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2.97 of 5 stars 2.97  ·  rating details  ·  143 ratings  ·  12 reviews
In 1855, an ambitious eugenics experiment pits a British craniologist, Dr. Samuel Bates, against his French rival, Jean-Louis Belavoix: two infants, a black boy and a white girl, are raised on a deserted island by a mute nurse and monitored twice yearly. But doubts surface in London about the scientists' real intentions. Eventually, the ferry captain who supplies provision ...more
Paperback, 224 pages
Published May 1st 2007 by Phoenix
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"Racists is a panorama of 19th-century ideas about race, but it is also a sly, penetrating commentary on their contemporary survival, highlighting the cross-fertilisation between social science, politics and philanthropy. Taut, elegant and intelligent, this is one of the most interesting novels so far to chart the history and content of European racism." says Mike Phillips - read his excellent review here;
This book was a quick read. The tale had so much potential for a grand climax......perhaps I expected too much and was dissapointed that it didn't reach the heights I expected of it. The topic in itself had so much possibilities.
I give this book 2 and a half stars.
Madeleine McLaughlin
Very nice story about racist experiments in human behavior. A black boy and white girl of the same age are left with a mute nurse alone on an island to see which one will be 'superior'. Alas, it's the scientists themselves who become the savages.
Jethin Thomas
I read the book, knowing that it was a work of fiction, but hoping that it would have some kind of insight into result of the experiment. But it was first a novel about the story on the conduct of the experiment and the small life/incident stories of the individuals being experimented upon and the scientist themselves.

There is nothing that can taken from the book on the major selling point plot. The idea, the core idea was very interesting but the books fails tell anything about that directly.
The plot has such great potential but it is mostly wasted by author trying to make the story more sluggish and about technicalities rather than making it interesting fiction.
The end was also as bland as the story flow.

Good potential gone wasted!
A unique look on racial inequality and the narrow mindedness of early scientists. The premise of the book was unique but the delivery was lacking an entertaining quality. I felt for the most part that I was reading from a textbook, the beginning and middle was very dry. However, just as the story was starting to climax, it ended. Which kind of left a bad impression over all. Had the author chosen to eliminate most of the fact and incorporated a little more fiction, I think it would have left a g ...more
Interesting premise that I was super-stoked to read about. I had hoped the author would delve further into the actual experiment versus the scientists, and even now I'm not 100% on his motivation.

It was a good illustration of what pre-evolutionism must have been like. The stark racism and white superiority depressed me and I wonder how the human race ever evolved.
Overall I did enjoy the book and I didn't know how it was going to end right up until the final moments. The story was engaging and the author explored ideas of race, class and gender in a respectful and honest fashion. I sometimes found the dialogue wordy and over verbose but overall the book is a good read.
Kathleen McRae
weird book it tried to carry the story by a series of asides and since the people were very strange so was the book content
uhm.. interesting... but inconclusive as far as i could make out.,
interesting read
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Kunal basu was born in Calcutta. Raised by unorthodox parents, both litterateurs and political activists, he developed an early love for the arts: painting, acting and writing.

Since 2001, he has published four novels, a collection of short stories, written a few screen plays and (mostly unpublished) poetry.
More about Kunal Basu...
The Japanese Wife The Miniaturist The Opium Clerk The Yellow Emperor's Cure Intimacies

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