskill Falls, Allegra Goodman completely changes gears. Now she has written a jaw-dropping human drama about how far a group of scientists at a prestigious cancer research lab will go for power and fame. Don't be surprised if reading this makes you think of Michael Crichton.

Post-doctoral fellow Cliff Bannaker was groomed for stardom at the Philpott Institute, but he hadn't delivered...until now. His latest development, a virus called R-7, destroys cancer cells in lab mice, while keeping healthy cells intact. Despite their admirable past credentials, the lab's directors see this as the breakthrough that will carry them to stardom, even to a Nobel Prize. But has Cliff really found the cure for cancer -- or are his results too good to be true?

Cliff's colleague and much older ex-lover Robin Decker suspects he's falsified his data. Since their breakup, she's been obsessed with proving this. Most of her colleagues think she's jealous of cliff's success and no longer take her seriously. That is, except for Xiang Feng, a young scientist from China, who has his own doubts about cliff's results -- and has experienced firsthand his increasingly odd and secretive behavior. Did Cliff manufacture false results? Or is someone sabotaging his work? And when the scientific community realizes that something isn't adding up, who will take the fall?
"Page by page the story shimmers with insights into the subtlety and complexity of human psychology and relationships. Allegra Goodman writes like a master."

-- Ha Jin, National Book Award-winning author of Waiting and War Trash
"A superlative novel" (Starred Kirkus Reviews) of politics and science, ethics and obsession from the author of Kaaterskill Falls"
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0385336101, Paperback)

Hailed as “a writer of uncommon clarity” by the New Yorker, National Book Award finalist Allegra Goodman has dazzled readers with her acclaimed works of fiction, including such beloved bestsellers as The Family Markowitz and Kaaterskill Falls. Now she returns with a bracing new novel, at once an intricate mystery and a rich human drama set in the high-stakes atmosphere of a prestigious research institute in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Sandy Glass, a charismatic publicity-seeking oncologist, and Marion Mendelssohn, a pure, exacting scientist, are codirectors of a lab at the Philpott Institute dedicated to cancer research and desperately in need of a grant. Both mentors and supervisors of their young postdoctoral protégés, Glass and Mendelssohn demand dedication and obedience in a competitive environment where funding is scarce and results elusive. So when the experiments of Cliff Bannaker, a young postdoc in a rut, begin to work, the entire lab becomes giddy with newfound expectations. But Cliff’s rigorous colleague–and girlfriend–Robin Decker suspects the unthinkable: that his findings are fraudulent. As Robin makes her private doubts public and Cliff maintains his innocence, a life-changing controversy engulfs the lab and everyone in it.

With extraordinary insight, Allegra Goodman brilliantly explores the intricate mixture of workplace intrigue, scientific ardor, and the moral consequences of a rush to judgment. She has written an unforgettable novel.

From the Hardcover edition.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:02:02 -0400)

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A trio of researchers becomes caught up in the desperate quest for a financial grant from the Philpott, a prestigious research laboratory in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

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