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Darwin's Blade

3.30  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,231 Ratings  ·  102 Reviews
As an expert in accident reconstruction, it is Darwin Minor's job to use science and instinct to unravel the real causes of unnatural disasters. But a series of seemingly random high-speed fatal car wrecks -- accidents which seem staged -- is leading him down a dangerous road. Dar suspects a massive attempted rip-off, but why would anyone commit fraud at the cost of his ow ...more
Hardcover, 384 pages
Published November 1st 2000 by William Morrow & Company (first published 2000)
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(showing 1-30 of 1,914)
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Dan Schwent
Accident reconstructor Darwin Minor gets into an accident himself. It turns out people are gunning for him. But why? With the help of beautiful FBI agent, Sydney Olson, he's going to find out...

Dan Simmons is one of the more versatile writers active today. He can write in any genre, from science fiction with Hyperion, to horror with Carrion Comfort, to crime with Hardcase, to this, a thriller.

The Good:
Darwin Minor reconstructs car accidents, trying to prevent insurance fraud. It's a pretty good
...more
Laural
Feb 11, 2012 Laural rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: schlock
It's like he lost a bet. I picture Dan Simmons sitting around with his literary friends and they goad him into writing an action thriller based on tired email forwards that we all saw too many times back in the early nineties. They force him to incorporate an incredibly cliched love story. It has to incorporate a misunderstood protagonist nursing the wounds of a recent tragedy, a car chase ending with a supercar driving off a cliff, and Russian spies; so it must have been a high stakes loss. In ...more
Zac
Just finished and enjoyed it. I'm glad that I've read so much GREAT Simmons work before it so that reading this I could really tell that the author was winking at the reader the entire time and you were certain it was not to be taken seriously; otherwise, it would have been hard to resist constantly thinking "Is this guy f%*&ing serious? I mean COME ON", but then, it's SO tongue in cheek that even without it I'm not sure I would have kept from laughing. One thing that stood out to me from ea ...more
Angela
"Stupidity kills. Absolute stupidity kills absolutely." [Dan] Simmons, who has moved effortlessly from horror (Children of the Night) to science fiction (Hyperion; Endymion) to thrillers (The Crook Factory) obviously had a lot of fun writing this gripping suspense thriller about automobile insurance fraud rackets in Southern California. Former NTSB investigator Dr. Darwin Minor (Ph.D., physics) is the best at what he does. As the country's leading "accident reconstruction specialist," Darwin has ...more
Victoria
Ehh... this third loose off-shoot of Summer of Night was less impressive than I would have hoped. While Simmons is certainly a versatile writer, this shoot-'em-up semi-comedic thriller seemed a bit forced. Many of the same accidents were included not only in the compilation of the Darwin Awards, but brought to life on screen as well in that Darwin Awards movie. If less clichéd selections had been chosen, this would have been a much more interesting twist. The attempts at humour were about half s ...more
Aaron
Apr 21, 2015 Aaron rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: dansimmons
Everyone knows I love Dan Simmons.

And days after I told a friend that everything Dan writes is brilliant, I started this novel.

I have to retract my statement to my friend. Sometimes, what Dan Simmons publishes is just okay.

There's a lot of cool sequences in this book: the utterly incredible highway car chase in the first fifty pages, the helicopter chase toward the ending, the clever way the Russian's escape from their FBI-surrounded home, the climactic knife battle on a log over a ravine. Shar
...more
Nona
May 08, 2015 Nona rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
It's been a long time since I read this but what I remember best was that Darwin rattled off several "work-related anecdotes" throughout the book that were all recognizable to me as urban legends. I've rarely been more annoyed with an author.
Chris
Apr 24, 2014 Chris rated it liked it
My habit of reading acknowledgements pages paid off in this book. Going in I knew the author had researched (and even practiced, in some cases) "aerial combat," a "sniper instruction manual," "accident reconstruction," and high performance vehicles. Gives a sense for what's coming, doesn't it?

Essentially, a CSI-type investigation into various accidents runs into trouble when it becomes clear that some are actually murders staged to look like accidents by a powerful organized crime syndicate. As
...more
Andrew Fear
A book of two halves as you might say. Simmons starts well, but finishes weakly. The overall setting of the book based on the rise of endless insurance scams (a nice dig at the loathsome compensation culture that has overtaken us) is credible and interesting. However he is happy to kill off and leave undeveloped important characters. I thought the arrival of the Russian mafia into the plot was forced and the two Russian portagonists are disappointly cardboard characters throughout. It was also a ...more
Stephen
Apr 15, 2014 Stephen rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: pop-lit, crime
This book was so all over the place that I had to check that it was actually written by Dan Simmons, an author who regularly proves to be the opposite of "all over the place." The novel had a hard time deciding if our hero was a brilliant accident inspector and reconstructor or if he was an expert-level military sniper. The plot's a bit of a mystery (Not so much that it surrounds a mystery, but more that I'm still not exactly certain what's going on or why.), and even when all is revealed, it's ...more
Jenn
Dec 31, 2015 Jenn rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Dan Simmons has written some incredible stories, this was heading that way until...

Simmons always does thorough research, his characters often are well versed, experts in their field, but not every technical detail needs to be included in a story. Sometimes it's enough to know that a character is considered a master at his craft, readers don't have to go through page after page of precise detail on weapons, ammo, scopes, and knives to make the association.

I also found the detailed playlist of c
...more
David Schlosser
This books is a fun and quick read. It's an entertaining thriller, and although it's not as accomplished as some of Simmons' other books in the purely literary sense (it reads a little more like a screenplay), it's appealing and amusing. The protagonist is interesting and has a particular perspective and voice that makes him an engaging character with whom to spend some quality time (although his investigator's eye for detail sometimes makes scenes feel more reportorial than representational). T ...more
Julie Kellner
Nov 17, 2013 Julie Kellner rated it really liked it
This is the third time I've read this book and each time I enjoy it more. I hope there is another novel featuring Dar in the future
Michael Matson
Nov 16, 2014 Michael Matson rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves:
There are writers who are good story tellers--Ivan Doig and John Grisham come to mind; writers whose simple, direct prose move clearly and crisply through the narrative.
And then...
There are, judging from his novel, Darwin's Blade, writers like Dan Simmons who try to impress readers by burying them under mountains of irrelative statistics and unnecessary digressions.
Darwin's Blade has an interesting protagonist and a basically good plot. Simmons should have been satisfied with that instead of try
...more
Doug Christi
Jul 21, 2015 Doug Christi rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I am amazed at the number of haters out there who are completely missing the point of this book. Dan Simmons is an outstanding author who knows the rules and, more importantly, how to break them. This book is a goof on cliche'. It is meant to be read with tongue firmly planted in cheek, (which is exactly the spirit it was written). This is satire at its most subtle. Readers take this all to seriously and miss the point completely. Lighten up and stop trying to fit this book into a preconceived p ...more
Stacielynn
This was a freebie paperback that seemed like it could be an amusing distraction. I had it by my bedside and it was perfect because the intricate and complex descriptions of weapons and sniper theory put me right to sleep. This was a silly book that relied heavily on cardboard characters. The brilliant, haunted hero with incredible cars and a spectacular mountain hideaway; the dedicated and loving sidekick couple; the "endearing" running joke of Lawrence/Larry; the ravishing FBI agent who is bot ...more
Kate Reese
May 06, 2010 Kate Reese rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Dan Simmons is a god.
Eric_W
Nov 15, 2008 Eric_W rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Dan Simmons has won numerous awards in several genres. This book is perhaps a bit unusual: the detective as accident investigator. Dr. Darwin Minor, Ph.D. in physics and ex- Marine sniper in Vietnam, reconstructs accidents, and it seems the Los Angeles area has been hit by numerous insurance frauds. Destitute Mexican immigrants are hired to become involved in an accident. They then receive the services of lawyers and doctors to beat the insurance companies out of millions. Darwin (Dar to his fri ...more
Mary Gramlich
Oct 05, 2013 Mary Gramlich rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Being an accident reconstructionist is an exacting science that Darwin Minor, PhD. is well versed to enact. During all the years of doing the job Dar has accumulated too many memories from the accidents that range from basic, bizarre, and unbelievable. However, no one has ever tried to kill him for it yet that is now what he is trying to avoid

As Dar and a team of co-workers and a newly befriended FBI Agent comb through years of research, opinions, and insurance fraud a pattern emerges that in so
...more
Latoya Faraday
Sep 02, 2013 Latoya Faraday rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Не думала, что смогу прийти в такой восторг и такое тупое разочарование от прочтения одного и того же автора. Бритва Дарвина - это упор на углубленные знания Деном Симмонсом оружейной грамоты во всех ее обличьях, начиная с характеристики оружия, заканчивая высчитыванием траектории пули, умножая скорость ветра на угол наклона дула и на расстояние прицела, деля это на 15, что дает снайперу полное понимание происходящей картины. Невероятно нудное описание любой машины, вертолета, ножа, без лаконичн ...more
Patti
Dec 19, 2015 Patti rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not bad, but I felt like I was reading an episode of "Mythbusters" crossed with something from the Military Channel (yeah, I know it's not called that anymore, but I can't remember the damn name and I don't feel like looking it up).

Dar wasn't a bad protagonist, but the Larry/Lawrence thing got old real quick. Lots of minor characters to keep track of and your requisite ending were also a little disappointing.

Surprised the VW smashed between two semis wasn't included...
Stacey Kondla
Mar 02, 2015 Stacey Kondla rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2015
Another fantastic read by Dan Simmons! This was a compelling thriller type mystery with interesting characters and lots of action. The main character, Darwin Minor, is a character I would like to see more of. Though this book was published in 2000 the chances of another Darwin Minor novel is not good Overall, a great start to my 2015 reading year and only 3 more Dan Simmons novels to read before I can say I have read them ALL.
Amanda
Mar 27, 2016 Amanda rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Definitely not one of Dan Simmons' best, but certainly not his worst. The plot was pretty tiresome and slow, and the so-called "high-speed chases" were quite geriatric in pace. However, I still applaud Simmons for all the research he must have conducted in order to make this story one based in fact. I did enjoy the character of Dar and Syd, but the emotional connection for me just wasn't there. I might revisit this story again, but in no time soon.
Thomas
Mar 31, 2015 Thomas rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was surprised at the number of so-so reviews for “Darwin’s Blade.” I suspect that many of them are from fans of the several other genres in which Simmons participates. If you are a fan of Child’s Jack Reacher novels or Sandford’s Prey novels, you will probably like this. There is plenty of well-described action, clever technical detail, and moderately interesting character development.
Phil Zimmerman
Nov 02, 2015 Phil Zimmerman rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: novel
Im getting frustrated with Dan Simmons. I appreciate the research that he does, but I can't help but want him to put less of it in his stories.

Darwin's Blade is the story of an accident recreator who comes across all of the accidents from the Darwin Awards, stupid premise, that gets stupid with a protagonist who is good at everything computers, crime, driving, snipering, fucking, math. It is exhausting and you end up not caring by the end.
Shaun
Jan 04, 2014 Shaun rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Certainly a pattern with his books:

In the first 5% introduce an exciting moment.

Other than said first exciting moment, the first 60% of the book is (usually boring and absolutely unnecessarily long) character development. Also introduce a female so as to have sexual tension with male protagonist.

In last 40% of the story, male protagonist and female sexual tension accomplice "release the tension" and instantly, and comically so, fall in love. Additionally, mix in even more character development
...more
Emiliano Barbaini
Sep 18, 2012 Emiliano Barbaini rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: e-book
Uno dei pi brutti libri che abbia mai letto, terminarne la lettura stato uno sforzo notevole. Siamo sicuri che sia stato scritto da Simmons, lo stesso Simmons di Hyperion? Prosa scadente. Personaggi senza spessore, banali. Lui ricco bello intelligente, tiratore espertissimo ex marine, in Vietnam ha fatto fuori quintillioni di Vietnamiti. Chiss come mai hanno perso la guerra, se erano tutti come lui. Lei ... no comment. Razzismo strisciante, ogni non americano descritto secondo i pi beceri ster ...more
Randy Evans
This book was good but kinda drawn out, couldn't keep my head on it. Some was due to the long winded details and some was due to bad tooth/cold combo I've been fighting so best to make up your own mind on this one. I am a fan of Dan Simmons and I feel bad giving him just three stars.
Tanvir Muntasim
Aug 08, 2011 Tanvir Muntasim rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A surprising departure for Dan Simmons from the niche he dominates as a leading Sci-fi and horror fiction writer. He tests his hands at writing a supsense thriller and injects fresh ideas into a tired old genre. However, I am afraid it won't go down well with the usual fans of thriler genre, as the mix of high science might be a bit overwhelming for some, whereas the people who are more likely to appreciate the intricacies of the book are likely to bypass it. Great pity, as it is very interestin ...more
LJ
Simmons, Dan – Darwin’s Blade – G
Former NTSB investigator Dr. Darwin Minor (Ph.D., physics) is the best at what he does. As the country's leading "accident reconstruction specialist," Darwin has saved the insurance industry millions, as well as solving the most confounding cases of vehicular stupidity. But suddenly, he finds himself the target of assassins, resulting in a wild car chase that is only the first of many spellbinding set pieces. Is Darwin being targeted for business reasons, or is t
...more
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Dan Simmons grew up in various cities and small towns in the Midwest, including Brimfield, Illinois, which was the source of his fictional "Elm Haven" in 1991's SUMMER OF NIGHT and 2002's A WINTER HAUNTING. Dan received a B.A. in English from Wabash College in 1970, winning a national Phi Beta Kappa Award during his senior year for excellence in fiction, journalism and art.

Dan received his Master
...more
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