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The Consciousness Plague Paperback – Aug 16 2003

3.7 out of 5 stars 14 customer reviews

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Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Tor Books; First Edition edition (Aug. 16 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0765307545
  • ISBN-13: 978-0765307545
  • Product Dimensions: 13.7 x 2.1 x 21 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 281 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars 14 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #3,143,624 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

In this latest, disappointing case from the files of forensic investigator Phil D'Amato (after 1999's The Silk Code), a flu epidemic is sweeping the nation and young women are turning up naked and strangled in New York City's Riverside Park. Oddly, several witnesses to the murders, all recent flu sufferers, seem to have trouble remembering what they've seen. Then D'Amato's girlfriend comes down with the flu and forgets that he's recently proposed to her. Later, D'Amato himself catches the bug and discovers that a day has disappeared from his memory as well. What ties these bouts of short-term amnesia together turns out to be not simply the flu but a new wonder drug, Omnin. D'Amato soon finds himself investigating both the serial murders and the increasingly serious possibility that Omnin and other advanced antibiotics may in fact be on the verge of destroying human memory. Unfortunately, Levinson's flat prose and almost tension-free narrative prevent this novel from taking off. The murders, which all occur offstage, and the victims, none of whom we really care about, fail to engage. The medical mystery, although not without some intellectual interest, is equally lacking in tension. The author also has the annoying habit of pulling rabbits out of hats. Top-notch bacteriologists and mysterious millionaire benefactors repeatedly turn up to render expert testimony or twist the arms of a hostile FDA committee when needed. Levinson is widely considered to be one of the better new SF writers, but this novel won't enhance his reputation. (Mar. 13)Forecast: The book could be targeted to fans of medical thrillers and police procedurals, though neither audience is likely to be that impressed.

Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

Forensic detective Phil D'Amato finds his investigation into a series of brutal killings interrupted by the onset of a bizarre plague that leaves its victims without portions of their memories, a phenomenon that slowly erodes the underpinnings of society and civilization not to mention crime control. The second outing for the hero of The Silk Code pits D'Amato against criminals and colleagues as he tries to unravel a puzzle with its roots in ancient history and its genesis in the evolution of consciousness itself. Levinson's intelligent blend of police procedural and speculative fiction should appeal to fans of mystery and sf and belongs in most libraries.
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Dr. Phil D'Amato, NYPD forensic detective is a character who is easy to like. Smart, witty and well connected, he immediately becomes a person who the reader cares about. He is a worthy twenty-first century heir to my favorite, Sherlock Holmes.
The story is an engrossing mystery that weaves together serial strangulation murders of young college women in Manhattan and mysterious memory gaps triggered by a new antibiotic that seems to attack unknown microorganisms that unify the bicameral human brain.
The reader comes away entertained and educated in such diverse (yet related by the author's erudition) subjects as communication via the channels of the left and right brain, Marshall McLuhan, the essence of art, the successive (possible) rediscoveries of America by the Phoenicians, Irish (Celtic) monks, and Vikings, and a popular brand of perfume.
Most of the action occurs in New York City but the West Coast, the Midwest and Europe are included as locales. We learn about the importance of Lindisfarne, where one of my favorite illuminated manuscripts, the Lindisfarne Gospels, originated. We are introduced to the hypothesis that the Phoenicians, on their way to North America, taught the Celts to write.

Each revelation, no matter how esoteric, enriches the weave of the mystery, and draws the reader in deeper. Thus this excellent page turner also triggers awareness of many fascinating areas of communication. There is also a well developed supporting cast including police, academics and a politician or two.
I came away feeling enriched and entertained. The Consciousness Plague is a good read. Buy it.
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Format: Hardcover
American readers have always had a fondness for thrillers that involve a conspiratorial or historical basis: tales such as intelligent werewolves eating humanity from the dawn of history (WOLFEN) to a secret cabal that has directed world events for centuries (CAPTAINS AND KINGS). Now Paul Levinson gives us a world that has suffered from incipient bouts of recurrent amnesia that have caused the decline of civilizations ranging from the Phoenicians to the Mayans to the current day. In THE CONSCIOUNESS PLAGUE, the hero is NYPD forensic expert Phil D'Amato, who is trying to solve a series of killings of women while at the same time uncovering the threads of memory loss that happen to nearly everyone in his life. Now there is nothing wrong with either plot device, but the problem with THE CONSCIOUSNESS PLAGUE is that author Levinson places the dramatic center of his book on the killings but seems to have no logical place to hang his peg of worldwide collective amnesia. Had Levinson stuck to using D'Amato's considerable forensic skills to catch the killer, then he would have written a conventional detective novel. However, even on that level, the interaction between his hero D'Amato and the victims and killer are forced, laborious, and unthrilling. It was painful for me to see how Levinson attempts to meld his paper-thin detective plot with a subplot that simply cried out for more screen time. If this world has been afflicted with recurring bouts of mass amnesia, then I would expect a plot to more seamlessly integrate this memory loss with the other plot elements. No more than a few dozen pages were devoted in a serious way to extended discussions of memory loss.Read more ›
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Format: Hardcover
NYPD forensic detective Phil D'Amato encounters a frightening loss of memory while assisting on the homicide investigation of a series of stranglings. The loss is not profound, but his short bout of amnesia is unnerving and causes him to forget an important telephone conversation. Apparently, he's not the only one who is becoming forgetful either. Several people around him have experienced the same strange losses of memory. With a few curious questions, D'Amato finds they all have something in common: Omnin, the new antibiotic prescribed by their physicians to combat the flu.
The secondary story of the homicide investigation is disjointed from the main plot line. What the characters forget seems to have little relevance to the investigation, though author Levinson tries to force it anyway. Almost from the onset, D'Amato's character believes the memory loss phenomenon is related to the Riverside stranglings, and so Levinson sets out to prove it. Unfortunately, he fails to make the connection. Even at his finest moments, it is quite a stretch to see the effects on Omnin in the murder investigation. It is sheer coincidence that the people his detective queries in his memory investigation end up being criminally involved in the killings.
The discussion of how the human brain relates to memory and how memory affects history was as close as Levinson got to intriguing. The medical aspects and police investigation were definitely lacking. His writing style is flat and the plot has too many weaknesses to be enticing. The climax is anything but climactic and the story just winds down to a conveniently opportune ending. Perhaps Levinson fell victim to his fictional adversary-memory loss-as this book is anything but memorable.
Reviewed by Maili Montgomery, Mystery Ink
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