The Silk Code
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The Silk Code (Phil D'Amato #1)

3.28 of 5 stars 3.28  ·  rating details  ·  129 ratings  ·  19 reviews
Phil D'Amato, an NYC forensic detective (also featured in several of Levinson's popular short stories), is caught in an ongoing struggle that dates all the way back to the dawn of humanity on Earth--and one of his best friends is a recent casualty. Unless Phil can unravel the genetic puzzle of the Silk Code, he'll soon be just as dead.
Mass Market Paperback, 320 pages
Published November 15th 2000 by Tor Science Fiction (first published 1999)
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Snarktastic Sonja
After an argument with myself, I am settling on a 3* review. I found this book to be exceedingly frustrating. I just felt like it could have been so much better.

The story is about a genetic virus on a DNA level and it discusses DNA based technology used by the Amish. I found the concept fascinating. I did struggle to find a character to connect with emotionally, but settled on Phil and Jenna's relationship to relate with.

Phil is a forensic examiner. He and his friends/cohorts/colleagues discove...more
Ed Mestre
Fooled again. I thought I was picking up a procedural detective mystery and ended up with far more. If I tried to describe its maze of modern day Neanderthals, Amish gangs, & an ancient silk cure for what ails our DNA many would think I was joking. In structure it's almost like it's 2 or 3 different books. An Amish murder mystery, an ancient chronicle, and a scifi world jaunt in search of the modern Neanderthals. Yet they are somehow all tied together.

I've got a feeling that no matter what...more
My second audio book, and a very compelling story.

I was let down by the ending. It seemed rushed, as though the author decided "that's enough", and wrapped everything up in a few brief pages as quickly as he could. Yes, all the loose ends were wrapped up, but it was jarring.

Or... perhaps the reason I was let down was because I simply did not want this novel to end. It was literally fascinating. Each of the 3 sections had me scratching my head saying "this author cannot be serious", but he was. I...more

So far, a delight! Imaginative, clever, smooth writing. Who can ask for more? Alas! I have to put it aside to read a book related to my research on the book I'm writing: Dogs and Civilization. As soon as I finish that book--and get my next chapter written, I'll finish The Silk Code

As the above indicates, the first third of the book is excellent. It starts in the present day with fireflies bred to burn down houses. The entire book explores the possibilities of invention without using machinery,...more
This is a book whose beauty emerged for me in its later stages. It's a fairly contemporary (1980s setting?) SF thriller with more than a touch of horror. It's difficult to do justice to the Silk Code's greatest merits without revealing elements I'd consider spoilers. In avoidance of spoilers, this review is mostly my reading experience of this book.

The plot hook caught me from the beginning and I let myself go with the seemingly wild extremes of selective evolution what ifs. That was fun to do;...more
Carolyn E
The Silk Code is certainly an intriguing story. I enjoyed it. I was particularly impressed by the amount of research that must have gone into this story.

I am not a particular fan of science fiction. However, I noted that there are two more books in this series: The Consciousness Plague and The Pixel Eye. I am adding them to my "to be read" list for future reading.
Fascinating and confusing thriller that picks up on the the possibility that Neanderthal communities have survived to the present day, combined with the theory that before there was language there was the "hum" - a way of communicating feelings and social bonding. In other words, song preceded language. If you love music, you should also take a look at "The Singing Neanderthal" for an inspiring and detailed explication of this theory.
This entertaining book sounds like a train wreck. A cop's investigations land him in the middle of an ancient Amish versus Neanderthal high-low-tech war about genetic engineering(firefly bombs, anybody?) and silk as a cure to flaws in Neanderthal DNA. It is the perfect pulp novel and it is impossible to put down.
Wow! I was really surprised by how much I liked this book. It was a wonderful concept, and the intertwining of different cultures and time periods was fantastic. It wasn't perfect and I'm still a little confused about how it all worked, but still very good.
Kathleen Mccunney
I started reading this in bed. *grump* finished at 2 AM. Still it was good.
The Silk Code has the dubious distinction of being the worst-written book I've read in some time.

I blame my undergraduate training in English Literature, but I can read a book and address the workmanship of a book or story separate from how I experienced it as a reader. (I've read books that were well-written, even if I personally didn't *like* it. And I've read books that I enjoyed, even loved, that had serious stylistic or grammatical issues.) So it wasn't that I didn't like The Silk Code, alt...more
Lis Carey
This starts off as a police procedural. It ends as a police procedural. Along the way, there's this section set in the eighth century, without which it would still be science fiction, but you could still shelve it in the mystery section and probably no one would claim they'd been the victim of false advertising.

And I cannot dissuade myself from the notion that that eighth-century section, for all its inherent attractions as a section of a different novel entirely, in this novel is simply an unus...more
Feb 17, 2014 Anila marked it as not-with-a-ten-foot-pole  ·  review of another edition
Signed this petition, displaying (along with everyone else on it) a startling lack of understanding of censorship, freedom of speech, and how asking others to behave like decent human beings is not, in fact, censoring them.
Rather poor science fiction. Not very logical. A dumb read, but somehow I finished it. I'll return the book to the recycle center where I got it but the garbage might be a better place to deposit it.
Jeff Parker
Well developed plot with engaging characters. Fast paced and decent dialouge. While the premises is a little out there it is no more fantastic then any of Dan Brown or James Rollins works.
Book is very disjointed and characters do not grip your attentio. Very disappointed as I had heard/read good things about author
David Pullman
Interesting plot structure and characters. Easy and interesting to read. Thought it ended a bit abruptly.
Snail in Danger (Sid) Nicolaides
Dates approximate. I may have ended up skimming this one by the end.
Jan 12, 2011 Jess marked it as to-read
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UK Amazon Kindle ...: Paul Levinson - science fiction and media theory 78 108 May 17, 2014 10:32AM  
Shut Up & Read: four science fiction novels 2 24 Feb 10, 2014 04:24PM  
The Life and Time...: reviews of The Silk Code 1999 and 2012-2013 7 18 Feb 03, 2014 12:11AM  
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World Mysteries a...: The Silk Code 22 71 Feb 03, 2014 12:00AM  
Steampunk, New We...: The Silk Code 12 45 Feb 02, 2014 11:59PM  
History, Medicine...: "author's cut" of The Silk Code 18 65 Feb 02, 2014 11:58PM  
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Paul Levinson, PhD, is an author, professor, and media commentator. His first novel, The Silk Code, won the Locus Award for best first science fiction novel of 1999. Entertainment Weekly called his 2006 novel, The Plot to Save Socrates, “challenging fun”. Both novels were were reissued as an "author's cut" ebooks in 2012, and Unburning Alexandria, sequel to The Plot to Save Socrates, was published...more
More about Paul Levinson...
The Plot to Save Socrates The Consciousness Plague (Phil D'Amato) Digital McLuhan: A Guide to the Information Millennium New New Media The Pixel Eye (Phil D'Amato)

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