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3.73  ·  Rating details ·  1,314 ratings  ·  96 reviews
Geneticist Pierre Tardivel may not have long to live—he's got a fifty-fifty chance of having the gene for Huntington's disease. But if his DNA is tragic, his girlfriend's is astonishing: Molly Bond has a mutation that gives her telepathy. Both of them have attracted the interest of Pierre's boss, Dr. Burian Klimus, a senior researcher in the Human Genome Project who just m ...more
Paperback, 352 pages
Published October 13th 1997 by Tor Books (first published 1997)
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3.73  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,314 ratings  ·  96 reviews

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Oct 11, 2011 rated it really liked it
I often peruse other reviews before I post my own - not to change my mind, but to make sure I'm not forgetting anything I thought was important. When I did that for this book I was surprised to find a bunch of pretty strongly critical reviews. That wasn't my reaction at all. To me this is the best book I've read so far this year, and more than deserving of it's Hugo nomination.

After reflection, I think I see where the critics are coming from.

This book jumps right in with some all-out action, an
Mar 18, 2012 rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: Hard-core Sawyer fans
Recommended to Derek by: Robert J. Sawyer
I'm glad I've read and loved so many of Sawyer's later books because it means this won't put me off...

Frameshift fails on so many levels. It's too complicated: we have three characters who look like Ivan the Terrible, of Treblinka death camp fame; we have a telepathic leading lady (and really, it isn't even necessary to the plot); a Nobel winning geneticist who can successfully clone humans in one try!; Police who are far too ready and willing to share information with members of the public; and
Sarah Kennedy
Nov 24, 2012 rated it liked it
Three stars. It would have been two but the generous helpings of nonsense made me laugh out loud frequently.

The book seems to be the result of an unlikely pairing - a group of scientists and a gang of 8 year old boys had got to together to write the most AY-MAY-ZING(OMGLOLZ!!!1!) story in all the wide world.

Their check-list must have looked a little like this..

In the bestist story in the world we will need:-
The Human Genome Project!
Nobel Prize Winners!
Hot women!
Dec 28, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: sci-fi, science
The third book by Sawyer that I've read in the last few months. This is definitely my least favorite, but that's not to say it wasn't good. In fact, for a fun read over the holidays when my brain is happy to be not-overly-intellectually-challenged, it was ideal. I was a little concerned through most of the book that that various plot lines seemed unconnected and somewhat contrived (in order to make certain plot twists possible - which always happens in sci-fi, but sometimes more subtly than othe ...more
Feb 06, 2015 rated it it was amazing
In order to review this, I think I have to disclose that I am a Unitarian, and am in fact married to a Unitarian Universalist minister. So having a seriously-taken character with an accurate Unitarian background predisposes me to like the book. And, if that weren't enough, I had a aunt who died of Huntington's, as well as two cousins and some of their children currently living with it. Sawyer treats this topic very well.

So. This book was a nominee for Hugo best novel in 1998. Sawyer has in fact
Aug 17, 2013 rated it liked it
Mr Sawyer himself recommended this book for our bookclub. We try to read a lot of Candaian Literature, and this book fit the bill in that way.
It's a fairly smart story considering it was written so long ago. (tech speaking) and a good lesson in basic genetics. It's even got nazis!
Storyline: 1/5
Characters: 2/5
Writing Style: 2/5
Resonance: 1/5

The momentum this book generated came from watching horrible authorial decisions as they were contemplated, foreshadowed, and brought to realization. It was thinking, He's not really going to rely on that trope for a villain is he? or There's no way the author is going to let the main character do that to move the novel forward. And then there were so many moments of, "No, no, no, you can't possibly plan to let the scene turn on a twis
Jul 13, 2011 rated it it was ok
Shelves: sci-fi
Frameshift is not my sort of book. I found it really clunky. Serious name dropping (and speech quoting -- "I have a dream," really?) will not save bad dialog and bad narration. I don't have the book in front of me or I'd give some quotes. A ho-hum plot and a serious penchant for overexposition does not help. Strangely, it being dated didn't bug me too much, but more on that later.

Two things I liked: I enjoyed a sci-fi book teaching me about Huntington's, and if the point had been to show someone
Invadozer Misothorax Circular-thallus Popewaffensquat
This guy Sawyer knows how to get the
fingers greased up to turn pages. There's a few little
roadblocks when it comes to theDNA bits he goes into that
leaves me standing in the corner with a dunce cap on,
it's something it try to understand but have only so much
brain space for the sequencing bits. Ok, I just take his
word for it and skim over those bits. Nazi
intrigue/ hunting for a war criminal 'Ivan the Terrible' who
in Treblinka would go out of his way for that extra bit
of cruelty. What a gutter fnck
Feb 25, 2014 rated it liked it
I was pleasantly surprised with this novel. It's got a little bit of a science fiction element to it, but it's set in, presumably, the modern day. It spoke to my inner science nerd, which I loved. There were a lot of biological elements because Pierre worked on the Human Genome Project.

At first I wasn't sure how they were going to intertwine all the stories they started with, but it really worked out in the end. There's really not much I can say without giving away the story though.

The character
Jul 05, 2011 rated it did not like it
Shelves: sci-fi
To explain the 1 star rating, I present this gem: "He knew that sign language was, at best, a poor substitute for spoken language..." (p271-2). More accurately, the author doesn't know anything about sign language, or this ridiculous statement would never be included in a book centred around a fight for equality.

The writing is terrible (the main female character has "only one vice" which is occasionally eating fast food - I do declare!). The plot has some interesting aspects but gets bogged dow
Feb 10, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book, even though the timeline in part one of the book is a little hard to follow at times. With its mix of well researched science and crime it makes for a captivating read.

The book itself is labeled in the blurb as a "morality tale for the Genetic Age", and this theme is present throughout the book. The author has written brilliantly about the wider possible consequences of using genetic science for personal gain at the cost of others. Do not let the science
Feb 17, 2019 rated it did not like it
What a terrible mess of a book. Although there is a story here that was engaging enough to keep me reading, it was impossible to take seriously, and 90% of why I kept reading was just to see how ridiculous it would keep getting.

The main flaw, I suppose, is that there is just too much thrown in there to make it coherent or believable. It's almost as if Sawyer was mulling around three or four main ideas for new novels, wasn't sure which to work on next, and just thought, "What the heck, I'll put A
Kourosh Keshavarz
Jan 31, 2019 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Scott Jann
Nov 27, 2017 rated it really liked it
I didn’t even know what a frameshift mutation was before reading this book nor much about Huntington’s disease, so I learned from this book. I liked the chronology of how the story was told, with the gripping start in World War II. As with a few of his other books, this had a grandiose hypothesis of evolution that presented a positive look at the future of humanity. I liked the characters, including Amanda, however there was plenty of story here without her and I’d prefer to have read a whole no ...more
Apr 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: hugo, own-it, sci-fi
This book does a good job wrestling with some really weighty issues, and it's a total page turner. There are a few loose ends with the plot and a few extraneous red herrings, but the character development is solid, and Sawyer did a pretty good job writing believable female characters. The only really jarring note was when he arranged to have his male protagonist deliver a really beginner level lecture on genetics to his post doctoral female lab assistant so that we readers could get the info dum ...more
May 17, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: story-bundle
I liked this one much better than hominids by the same author, I think this one was very well done, and it certainly raises a lot of questions about all kinds of issues, questions I doubt we're ready to deal with just yet. That's the kind of thing scifi is notable for, and this book has that in spades.
If you're a scifi fan, this should go a long way toward satisfying your scifi urges. If not, then it may not be your cup of tea, but you might want to read it anyway, if nothing else, for the moral
Mar 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
This book has fairly advanced explanation about genetics, alongside with some Nazi hunting, telepathy, and a modern-day Neanderthal. That sounds like a lot to pack into a single novel, but somehow, it works.

It's a fun read, and the hard-science genetics explanations along with the historical facts about the holocaust actually manage to tie it together into something that feels _almost_ plausible at times.

Would recommend. I got this through the Story Bundle Sci-Fi bundle and it was worth it.
Mar 16, 2017 rated it really liked it
Although the book was written in 1997 it's startlingly relevant to 2017, since headlines this year include the US proposing legislation to allow insurance companies to demand genetic testing (and Canada blocking legislation to do the same), and references to Hillary Clinton losing a political fight (I believe he was referencing a fight for health care improvements, but obviously extra topical now). I enjoy Sawyer's writing because he's extremely science-savvy and isn't shy about tackling current ...more
Jan 24, 2018 rated it liked it
A light and pleasant SF read. A tragedy in some ways, but uplifting in others.
Brian Gaston
Mar 25, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
I like Frameshift but not as much as other Sawyer books. Good science and a good story.
Avery Olive
Aug 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
As always, Robert J. Sawyer does a fantastic job creating an engaging read. A unique mix of science, thriller, mystery, and an emotional, heartwarming love story all rolled into one.

Sep 12, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Geneticist with Huntington’s, insurance company murdering high risk clients? Nazi war criminals on the loose? And more, all mixed in one book? But I liked it, a page turner.
May 03, 2019 rated it it was ok
This was in the SF section of my library so I took a chance, based on the author's rep. Silly, childish 'plot'.
Ward Bond
Jun 25, 2012 rated it it was amazing

### Review

In the guise of a mainstream biomedical thriller akin to Ira Levin's _The Boys From Brazil_, or the novels of Robin _Coma_ Cook, Nebula Award-winner Robert Sawyer has crafted a most ambitious tale.

As a teenager, Pierre Tardivel discovers that he has a 50 per cent chance of developing the hereditary Huntington's disease. The knowledge drives him to become a scientist working on the Human Genome Project at Berkley University, where he falls in love with Molly, a psycholog

Jun 28, 2014 rated it it was amazing
In my opinion, Robert Sawyer is terrific. Every book is a hit every time.

This time however, I have a lot to complain about – but it’s not directed at Sawyer, it’s regarding the narration (I listented to the Audio verison).

Absolutely the WORST interpretation of a French Canadian accent I have ever heard. Hands down.

I live in Montreal, I do speak French, I am surrounded on a daily basis with French Canadians speaking English. This guy obviously never set foot in Quebec! His accent is so comicall
Jan 24, 2011 rated it it was ok
Frameshift is one of the poorer books I've read from Sawyer (and I've read a fair number of his books). The story follows a French Canadian geneticist who becomes entangled in Nazi war criminal, a telepath, and other crazy occurrences. [return][return]Frameshift was weak in that the story required a lot of random coincidences and events for the story to flow (another review here likened it to The DaVinci Code and I'd have to agree). Furthermore, some items are just bizarre. The biggest one is th ...more
Dec 24, 2012 rated it liked it
The least SF book of SF I've ever read

JDN 2456310 EDT 20:13.

Frameshift was set Twenty Minutes into the Future when it was written in 1997, so by now it is actually set in the recent past. This is not as weird as it sounds, because actually most of the events in the story could actually have happened. If there were a little girl who was a cloned Neanderthal growing up in secret somewhere in California, we might not actually know that. Also, it's almost certainly possible. Honestly, it's the actio
Carl Alves
Jul 13, 2013 rated it really liked it
Frameshift is a thought provoking, well written sci-fi novel. Heavily centered on genetics and genetics research, Pierre Tardivel is a genetic scientist who suffers from Huntingdon's Disease working on the Human Genome Project. His wife Molly can read other people's thoughts. Early on in the story he is attacked by a man with a knife. He survives the knife attack. This sets into motion a number of seemingly unrelated events. Because of his Huntingdon's he wants to have a child but not pass on hi ...more
Dec 23, 2012 rated it really liked it
I have yet to be disappointed by any novel from Robert Sawyer and Frameshift is no exception. In this story he takes a geneticist who has a family history of Huntington's disease, his wife who can read minds thank to a genetic anomaly (which is where the title comes from), a disreputable insurance company and a hunt for nazi war criminals and mixes all this into a twisty plot that has plenty of surprises.

Saywer is a master of mixing interesting characters and situations with hard science that is
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Robert J. Sawyer is one of Canada's best known and most successful science fiction writers. He is the only Canadian (and one of only 7 writers in the world) to have won all three of the top international awards for science fiction: the 1995 Nebula Award for The Terminal Experiment, the 2003 Hugo Award for Hominids, and the 2006 John W. Campbell Memorial Award for Mindscan.
Robert Sawyer grew up in
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