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The Experiment

3.54  ·  Rating Details ·  576 Ratings  ·  48 Reviews
In an isolated laboratory, a test subject discovers a human corpse with its heart removed...In New York City, a journalist investigates a homicide victim with its face and fingerprints removed...

Drawn together by medicine and murder, these two men are about to make a discovery that will change everything they think about science, nature, and themselves...

They share the sam
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Paperback, 496 pages
Published August 1st 2000 by Signet (first published 1999)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Annette
Jul 09, 2010 Annette rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi, mystery
I'm classing this rather uninterestingly titled piece as "Medical Sci Fi Mystery Thriller."
An interesting, if no longer quite novel, premise: moderately successful New York reporter unexpectedly meets his own clone and together they uncover a sinister conspiracy for life extension which implicates many of the rich and powerful.
There's a lot of hard science in the book, which the author presents in an interesting manner nicely comprehensible to a laymen. Clearly this is his forte. Unfortunately
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Bandit
Jan 17, 2012 Bandit rated it liked it
Pretty decent thriller. A bit too long. Well paced and with some twists and turns, particularly in the end. There is a lot of the whole "when does science cross the line from good to evil", "what things are we meant to control and what we're not" sort of action going on. The science writing was done pretty well and accessible to layman reader. Recommended for fans of thrillers with mad scientists.
CAUTION minor sort of SPOILERS ahead.
Reading this book, I couldn't help but think that this is basic
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james
Jun 26, 2009 james rated it really liked it
This is an adventure story and a horror book if the reader considers the consequences. Extremely rich people pay big bucks to have clones of themselves created and raised in case a transplant is needed, in which case there's no reason to hunt around the world for potential donors who might be compatible. This is a similar story to a movie named the Island.
Joyce
Jul 11, 2007 Joyce rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favoritereads
Thrill....Suspense....Science. Rolled into one. This is definitely a page turner. Talks about DNA's and experiments that scares the hell out of me. It makes me wonder if all these things would eventually happen in the near future...hhmmm....the book is a page turner...go ahead and take a look at it...
Amy
Jul 10, 2008 Amy rated it did not like it
Shelves: science-fiction
ARGH. The entire thing was written in 3rd person. It had a few short spoken conversations, but not nearly enough to make up for the "3rd-personness".
Darnton did his research--all the science was legit, all the theories were plausible, the results were what's to be expected in cloning research.
I could barely make it through. Don't read it.
Sherri
Nov 11, 2016 Sherri rated it liked it
Pretty predictable and the last paragraph took a lot away from the book. However, the ideas presented were pretty interesting and some of the ethical issues presented were though provoking. Worth the read, not worth a re-read.
Karen
Sep 24, 2016 Karen rated it liked it
Listened on unabridged audio cassette to this one while driving. Science & suspense cross in this story. The drama starts on a remote island off the coast of GA/FL (which I liked, including references to our local area & Fort Stewart. Teenage Skyler begins to see his friends disappear only to find out they've been harvested for 'parts.' In upstate NY, journalist Jude Harley, sees a corpse who's missing his finger prints in order to conceal his identity. Skyler & Jude meet on the ...more
Steen
Jul 27, 2015 Steen rated it it was ok
I picked this book up originally because it sounded interesting. A secluded island with a bunch of people in their mid 20's who discover one of their friends dead in the basement of the main building. On the main land a reporter is looking into a story about a body that was found that was missing the face, finger tips and some of the internal organs. I mean how can that not pull you in. It did, at least for the first 200 pages.

I felt that the middle section of this book was just way to freaking
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Steven
May 26, 2016 Steven rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Things I liked -- the writing was quite good, and the characters were compelling. The science was well described, and not boring or confusing. The tension was good, with plenty of action. I listened to the audiobook, and narrator George Guidall's voice is incomparable.

Things I didn't like -- it seemed like there were quite a few coincidences. I know the author tried to address that in the Author Interview on the last CD, but typically the rule of novel-writing is that you get one coincidence, a
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Matt
Sep 14, 2012 Matt rated it liked it
Darnton writes another thrilling science-based novel completely different from the first. In this one, we examine the world of reproductive technology and its nuances. Without giving too much away, it will open your eyes to things you may have never knew existed and really leave you wondering, 'could they??'.

I was thoroughly impressed with the progress of the book, though there are sections that drag on and on, which is indicative of my three star rating. I did enjoy its progress and the science
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Cyn
Mar 16, 2012 Cyn rated it liked it
Just started this today. Seems to be the novel version of the movie The Island. Not 100% sure about that, though. If it's what I think it is, then I'm pretty sure I know what the 'experiment' on this island is all about, so it won't be a plot twist or anything for me.

OK - I finished it not long ago and it was pretty good. I'd never read anything from this author before. The plot is a bit similar to The Island movie, but there are so many differences, I now think that the movie wasn't based on th
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Jenness
Nov 10, 2008 Jenness rated it liked it
Wierd but fascinating. I listened to this one and it's read by my favorite narrator George Guidall. He can make any story enjoyable to listen to. This is somewhat futuristic but something that seems within the realm of possibility. A little scary to think it might really happen but who knows this kind of genetic manipulation might be secretly going on somewhere today. Skylar, part of the experiment, begins asking questions and longs to see the world outside of the compound where he lives. His ...more
Ella
Sep 16, 2014 Ella rated it really liked it
I think this is the first medical fiction that I have read and loved so far. It's really different and it made me think of how amoral science can be sometimes. It explored borders outside of, what people might think as humane and acceptable.

I must admit that because of my busy schedule, it took me ages before I actually just sat down and finished the remaining chapters of this novel. I loved how the climax of the novel (at least for me) was placed at the very end. Just when I thought they will j
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Mindy
Dec 08, 2013 Mindy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: adult-lit
Lacked character development, was predictable, scientific explanations were too frequent and long, and plot was drawn out. Darnton made it obvious that he was a news columnist with his canned conversations and way of making exciting things happen at the most obviously needed moments. Really needs to take some classes on creative writing. Still, I somehow managed to be on the edge of my seat at times while reading. It's such an interesting plot idea--just needed to be toned down a bit by means of ...more
deLille
An intriguing, but not particularly original plot line. (Clones being raised for later organ harvesting.) This book could have been VERY suspenseful, but every time the action got really intense, the wind got knocked out of the sails. "Mysteries" were too obvious, and "escapes" happened too easily, and sometimes it was revealed that the "escape" had been successful before the escape story was fully told!

Given that this book was written before widespread availability of the Internet and the World
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Falbs
Oct 05, 2013 Falbs rated it liked it
He had some interesting ideas about cloning and organ harvesting in this book, but the characters were just not very real. They seemed to come up way too big in the clutch time and time again, and the supposedly invincible and powerful criminal organization was incredibly inept as well as unbelievable. However, there were many sections I really enjoyed and his take on future possibilities in biology included many topics I really enjoy discussing on my own with colleagues and friends, so if ...more
Maurean
Nov 23, 2008 Maurean rated it really liked it
Skyler was a test subject, and the Lab was his home.
Jude was a journalist, and New York was his beat.
Skyler escapes. Jude investigates. And now, united by the mystery of science and murder, the two men are forced to make sense of one startling, seemingly impossible fact....They share the same face.
The experiment is out of control.


This was an intriguing read. While the story has been done - cloning as a sort of "organ farm" - Darton's interesting characters and his fact-paced plot line, made for
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Vanessa
I found this book interesting, but it shocked me to see that so many people would do "anything" to apear young and be "inmortal" no matter the cost.

Is possible that clonation, and using a clone for your own needs be a way to be "inmortal" but the price would be becoming a moster... well I personally believe that a person that is mature (mentally) and enjoys their time and life as unique and precious along with every living creature has the gift of life in their hands, and that is what makes lif
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Erica
Jul 11, 2008 Erica rated it really liked it
Yes the high school science geek in me lives on! I'm a bit fascinated with DNA and everything that can be done and learned from it. It's about cloning and are the clones thier own person; what happens if they got out of the controlled environments; what happens to the failures. I know, if anyone saw the movie The Island they're going "wait..." but this book came first and it's 100 times better.
J. Ewbank
This book by John Darnton was a good rodad and enjoyable. The plot hung together and the characters were good.

It delves into the scientific, particularly as it relates to human beings and experimenting on them, particularly genetics.

It is an interesting read and one that is enjoyable.

J. Robert Ewbank author "John Wesley, Natural Man, and the 'Isms'"
Kayce
Feb 16, 2012 Kayce rated it it was ok
I didn't finish this book. I got half way through and it bored me to the point that I kept putting it down. I was captivated in the beginning but lost interest in the long scientific dialogue throughout. There are long talks about genetics and twins and despite being one myself it just didn't interest me.
Kimberly
Apr 29, 2007 Kimberly rated it really liked it
Another book on tape that I listened to before or after Neanderthal. Scarlett Johanson was recently in a movie (forget teh title) that looked similar to this concept...but from the previews the book sounded better.
It was a fun sci fi about, basically, an island of organ donors/clones.
I gave it a 4. It's not a masterpiece but it was a "page" turner.
Emily
Aug 02, 2015 Emily rated it it was ok
Not a big fan of this one. Maybe it was because it was just so similar to "The island," but I felt like the beginning at least, was very predictable. I did like the plot twist that they're more like twins, but the unnecessary piles of sex scenes were not working for me.
Cool idea, not so good in practice.
Debbie
Jan 09, 2009 Debbie rated it really liked it
i love this clone stuff. when you think about your clone being you and the interaction is actually between two yous of different ages and raised in different environments. i hope that was a teaser and not a spoiler.
Tina
Aug 31, 2016 Tina rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
Il libro da cui è stato tratto il film The Island con Scarlett Johansson (con diversi cambiamenti). L'ho letto tempo fa quindi non posso dare un giudizio sulla scrittura ma la storia è appassionante.
Lace
Mar 06, 2016 Lace rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really liked this book. It reminded me a lot of the movie (view spoiler) . It did not end like I expected which I really liked. I would recommend this to anyone who likes a little bit of Sci-Fi mixed with a good mystery/thriller.
Amber
Jul 18, 2014 Amber rated it liked it
I felt as though the book got off to a very slow start, but once I was halfway in, it was hard to put down. Lots of twists and turns that I didn't see coming. I would recommend this book to anyone who likes scientific thrillers.
Ed
Dec 28, 2010 Ed rated it liked it
A slight variation of a story told by mnay books and movies. Fairly done if you suspend belief a little bit about the tracking of the runaways. A bit like some movies and alien recognition, here by a tatoo.
Nancy
Jan 03, 2009 Nancy rated it liked it
I usually don;t like this kind of science fiction book, but this one was pretty good. It had an interesting plot and good characters.
Houston Barker
Sep 01, 2015 Houston Barker rated it liked it
This book was not on of the best books I've ever read. Sounded interesting at first but almost didn't finish it
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John Darnton has worked for The New York Times for forty years as a reporter, editor, and foreign correspondent. He is the recipient of two George Polk Awards and a Pulitzer Prize. He is also the author of five novels, including The Darwin Conspiracy and the best seller Neanderthal. He lives in New York.
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