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Brain Child Prologue-Chp5

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WhiteWolf View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote WhiteWolf Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/07/2005 at 9:32pm
BRAIN CHILD is off to a very good beginning. I'm not sure if I'm ready to compare John Saul to any other writers just yet, as it's still early in the book. And we have to remember that this book was published in '85. What was Koontz publishing then, anyone know? WHISPERS, maybe? Anyway, I'd have to say that the characterization is typical of the genre and the time it was written. Any good story has as much to do with the relationships between the characters as it does with the background and details of each one. There's a good range of relationships here already, from the awkward tension of a prom date and the peer pressure that follows, to the marital issues that seem to be more a part of the town than just between the Lonsdales. There's also some racial tension, a little professional competition between Marsh and Torres, as well as a bit of class warfare in the midst. The characters are all appropriately drawn and introduced, and the narrative itself is well-formed.

The only real comparisons I can find to Koontz have to do with the untrustworthiness of medical and scientific technology. MIDNIGHT and THE HOUSE OF THUNDER were the first two DK books I read, and both contained elements of that distrust. HIDEAWAY also has some early comparisons, especially dealing with being brought back from the brink of death to face the world from a different, darker perspective.

Overall, a good start. And I can tell from Saul's clear and distinct style that he is an author I would be interested in reading again. I can usually make those kinds of decisions about a writer in the first hundred pages. So as long as there isn't a big let down (and I don't expect one; this story appears very well thought out in the early going), John Saul should be added to my list of authors to read.

Looking forward to the rest...
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christophersnow View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote christophersnow Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/08/2005 at 8:21am
Read first five chapters before reading...

I agree with your last paragraph WhiteWolf.

Can we make predictions?

Did anyone else find it peculiar that when Alex was at the party and all of a sudden decided to start drinking? He may have fallen to peer pressure there, but nobody tried to get him to go skinny dipping and he wanted to anyway. I thought maybe the ghost of that kid is possessing him or something like that. The more I think about it though, it seems less strange.

The book is hooking so far. My guess is that of course the doctor will implant sociopathic intentions in the boys head, and also no emotions so that he can be a killing machine.

The mother has psychic powers! j/k, she just has that mother's gut probably.
"It had to be said. The world is perishing from an orgy of self-sacrificing." - Howard Roark
Dean Koontz= Always working!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gemtaur80 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/08/2005 at 8:31am
Yes it was weird that he suddenly insisted on drinking. I agree that it'll probably go back and give a reasoning for that. Mom's at least a little psychic I think (better than psycho I guess!). Maybe that's in part passed down to Alex which is why he is open to the other kid?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote GeneB Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/08/2005 at 10:08am
I think you are reading a little TOO much into it. I just think the drinking was a sudden decision to go along with the party, and the skinny dipping was a follow on to that. (I remember a girl was wanting me to date her...pesterd me to death. I just wasn't attracted to her. Finally I just said ok, lets go out to dinner then spend the night at my house...she freaked and I never heard from her again.) Perhaps an extreme example, but Alex just gave in. He was mad that Lisa wanted him to discard his oath to his parents, and so he went 'overboard' after that. I have exactly the same personality but manage to keep it in check. He's is a teen-aged high-schooler; much harder to control. Remember Ordinary People? He just wanted control.
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WhiteWolf View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote WhiteWolf Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/08/2005 at 10:17am
I agree, Gene. At seventeen years old, I must have been the most irrational person in the world (not really, but in retrospect it seems that way). Sometimes kids just make poor decisions. Okay, most of the time.

What was more interesting to me about the drinking, is the irony that the parents were drinking in the doctor's office after the accident. The "do as I say, but not as I do" factor could play a role later on. Also, Torres' rufusal to take any responsibility for his actions is an emerging theme, and a good one that this story could potentially explore. Accountability is something pretty much all of these characters appear to struggle with.
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