Sunday, 28 July 2013

The Curiosity - Stephen Kiernan

This has got to be one of the most enjoyable books I've read in quite a while.
With a proponent who is one of my favourites, Chris Bohjalian, it's one that had to be read.
Taking a subject where ethics can be argued is usually tricky but in this case Kiernan doesn't try to come down on either side and leaves the reader simply to enjoy.
Dr Kate Philo is part of a team searching for a particular type of iceberg and a particular type of ice to try and find frozen life within it.
With krill already reanimated the team is hoping for a slightly bigger catch this time. What they get is a human.
Back to base and it's time for the very varied team of scientists and computer technicians to get to work carefully trying to prove their theories on a larger subject.
It's a great opportunity for publicity for the institution and, if lucky, additional funding. Currently funded by private investors the use of public money is about the only argument they don't have to protest. The head of the institution Mr Carthage is so up himself he even talks about himself as second person. He inspires dislike, disgust, amusement and despair in his staff and gradually becomes more of a blunderer.
As the human is brought back to existence life becomes more interesting. Not only is he alive he's clever as well. He's curious and along the way there are a few observations that show life back then has not necessarily been improved upon.
As the human is awoken Dr Philo is charged with the responsibility of caregiver, educator, a role she embraces.
Life's not so simple though when there's male and female involved.
Entertaining, funny, sad, thought provoking. Drip feeds you the ending as you read through. If this author attains a diverse list he will be one to watch.
Great read.

Publisher - John Murray

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