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Gray Matter

3.66  ·  Rating Details ·  271 Ratings  ·  26 Reviews
Rachel Whitman and her husband have everything: a big new house in a fancy Boston suburb, all the brand-name "toys" that go along with wealth, and best of all, a gorgeous, sweet little six-year-old son named Dylan.

But Dylan has learning disabilities. Although intelligence isn't everything, Rachel fears her son will grow up never fully appreciating the wonders of life. Tort
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Paperback, 480 pages
Published March 1st 2004 by Tor Books (first published 2002)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Kim
Sep 10, 2012 Kim rated it it was ok
I found the book slow and rambling in the beginning. I also noticed extra scenes which didn’t advance the plot but only offered erroneous details about the characters. Some of it was very cliché, predictable and overly dramatic. I would have preferred no explanations as opposed to the far-fetched reasoning given. I could form no emotional connection with any of the characters. The best of the book was probably the last few chapters. It played on the age old philosophy that the rich only benefit ...more
Graham
Jul 06, 2011 Graham rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this and was quite surprised to see the difference of opinion from other readers. I found the whole premise to be a refreshing change from the usual mystery/thriller/killer which is why I gave this an extra star. I liked Rachel a lot and although she had the obligatory beauty that all lead females seem to have by law in books she did have a lot of flaws. The pace was continually moving and I look forward to reading more from GB.
Ann
Jun 28, 2010 Ann rated it did not like it
Badly written. Little suspense. Overly caricatured. It was easy to read, but composition was lacking. There was only one likable character and the other two 'heroes' were too flawed for me to sympathize with, the villain lacked any good or interesting qualities. It tried to present moral dilemma, but offered no real excuse for the opposing view....yawn.
Pendred Noyce
Aug 30, 2014 Pendred Noyce rated it really liked it
A slick thriller that plays on a very modern parental anxiety: Is my kid smart enough? Is there something I should be doing to make him smarter? How far would you go to give your child an intellectual boost, to make her gifted or even a genius?

This book weaves together several strands of story: a mourning detective investigating a dead child; a mother mourning the loss of her kidnapped child; two unhappy, misfit teens; and a guilt-stricken mother looking anywhere to help her "slow" child become
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Meagan Houle
Apr 20, 2015 Meagan Houle rated it really liked it
This book, while far from great literature, tells a good story based on a great premise. In very brief summary, a seemingly above-board organization, headed by an ambitious neurosurgeon, performs covert "enhancement" procedures on children who have learning disabilities. Wealthy parents of shamefully "slow" children willingly agree to these procedures so their kids can "follow in daddy's and/or mommy's footsteps". In a world where intellect is valued almost as much as money, parents feel bound t ...more
Garyjn
Apr 24, 2014 Garyjn rated it liked it
The book jacket of my copy compared Braver to King and Crichton. That's setting the bar pretty high. Crichton would have focused more on the science/sci-fi aspect and King would have developed the characters better. I'm sure I could've and should've despised the villains more, and I think King could've had fun with Nicole's character. Still, it wasn't a bad read. Started a bit slow but drew me in as it progressed. The ending was a bit abrupt and had a couple of incidents which made me go "what t ...more
Kristen
Oct 05, 2014 Kristen rated it really liked it
In Gary Braver's Gray Matter, he told us a compelling thriller that deals with sacrifices we make in life. For Rachel Whitman, she had everything she could possibly ask for: a loving human, a great home, and an adorable seven year-old son named Dylan. But her son had learning disabilities. She feared he would never grow up to experience a full and enriched life. Somehow she came to the conclusion that something she did in the past caused him to become this way--this tortured her mind. And she so ...more
KimBirds
Jul 17, 2011 KimBirds rated it liked it
Although it seemed plodding at times, I liked the storyline. The suspense built quickly in the second half, and the ending was pretty good. I found the writing to be a bit repetitive though, and there were quite a few editing errors in my Kindle version. (Those are always so distracting.)

The book makes some good points about medical ethics and what we value in our society. Food for thought.
Michael
Dec 02, 2008 Michael rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction
I was a little irritated because at first it seemed like the book was trying to explore the moral issues involved and that there was some moral ambiguity... but then it became clear that there was no moral ambiguity at all, there was very clearly a right and a wrong side, and the book was pure thriller. But that's OK, it turned out to be a lot of fun.
Gary O'Brien
Mar 16, 2016 Gary O'Brien rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Anyone that might like a medical chiller/thriller.
This book shows the depths to which a human being is capable of sinking.

Some might classify it as a thriller, but I felt no thrills reading it. Chiller would be more apt a classification.

If this book doesn't haunt you for a while after reading it I suggest you find a very good therapist.

Very chilling, indeed. A very good read.
Karen
May 23, 2010 Karen rated it really liked it
I read this book aloud to my husband periodically on our travels the last few weeks and a few minutes each night before we slept. We both looked forward to what was happening to Rachel and her family. The book kept us interested to the end and was a suspenseful on the edge of your seat type of read.
Rich
Aug 12, 2008 Rich added it
This book is about a parent's pursuit to make their son "fit in" with the brilliant children of the new town they moved to through an underground medical procedure. Some kids end up dead, some really are disturbed after the procedure and in the end....well I don't want to give it away.
Jackie
Aug 12, 2012 Jackie added it
Couldn't put it down. What would you do if you could help your child by increasing her intelligence? How far would you go? The questions caught my attention since I'm a former elementary teacher who hates standardized tests. This thriller kept me interested right to the end.
Ladeedebra
Feb 15, 2009 Ladeedebra rated it really liked it
Quite a scary thought that this can be happening right now. Very thought provoking and some may find it disturbing to read. Mostly it is about parents who will go to any extreme in an attempt to ensure their children excel. Do not read of science bothers you.
Andrea Carlin
Feb 14, 2008 Andrea Carlin rated it really liked it
Suddenly I am aware that I read an awful lot of schlock... Rich people want to make their kids smarter by injecting their brains with brain matter from smart poor kids! And honestly, you can see this kind of thing happening in real life. I had fun reading this book.
Christopher  Nelson
Mar 27, 2012 Christopher Nelson rated it really liked it
Shelves: favorites
Outstanding premise. The first few pages had me hooked. Dr. Braver combines technical expertise and experience with the human condition to weave a tale that is as haunting as it is intriguing. It's not often that I find myself hurting and angry at the bad guys.
Merredith
Oct 01, 2008 Merredith rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: robin cook fans
This reminded me of a Robin Cook book. I've always liked Robin's books (and now he's my neighbor), so I also enjoyed Gary's. A medically type thriller, about brain and intelligence enhancement. Very reccomended.
Megan
Sep 03, 2009 Megan rated it liked it
I don't typically read this kindof sci-fi novel, but my dad suggested it to me and I became completely engrossed. An eerie tale of a mysterious cocktail/procedure that can increase the IQ of children.
Kimberly
Jun 21, 2011 Kimberly rated it it was ok
Extremely predictable, and the characters lacked depth. It was a decent enough airplane book...but that's about all. Kept my mind off the fact that I was in a airborne tuna can for 2 hours, but only barely.
RedAlly2306
Nov 14, 2012 RedAlly2306 rated it it was amazing
It was very intriguing and i couldn't put it down. It was creepy, and messed with my mind but I couldn't stop reading it! I'm pretty sure I read it in about 4 days... :D
ben
Mar 19, 2009 ben rated it liked it
When I first read this, when it came out, I was really freaked out. So bizarre and the kids were so creepy. But I recently found it again and I'm going to read it again.
Bethany
Jan 26, 2010 Bethany rated it liked it
Shelves: 2010
Interesting premise. Bio-ethics feature prominently, including the practice of heavily medicating teenagers. Exciting denouement.
Kathy
Jun 10, 2012 Kathy rated it really liked it
Shelves: kathy-s-shelf
Chilling - it has a plausible plot, though not medically possible at this time (at least, I don't think so).
Sylvia
Jul 11, 2012 Sylvia rated it it was amazing
lord lord... it is possible!
Roxanne B.
Jun 27, 2011 Roxanne B. rated it really liked it
Can't wait for his next book!
Katporter
Aug 19, 2012 Katporter rated it liked it
Too predictable.
Marni
Marni rated it did not like it
Sep 17, 2016
BookDB
BookDB marked it as to-read
Sep 11, 2016
Amber
Amber rated it it was amazing
Sep 03, 2016
Lori Rose
Lori Rose marked it as to-read
Aug 19, 2016
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Gary Braver is the pen name of Gary Goshgarian, the author of six critically acclaimed suspense novels: three under his own name--Atlantis Fire, Rough Beast and The Stone Circle--and three under his pen name--Elixir, Gray Matter, and Flashback. He is also the author of four popular college writing textbooks--Exploring Language, The Contemporary Reader, Dialogues, and What Matters in America.

Gary G
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