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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars GREAT BOOK A MUST READ
I was very hesitant on reading this book because about 5 years ago I saw a show on either 20/20 or 48 hours that had undercover reporters in slaughtrs houses I was si discusted with the finding I didn't eat meat for over 3 years. I recently styarted eating meat again but not that I have read this book I might think twice about that. This is a very graphic book about the...
Published on March 25 2002 by Betsy Harloff

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2.0 out of 5 stars Mixed Feelings
I have been an avid follower of Robin Cook since middle school. I have thoroughly enjoyed all of his books, but this one left me a tad cold. On the one hand, he does a thorough job of indicting the meat packing industry and managed health care. It is very interesting to see how neatly he intwines these two industries and shows the relationship between them. On the...
Published on Aug. 15 2000 by BeatleBangs1964


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2.0 out of 5 stars Mixed Feelings, Aug. 15 2000
By 
BeatleBangs1964 (United States) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Toxin (Hardcover)
I have been an avid follower of Robin Cook since middle school. I have thoroughly enjoyed all of his books, but this one left me a tad cold. On the one hand, he does a thorough job of indicting the meat packing industry and managed health care. It is very interesting to see how neatly he intwines these two industries and shows the relationship between them. On the other hand, I did not like the protagonist, Dr. Reggis or his brat of a daughter. I felt Becky was rude to adults and had a very fresh mouth. The only thing I did like about her was her realistic view of figure skating -- if she went pro or went national, it would spoil the fun. I also liked Kim's estranged wife. I felt she was level and together and had a lot on her plate having to put up with him and cope with the subsequent death of their daughter to E. Coli from bad meat.
One character I really liked was David, the doctor who called Kim on his bad behavior in the waiting room when Becky was first admitted. He was stern, he was adult, he was reasonable. I really liked him and felt he was thoroughly professional.
I agree with other readers that the ending is a bust. Does Caroline, Becky's skating peer develop the E. Coli? If so, does she survive?
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars I give up!!, May 23 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: Toxin (Mass Market Paperback)
My first RC book was Shock and it indeed shocked me-it was so two-dimensional and flat and cliche, i couldn't believed it was published! Then i saw some reviews that mentioned it was probably the worst book by RC so i decided to give him another go. Unfortunately i'm once again disappointed. Totally. I mean i didn't even managed to get past the first 100pages!! It makes me wonder how did his novels become best-sellers. The characters are totally 2-D and almost stereotypical. Dialogue and writing style just seems really flat to me and it just feels unreal. The characters were unlikeable and it just felt like a re-run of an overused theme, overplayed B-grade movie. Don't think i'll waste any more time on his novels again. Lesson learned.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars GREAT BOOK A MUST READ, March 25 2002
By 
Betsy Harloff "betsy624" (Toledo, OH United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Toxin (Hardcover)
I was very hesitant on reading this book because about 5 years ago I saw a show on either 20/20 or 48 hours that had undercover reporters in slaughtrs houses I was si discusted with the finding I didn't eat meat for over 3 years. I recently styarted eating meat again but not that I have read this book I might think twice about that. This is a very graphic book about the meat industry and a very descriptive view on what e coli can do to the body. This book mad me ill I was shocked to find out some of the things n this book now I know its fiction but it's based on fact. While reading this book my Husband and my 1.5 year old gor the stomacxhe flu, making me rethink that and wonderif its food posining. A doctore satys in this book that there is no such thing as the stomache flu and that it is really some form of food posioning. I'm not sure how true that is but it freaked me out. This book is not for those who have a week stomache but I think everyone should read it, it is a real eye opener!! I don'y think I'm going to eat ground beef for a long time and I will be a lot more cautious when cooking now!THIS is a great book I highly sugggest it. GREAT JOB ROBIN COOK
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thank god I'm a vegetarian!, April 23 2001
By 
Eric Petersen (USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Toxin (Mass Market Paperback)
In this, Robin Cook's scariest novel, the orderly world of egocentric surgeon Dr. Kim Regis crashes down around him when his eight-year-old daughter Becky contracts a fatal E-Coli bacterial infection from a hamburger she ate at a fast-food restaurant.
When this book came out a couple years ago, it received fiercely mixed reviews. While detractors accused Dr. Cook of using his status as a best-selling writer to distribute draconian anti-meat industry propaganda, admirers like myself praised him for being courageous enough to tell the truth.
It is the shocking nature of the truths revealed in Toxin that makes it Cook's scariest novel. After the E-Coli infection results in a slow and agonizing death for his little daughter, Dr. Regis is determined to bring to justice all the parties responsible for Becky's death.
Regis's quest leads him from shoddy, unsanitary meat processing plants (the slaughterhouse scene is something straight out of Dante - it will make you vomit) where food safety takes a back seat to profit, to the USDA - an office of the federal government that is supposed to protect consumers from tainted meat. Alas, the USDA ispectors are told by their bosses to look the other way and investigations of companies who fail to comply with safety regulations are buried in red tape.
This novel is a work of fiction, but it's based on fact. Recently, on a primetime newsmagazine - 48 Hours, I believe - there was a similar story about a 3-year-old girl who died from an E-Coli infection she caught at a Sizzler - she ate watermelon that was sliced with the same knife used to cut tainted meat - meat that infected several other customers. After a lot of finger-pointing between Sizzler and the meat processing company, an ex-USDA inspector appeared, blowing the whistle on the corrupt USDA and its collaboration with the meat industry.
Even Oprah Winfrey once did an expose on tainted meat, declaring to her viewers that she would never eat beef again, a statement that resulted in an unsuccessful lawsuit from Texas cattlemen.
Toxin is the ultimate horror novel because it's based on fact - on something that could happen (and has happened) to any man, woman, or child who eats meat. It's an exciting, heart-wrenching, gruesome thrill-ride; a truly disturbing novel that you will never ever forget.
Thank god I'm a vegetarian!
- Eric Petersen
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3.0 out of 5 stars Sick But Fun, March 5 2004
This review is from: Toxin (Mass Market Paperback)
After reading this you won't eat hamburger for a long time.
When a doctor's daughter gets sick from eating hamburger that was undercooked, he goes nuts. On a rampage, he fights with the medical association as well as the meat industry that poisons his little girl. As he goes undercover in the warehouse, what he sees, the handling of the food and what actually goes into your Big Macs, my gosh I'm getting sick thinking about it.
My only gripes - it dragged a little in some parts (I do admit to a short attention span though), and I wanted more out of the ending. I was kinda like "okay...and?"
Overall I recommend this book. It's very interesting, as some of it is supposidly based on various facts about how meat is handled.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Nothing too significant for my 1st RC novel, June 5 2003
This review is from: Toxin (Mass Market Paperback)
Although the action was fast paced & continuous, I found the plot in general quite predictable & with a bit of loopholes. It was interesting to note though the effects of mergers/buyouts on the healthcare sector & the resuting power struggle within by remaining staff against 'new management'. How it affected their service & how the patients suffered from such 'politics'. That is very real.
What I found quite unrealistic was Kim's decision to work underground in the slaughter house with the intention of obtaining some important papers as evidence of QC failure. This may be an act of desparation but which I found quite out of line for the character.
In general, the book was a good weekend read. (This review pertains to Reader's Digest abridged version of the novel.)
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1.0 out of 5 stars Simply Awful!, Dec 27 2002
By 
Greg Tomkins (North Vancouver, British Columbia Canada) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Toxin (Mass Market Paperback)
i've read at least 15 Robin Cook books by now, and i really dont know what happened with this one. this has got to be one of the worst pieces of fiction i've ever read. the characters were one-dimensional and fake, the dialogue utterly fake and forced, and the plot, while okay in broad strokes, was in its details totally contrived and unbelievable. i kept going only to see if there was going to be some sort of interesting plot twist.... Robin Cook, what is going on??
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4.0 out of 5 stars Brace Yourself, Dec 10 2002
This review is from: Toxin (Mass Market Paperback)
From the get-go this book is an attention grabber, and Cook uses sickening imagery to hook his reader throughout. While the characters and dialogue are a bit flat, the story itself moves at a breakneck pace, following an all-too believable series of events meant to describe a worst-case scenario involving bacteria-laden meat and how the mistake of a couple of idiots can completely turn a handful of lives upside-down. I'm warning you this book is not for the weak-stomached or feint of heart. Cook's descriptions of a child succumbing to a particular strain of all-too-common bacteria and his portrait of a particularly nasty beef industry can make you physically ill. This was a book I couldn't put down and had a terrible time slowing myself down at the end so I could get all the details instead of just racing ahead to the intriguing conclusion. Thick, but a fast read. Prepare to eat vegetarian for awhile afterward.
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1.0 out of 5 stars Now I remember why I hated micro, Dec 7 2002
By 
John Tilelli MD "Bookaholic" (Apopka, FL USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Toxin (Mass Market Paperback)
If you think that it is impossible to make an exciting story about food poisoning, you might use this book as evidence. The story linearly follows Dr. Kim Reggis, cardiac surgeon as his daughter acquires a disease associated with a toxin-producing E. coli. His temperment, like much of this book, is so stereotypical, it could have been written by machine. Rude hospital administrators, indifferent emergency physicians, Barbie girlfriend, callous ex-wife, you have 'em all here. I really can't find a single character with whom I can relate, or even like. I have no sense of the guts of any of them. The action is so sedate that a shoving match between the good surgeon and the knuckleheaded ER doctor is about as exciting as it gets. The writing would get a B- in creative writing 101. Find a better page turner to spend a couple of hours with. Maybe I'm being unfair, though. Perhaps this is the best one could do with a villain named O157:H7.
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1.0 out of 5 stars This man is not a writer!, Sept. 6 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: Toxin (Mass Market Paperback)
Robin Cook knows his subject, and the plot could well be developed into a thrilling movie, but I was continually frustrated by the stilted, wooden quality of his writing. His characters are poorly developed stereotypes who speak in unnatural voices, and instead of showing a character's feelings through subtle behaviour and quirkiness, Cook tells the reader what a character is thinking - a sure sign of amateurism. I finished the book only because I wanted to know more about E. coli, but I couldn't wait for the story to end. This is not good writing.
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Toxin by Robin Cook (Paperback - Nov. 1 1998)
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