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Robin Cook (1) (1940–)

Author of Coma

For other authors named Robin Cook, see the disambiguation page.

Robin Cook (1) has been aliased into Robin M. Cook.

65+ Works 38,519 Members 568 Reviews 60 Favorited

About the Author

Robin (Robert William Arthur) Cook, the master of the medical thriller novel, was born to Edgar Lee Cook, a commercial artist and businessman, and Audrey (Koons) Cook on May 4, 1940, in New York City. Cook spent his childhood in Leonia, New Jersey, and decided to become a doctor after seeing a show more football injury at his high school. He earned a B.A. from Wesleyan University in 1962, his M.D. from Columbia University in 1966, and completed postgraduate training at Harvard before joining the U.S. Navy. Cook began his first novel, The Year of the Intern, while serving on a submarine, basing it on his experiences as a surgical resident. In 1979, Cook wed Barbara Ellen Mougin, on whom the character Denise Sanger in Brain is based. When Year of the Intern did not do particularly well, Cook began an extensive study of other books in the genre to see what made a bestseller. He decided to focus on suspenseful medical mysteries, mixing intricately plotted murder and intrigue with medical technology, as a way to bring controversial ethical and social issues affecting the medical profession to the attention of the general public. His subjects include organ transplants, genetic engineering, experimentation with fetal tissue, cancer research and treatment, and deadly viruses. Cook put this format to work very successfully in his next books, Coma and Sphinx, which not only became bestsellers, but were eventually adapted for film. Three others, Terminal, Mortal Fear, and Virus, and Cook's first science- fiction work, Invasion, have been television movies. In 2014 her title, Cell made The New York Times Best Seller List. (Bowker Author Biography) show less
Image credit: Wikimedia Commons user Patrol110


Works by Robin Cook

Works have been aliased into Robin M. Cook.

Coma (1977) 2,375 copies
Chromosome 6 (1997) 1,707 copies
Outbreak (1987) 1,635 copies
Contagion (1995) 1,624 copies
Toxin (1997) 1,576 copies
Vector (1999) 1,477 copies
Acceptable Risk (1994) 1,470 copies
Marker (2005) 1,286 copies
Fatal Cure (1994) 1,284 copies
Shock (2001) 1,231 copies
Crisis (2006) 1,222 copies
Invasion (1997) 1,199 copies
Terminal (1993) 1,196 copies
Blindsight (1992) 1,191 copies
Seizure (2003) 1,176 copies
Mutation (1989) 1,164 copies
Sphinx (1979) 1,156 copies
Brain (1981) 1,114 copies
Fever (1982) 1,100 copies
Abduction (2000) 1,096 copies
Harmful Intent (1990) 1,095 copies
Mortal Fear (1988) 1,053 copies
Critical (2007) 1,052 copies
Vital Signs (1991) 963 copies
Godplayer (1983) 938 copies
Mindbend (1985) 932 copies
Foreign Body (2008) 867 copies
Intervention (2009) 733 copies
Cure (2010) 597 copies
Death Benefit (2011) 454 copies
Nano (2013) 391 copies
Cell (2014) 365 copies
The Year Of The Intern (1972) 355 copies
Host (2015) 285 copies
Pandemic (2018) 249 copies
Charlatans (2017) 228 copies
Genesis (2019) 181 copies
Viral (2021) 110 copies
Night Shift (2022) 81 copies
Coma [1978 film] (1978) — Author — 35 copies
Autopsie (1994) 20 copies
Vector / Contagion (2004) 19 copies
Coma [and] Abduction (2008) 9 copies
Brain / Fatal Cure (1999) 6 copies
Aivot ; Kuume (1991) 4 copies
Toxin / Schock (2006) 3 copies
Shattered 1 copy
Agy ; Szfinx (1998) 1 copy
Sphinx/Fever (2000) 1 copy

Associated Works

Works have been aliased into Robin M. Cook.


adventure (46) audiobook (51) cook (79) crime (87) crime fiction (50) Drama/Family Stories (66) ebook (171) Egypt (48) fiction (2,698) goodreads (64) hardcover (217) HC (60) horror (145) hospital (47) Hospital/Medical Stories (75) library (82) medical (912) medical fiction (183) medical mystery (410) medical suspense (95) medical thriller (1,001) medicine (141) murder (57) mystery (909) mystery/suspense (52) novel (293) Novela (59) own (91) paperback (182) PB (44) read (358) Robin Cook (285) Roman (44) science fiction (332) suspense (526) thriller (1,468) Thriller/Suspense Stories (75) to-read (700) unread (136) x-before-2008 (44)

Common Knowledge

Canonical name
Cook, Robin
Legal name
Cook, Robert William Arthur
New York, New York, USA
Places of residence
Boston, Massachusetts, USA
Naples, Florida, USA
Queens, New York, USA
Leonia, New Jersey, USA
Wesleyan University (BS)
Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons (MD|1966)
Harvard Medical School (residency)
United States Navy
Woodrow Wilson Center's Board of Trustees
Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary
Short biography
Robert Brian "Robin" Cook (born May 4, 1940) is an American physician and novelist who writes about medicine and topics affecting public health.

He is best known for combining medical writing with the thriller genre. Many of his books have been bestsellers on The New York Times Best Seller List. Several of his books have also been featured in Reader's Digest. His books have sold nearly 400 million copies worldwide.

Cook was born in Brooklyn, New York, and grew up in Woodside, Queens, New York City. He moved to Leonia, New Jersey when he was eight, where he could first have the "luxury" of having his own room. He graduated from Wesleyan University and Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, and finished his postgraduate medical training at Harvard.

Cook ran the Cousteau Society's blood-gas lab in the south of France. He later became an aquanaut (a submarine doc) with the U.S. Navy's SEALAB program when he was drafted in 1969. Cook served in the Navy from 1969 to 1971, reaching the rank of lieutenant commander. He wrote his first novel, Year of the Intern, while serving on the Polaris submarine USS Kamehameha.

The Year of the Intern was a failure, but Cook began to study bestsellers. He said, "I studied how the reader was manipulated by the writer. I came up with a list of techniques that I wrote down on index cards. And I used every one of them in Coma." He conceived the idea for Coma, about illegally creating a supply of transplant organs, in 1975. In March 1977, that novel's paperback rights sold for $800,000. It was followed by the Egyptology thriller Sphinx in 1979 and another medical thriller, Brain, in 1981. Cook then decided he preferred writing over a career in medicine.

Cook's novels combine medical fact with fantasy. His medical thrillers are designed, in part, to keep the public aware of both the technological possibilities of modern medicine and the ensuing socio-ethical problems which come along with it. Cook says he chose to write thrillers because the forum gives him "an opportunity to get the public interested in things about medicine that they didn't seem to know about. I believe my books are actually teaching people."

The author admits he never thought that he would have such compelling material to work with when he began writing fiction in 1970. "If I tried to be the writer I am today a number of years ago, I wouldn't have very much to write about. But today, with the pace of change in biomedical research, there are any number of different issues, and new ones to come," he says.

Cook's novels have anticipated national controversy. In an interview with Stephen McDonald about the novel Shock, Cook admitted the book's timing was fortuitous.



Ich kann mir dieses Buch gut als 50er Jahre B-Movie vorstellen. Als Buch ist das alles doch arg flach und trashig....
Indy133 | 10 other reviews | Mar 19, 2024 |
First of all, Robin Cook surprised me with this here novel. This is way different from his standard fare which admittedly is already quite readable. With this effort though he clearly reinvented himself. This is quite Michael Crichtonesque and less Robin Cook.

The premise: (stated in a few key words) Exploration, Deep Sea, Secret Base,
The argument: Add the traditional characters and interaction (three stooges/hillbillies, the rational scientist, the unyielding military man, the arbiter - a rich tycoon) trying through dialogue (extrapolation, induction, deduction) to solve a baffling mystery within a plot reminiscent of the classic Jules Verne and H . Rider Haggard works.
... And the conclusion is: right up my alley😊

Highlights in quote: "None of them are Russians. - Well, none of them are Americans neither. There is not a single overweight person.😁
"You are delightedly primitive". -"You are yanking my chain..." - Not at all... Not at all.😁
… (more)
nitrolpost | 14 other reviews | Mar 19, 2024 |
I was a Robin Cook fan. His recent books have gone downhill. I read about only 10%. I have not finished his last several books.
My notes next to Genesis, Cure, Charletons, and Night Shift, reflect the following annotations, DNF, DNC, did not finish, did not care.
jstjst | 4 other reviews | Mar 9, 2024 |
Unimaginative plot. High-school-level writing; maybe less. No depth in the science. Pathetically lame sex/romance thrown in.

For a book published in 2014, the idea of centralized, automated medical care is not surprising. Would've been a more interesting book to hear all the roadblocks that prevent such a concept from being deployed and keep the practice of medicine as poor as it is.
donwon | 15 other reviews | Jan 22, 2024 |



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