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3.2 of 5 stars 3.20  ·  rating details  ·  739 ratings  ·  47 reviews
Scientist Hal Cousins is close to discovering the key to immortality but someone has already found it and will kill him to keep it secret. Vitals is a tense technothriller in the best Michael Crichton tradition.
Published (first published 2002)
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(showing 1-30 of 1,359)
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In this book, bacteria cause aging and are used for mind control!
This is why I hate Greg Bear: he perverts science fiction.
He's forcing nature to fit in his weirdo fantasy world.
This makes for especially poor science fiction.
The end is confusing and vague.

Why do I punish myself by reading Greg Bear's books?
Kristin Cicciarella
If I could give this book 5.5 stars I would. It's a lot like Darwin's radio but less dense. It has the same technomedical sci-fi slant but you could easily finish it in a few days.

Instead of discussing human evolution, Bear using genetics as a weapon for espionage and a great freaking story.
This one's good. What disheartened me was how Bear tried to put in so many great ideas, but left them behind as he tried to shift from being a really-good-sci-fi-book to a lousy-thriller-trash.

Still, this will not hinder me from picking up his other works.
As a huge fan of Greg Bear's various wonders of the universe, but I found this to be very dull and disappointing. I love science fiction that is grounded in biology, and Greg Bear has some fantastic biology-driven novels: Blood Music is my favorite, but see also Darwin's Radio, Legacy, and Hull Zero Three. Even in books that aren't primarily premised in biology, Greg Bear's biological references are usually well crafted and imaginative, and confer richness to the world of the book as well as dep ...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jun 26, 2008 Spencer rated it 1 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: no one
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Kirsti (Melbourne on my mind)
Plot summary: A bunch of people are searching for the secret to...not immortality, but living for a REALLY long bacteria. Only then there's a big conspiracy, and they're running for their lives.

Thoughts: Look, it sounds really interesting. And when it starts with being in a mini-sub heading for the bottom of the ocean, it SEEMS really interesting. But then random people started going crazy, and they were on the run, and there was this whole 20th century Russian history thing going on,
Mark Schomburg
It's hard to stomach all the poor reviews of Greg Bear, especially for this book which is really great. I've found his angle on science fiction to be acutely amazing and convincing; probably closer to reality than most readers will admit. I guess he is just way over the heads of readers of typical sci-fi scenarios. With Bear, the science is not just a dumb prop or setting to write more crap, it's actually where the crux of the whole plot is centered. The fantasy is in thinking that the science j ...more
review of
Greg Bear's Vitals
by tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE - June 10, 2015

For the full review go here:

As I was reading this, I thought something to the effect of: 'I shd finally give something by Bear a 5 star rating' [maybe I already have?] but, then, when I'm finished, I think.. NAH.. no matter how good it is it just doesn't tip the profound meter - although I'm sure that I've given other bks 5 star ratings that haven't either.

When I came across the
This was an excellent book - like all of Greg Bear's. I love how it ties in 20th century history with sci-fi (or is it really fiction?).

Nice pacing, good science to back up what he's writing - definitely a book that is written well and is completely believable.
Ok, I didnt get as far as finishing this book. While the idea was ok in theory, I found the execution dull and lacking in real emotion.
Very entertaining, a very fast read, as usual a lot of research and real science make the story intriguing.
Passed the fifty page rule. Failed the hundred page rule.
"Vitals" started with an interesting premise and some promising characters. Hal and Rob cousins are twin scientists who are both engaged in trying to unlock the secret to stopping aging in humans, the key to immortality. There are a bunch of other characters, many of them alternately lucid or crackpot. The twists, turns, and thrills of the plot stem from the fact that other people are also working on detecting this secret, including some people who have worked on it for 60-70 years. The plot get ...more
I haven't given too many books three stars, but here on Goodreads 3 stars equates to "I liked it" or something like that. And I did. (Like it, that is.) It was different from what I expected after reading the first several pages and the inside cover blurb, but it wasn't bad.

So what separated it from the 4 and 5 star books I've read recently? Well, it was convoluted and confusing. I thought what I was reading was a rather straightforward speculative fiction novel about immortality, getting into
Christopher McKitterick
Thank you very much, Mr. Bear, for providing a few (and more to come, I'm sure) nightmares. Here is a truly scary story, one which feels possible and is all the more scary because it takes place in the present. If you haven't read it yet, I won't go into detail (it would ruin your fun), but you should. The science, speculation, and 2nd- and 3rd-level derivatives are fascinating and credible; the characters are human (flawed, driven, fragile, flexible) and sympathetic (except for some of the most ...more
Lyle Wiedeman
A speculative SF book with a biological premise (as with the "Darwin" books). Taking off from the relatively recent realization that bacteria represent almost all the life on the planet and have for four billion years, Bear tells an action-filled conspiracy tale about how bacteria really rule the world, even when we think we're using them. The book ends in a somewhat bleak way, but I always enjoy a good SF yarn that hinges on biology rather than physics!
If there was some magic potion that could allow people to live forever, who would use it? Would the scientific pursuit of knowledge outweigh the potential power trip that distribution of such a concoction would offer? While the science was a little fuzzy, the emotional conflicts were very compelling. Overall, a good story with an interesting premise.
Bear has some very interesting ideas but he chooses a very poor framework of an international conspiracy thriller to support them. Clearly, Bear is out of his depth here and is unable to write a convincing thriller, although he excels at explaining cutting-edge scientific ideas in an entertaining way; but there is too little science in this novel.

Bear's novel starts off promisingly with a scientist descending into the depths of the Atlantic Ocean looking for the fountain of youth among primordi
La historia es confusa, mal contada y absurda. Los personajes son poco desarrollados y poco creíbles. Básicamente se trata de un científico que quiere estudiar la prolongación de la vida pero se ve involucrado en una conspiración internacional para controlar la mente con bacterias. Por ahí aparece Stalin y una mina que contagia las bacterias controladoras de mente a través de la vagina
Very, very strange and also thought-provoking (and irritating, as well). Life extension research and paranoia all wrapped up into an intensely scientific package without especially likable characters.
I don't understand why so many of the readers rated this book low, with complaints about the science. Greg Bear is meticulous about getting scientific basics correct ... that is one of the reasons why he's one of my favorite authors. Yes, it's kind of difficult to imagine that all life started out as bacteria, but these are accepted scientific theories. The sci fi aspects of the story take the truth one step beyond where it exists today; otherwise, we'd be reading nonfictional biological books.

Too good to stop reading but very weird. No conclusion to the story. He just stopped. Probably setting it up for a sequel.
Paul Silver
We follow a scientist who is investigating how bacteria might unlock the secret to eternal life. He gets on the wrong side of a conspiracy to control people's minds using bacteria to make them suggestable.

Unfortunately, the scientist is quite unlikeable, almost all the other characters are completely unlikeable and/or paper thin, and the story is disjointed and dragged out. I almost put it down never to return half way through and the point of view switched to a much more likeable character, so
Steve Wratten
Very intriguing idea. It was hard to follow all the characters..
Megan Baxter
In this one, Greg Bear has kind of abandoned the ideas for the thrill of the chase. It's much more technothriller than science fiction, although I suppose the science is enough out there it could sort of qualify. But it's the speed at which everything happens, the plot racing by too fast for there to be real consideration of the ideas, that I find a pity. I know he can do better, and I'd much prefer a novel of ideas.

Note: The rest of this review has been withdrawn due to the changes in Goodreads
Dundee Library
Readers who enjoy the speculative side of Crichton should venture into the Science Fiction section and try Greg Bear. In titles such as Vitals and Darwin's Radio, Bear conveys fascinating ideas about the nature of mind, the microverse, evolution, and the future of our species and civilization with pulse-pounding immediacy.
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Greg Bear is one of the world's leading hard SF authors. He sold his first short story, at the age of fifteen, to Robert Lowndes's Famous Science Fiction.

A full-time writer, he lives in Washington State with his family. He is married to Astrid Anderson Bear. He is the son-in-law of Poul Anderson. They are the parents of two children, Erik and Alexandra.
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