Scott Rhee's Reviews > Contagion

Contagion by Robin Cook
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's review
Feb 27, 2013

did not like it
bookshelves: medical, mystery
Read from March 26 to 27, 2012

It boggles my mind how some writers earn their "best-selling author" status. It's not always because they are good writers. Clearly this is the case with Robin Cook, a mediocre writer at best. Cook is also an M.D., and his books generally deal with the medical field. I picked up "Contagion" because I had never actually read a Robin Cook novel before. Perhaps "Contagion" wasn't the best one to start with, or perhaps I wasn't in a "medical thriller" mood when I read this, but it wasn't that good. It's pretty slow-moving for a thriller, and Cook (being a doctor) has to throw in as much medical jargon and explanatory paragraphs as possible, I guess to sound authoritative and to prove to his reading audience that, yes, indeed, he did go to medical school and earned those little letters after his name. The book is kind of garbage, having to do with a flu epidemic in New York City. Some of the dialogue sounds stilted, the pacing is very uneven, and there is an uncomfortable amount of racist stereotypes scattered throughout. Again, it boggles my mind how Robin Cook earned his status as a best-selling author. I will attempt to read another Cook novel to see if "Contagion" was a fluke, although my hunch is that it isn't...
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