Archive | Reviews


Review of “Middlemarch” by George Eliot

I have a vivid early memory of George Eliot’s writings. At least five decades ago, my classmates and I were required to read her The Mill on the Floss. I remember that we were assigned a certain number of pages each day and discussed them in class the next. Like my friends, I shared their […]

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Review of “Arrowsmith” by Sinclair Lewis

I read Sinclair Lewis’s classic so long ago, I’m not sure how old I was at the time.  Reading it now, in the context of a career in science and the critical focus of fiction about science, I was both surprised and perplexed.  Surprised, because I had remembered so little and perplexed by what I […]

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Review of “Mendel’s Dwarf” by Simon Mawer

In an earlier post, I promised to review some of the novels on the Lab Lit List that I’ve enjoyed and think are worth reading but don’t address what I see as a gaping hole in the portrayal of both science and scientists in fiction.  I finished reading Simon Mawer’s Mendel’s Dwarf (Harmony Books, 1998) […]

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Review of “Seaside Pleasures” by Ann Lingard

After reading three “page turners” in rapid succession, Ann Lingard’s thoughtful, introspective Seaside Pleasures was a pleasant change of pace.  Set in England, the story is told in the first person by several characters, three in the present and one in the mid-Nineteenth Century.  The story is held together by the science of malacology, the […]

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Review of “Experimental Heart” by Jennifer Rohn

Is it because I live in the States that I didn’t hear about Experimental Heart when it came out? It was Jennifer Rohn’s first novel, and I read it before her second, The Honest Look, which I reviewed earlier. Once I began reading, I was absolutely ravished.  This was exactly what I’d been looking for […]

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Review of “Petroplague” by Amy Rogers

I had Amy Rogers’s Petroplague on my “to read” list for some time, but it kept being pushed down by other novels that popped up on my idiosyncratic radar. Readers will already know I that I generally avoid mysteries. Now, another aversion: I have a thing about thrillers. One reason Petroplague kept sinking was that […]

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Review of “Pharmacology is Murder” by Dirk Wyle

I start with a bias against the murder mystery genre. In spite of its evident popularity, I don’t like stories that trivialize and sanitize violence, particularly the horrific act of murder. That said, I think Asimov’s A Whiff of Death is one of the best-constructed murder mysteries I’ve read on the Lab Lit List. It’s […]

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Review of “A Whiff of Death” by Isaac Asimov

A Whiff of Death is an early (1958) mystery by Isaac Asimov, a writer best known for his science fiction. It’s a classic, well-executed whodunit, complete with a surprise ending, and it fits the LabLit definition as well. If you’re a fan of this genre, it’s a great example of the scientist turned sleuth, especially […]

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