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Toxin Paperback – Nov 1 1998

3.0 out of 5 stars 214 customer reviews

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Paperback, Nov 1 1998
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Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 1 pages
  • Publisher: Berkley (MM) (Nov. 1 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0425167097
  • ISBN-13: 978-0425167090
  • Product Dimensions: 3.2 x 10.8 x 17.8 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 227 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars 214 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #2,442,029 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

From Amazon

Just when you thought it was safe to eat a hamburger again, Robin Cook--master of medical mysteries, deadly epidemics, and creepy comas--returns with an all too likely villain drawn right from current headlines: the American meat industry. If you've ever wondered where the E. coli bacteria comes from, and exactly how it can ravage the human body, destroying everything in its path, this is the book for you. As usual, Cook delivers solid information, well-researched medical arcana, and a scathing indictment of managed health care.

His protagonist, Kim Regis, is an all-too-typical ego-driven surgeon, whose arrogance and invulnerability set him up to be brought low by the deadly toxin that takes the life of his young daughter. Sparing no time and barely a paragraph to reflect on his loss, Regis goes right after the culprit, a meat-packing behemoth that brings dead and diseased animals to the slaughterhouse, breaking every health regulation in the book. The scenes set on the killing floor and in the boning rooms will make a vegetarian out of the most confirmed red-meat eater. Toxin is a heart-pounding thriller that hits very close to home. --Jane Adams --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

Cook cooks up another medical thriller, with a bunch of E.coli bacteria as villain, an underdone hamburger as murder weapon, and a little boy as victim. His doctor-father soon discovers that something far more sinister than bad hygiene is the cause. A Literary Guild, Doubleday Book Club, and Mystery Guild main selection.
Copyright 1997 Reed 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: 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.
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By A Customer on May 23 2004
Format: 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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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Toxin didn't scare me away from eating meat, it just made me reassess where I buy it. We have local slaughterhouses which are noting like the one Cook portrays. I know because we actually take animals there to be slaughtered and then use the meat ourselves, so we've checked the places out. But Cook isn't the only source I've read that has indicted the larger slaughterhouses and meat packing plants. His characters may seem stereotyped, but the statistics are pretty clear as to who the slaughterhouse workers are in large plants.
I now buy my hamburg at a local store that grinds their own while you watch. I don't eat rare hamburgers (although I greatly prefer them!) and I'm not eating fast food burgers. It was clear in the story just how contamination can occur even when the restaurant's official protocol is flawless.
BTW I hate HMO's. We have the choice between managed care and traditional insurance and despite the extra cost we continue to opt for traditional insurance. Cook's books have only reinforced that decision.
Robin Cook's novels may be "fast food" rather than great literature, but if they educate one person who wouldn't read more serious scientific literature and save even one life as a result then they are worth being published.
Read Toxin and you'll never take E-Coli lightly again.
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By A Customer on March 13 2001
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Microorganisms amazes me. With their tiny body size, they can invade a body of a specie such as human being. Being a physician himself, I assume the symptoms were expressed accurately. I was bothered to see some of the ignorant behaviors of the hospital personels just as much as the fearful force of the E coli:O157. The first half of the book goes over the whole clinical manifestation process of E coli:O157 in Dr. Kim Reggis's daughter, Becky's body. The last half of the book is about all the adventure Dr. Reggis goes through in the process of finding out the source of this pathogen. As much as I enjoyed reading the first half, I enjoyed even more reading the last half. The story line is bit goofy, especially in the last half of the book. However, there is nothing wrong with that. It added some fun and flavor to the story line, which made the book entertaining. Dr. Reggis got kind of personality that is relatable because of his goofyness. For some reason, I had imagined Dr. Reggis to look like the picture of Robin Cook himself on the back cover. The ending was bit scary because, though Dr. Reggis went through all these trouble to expose the truth, that didn't solve the problem altogether, and predicted another fearful outbreak. In today's society, where the mad cow disease had gave rise to the vCJD, this story is not unrealistic at all, and rather can be related to anyone who eats meat.
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