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Extreme Makeover

3.58  ·  Rating details ·  933 ratings  ·  201 reviews
A new stand-alone novel from the New York Times bestselling author of I Am Not A Serial Killer, soon to be a feature film.

The satirical new suspense about a health and beauty company that accidentally develops a hand lotion that can overwrite your DNA.

Lyle Fontanelle is the chief scientist for NewYew, a health and beauty company experimenting with a new, anti-aging hand lo
Paperback, 416 pages
Published November 15th 2016 by Tor Books
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Graham Bradley
Dec 07, 2016 rated it it was amazing


Ein Buch, das provokant, nervenaufreibend, humorvoll ist und doch nachdenklich stimmt …

Lyle Fontanelle ist ein genialer Wissenschaftler (dessen Nachname mich immer wieder verwirrt hat). Zu seinem Pech arbeitet er bei der Kosmetikfirma NewYew, die seine bahnbrechende Erfindung zur Narben-Regenerierung nicht zum eigentlichen Zwecke vermarkten will, da das Genehmigungsverfahren zu aufwendig und langwierig scheint – sondern lieber das schnelle Geld als Inhaltsstoff einer  Hautcreme sucht. Erschrecke
Jan 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: science-fiction
Leave it to Dan to write a book that is simultaneously laugh-out-loud funny and so terrifying that I almost felt sick when I finished it.

What makes Dan's books so great is that he not only has an amazing gift for writing characters, dialogue, and plot (you know, all the basics) but he comes up with these ideas that are so ridiculous you want to shake your head, and then he meticulously shows you how plausible it all is. Suddenly it's your new worst nightmare, and you have Dan to thank for it.

Abe Wolfgang
Sep 24, 2016 rated it really liked it
First, an anecdote. I went to GenCon this year, which some of you may know is the largest tabletop gaming convention in the US. It's crazy. And Huge. And crazy huge. There were something north of 60,000 people in attendance, packing out the Indiana Convention Center, and just generally enjoying being geeks together.

The main reason I wanted to go was to attend the GenCon Writers Symposium, which is held in conjunction with all of the nerd-filled board gaming stuff, just across the street in hotel
Jan 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Always love a Dan Wells story.
And after reading the process, I love it even more!
Kept me guessing - Good ending for some characters. Nope, bad ending for some characters. Nope, good ending for some characters. Nope, bad ending for some characters. Nope...
Twists and turns at every corner.
Bravo, Mr. Wells!!! Bravo!

see also this...
Dec 28, 2016 rated it liked it
In many ways, I applaud this book. It really is a perfect commentary about society and looks. The ending is brave. I do, however, feel that it would have been better if it had been shorter. Parts of it feel a bit padded.
Jul 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Lena by: Nocturnal Readers

Everybody wants to be beautiful.

This was a sci-fi recommendation from Nocturnal Readers and that just makes me even more excited for my first box. This was damn good and I had never even heard of it.

Lyle Fontanelle has invented a hand lotion that can overwrite DNA. Now that's definitely a bioweapon but, like botulism, they would rather market it as a beauty product. What followed was a fast paced, irreverent, humorous tale that reminded me of Being John Malkovich, Zoo, and Oryx & Crake. D
Nov 24, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: own, 2016
Lyle Fontanelle is working at cosmetics company NewYew when he accidentally creates a hand lotion that rewrites your DNA. He doesn't realize he's in a book where the chapter headings include a countdown to the end of the world, for him. And humanity.

Dan Wells's Extreme Makeover (aka Extreme Makeover: Apocalypse Edition) has a ridiculous premise but it's rooted in enough handwavey science and cynical views of humanity that it's not hard to go along with. Of course a cosmetics company w
H R Koelling
Mar 08, 2017 rated it did not like it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Corey Sanders
Dec 02, 2016 rated it it was ok
This is an idea book. Plot and character take the backseat while exploration of the core idea of a lotion that can turn you into a genetic clone of someone else drives the story. It is a thorough exploration of that core idea and entertaining in that regard, but mostly I didn't care. This will probably appeal to hard SF fans, but I need more than just a thought experiment in a book to stay engaged.
Dec 31, 2016 rated it really liked it
Full video review coming soon!
Eric Allen
Nov 15, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This book is a lot of fun. It's a very dark comedy about the end of the world, combined with a satire of the cosmetics industry, which the author Dan Wells worked in before becoming a writer. To me a lot of the book felt along the lines of Doctor Strangelove. (Which, if you haven't seen, you MUST go watch as soon as possible. Seriously!) There are several scenes that really seem to pay homage to the movie, without feeling like it's ripping them off. There's also a crazy amount of sci-fi TV serie ...more
Bennison Smith
Feb 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I'm a simple man, I like simple things. When Brandon Sanderson recommends that his readers pick up the latest novel from Dan Wells, I don't think about it, I just go do it.

I had to think for a little while before I gave this book five stars - I was wavering between four and five. In the end, I wanted to give Wells' work here the highest grade possible. He takes the story in directions I never could have anticipated when I first began reading. Things get very dark and very twisted, but I never on
Dec 28, 2016 rated it really liked it
Nobody really reads these, do they ? Well, if you are, I have a question; What don't people on Goodreads understand about the word "REVIEW" ?!?!? I'm starting to believe that the people here doing reviews have confused the word "review" with "summary" or "synopsis" or maybe they think "Review" means ; "Take the words written on the back cover of this book and re-write them WORD FOR WORD but pretend you thought them up all by yourself. Or maybe it's just me..?
**( If you took the time to read this
Cyn  (chinchilla hunter, shameless reader of trash)
3.5 stars rounded up
This was all sorts of fvked up. Really frightening but also really funny
Ben Babcock
Honestly didn’t have much interest in reading anything else by Dan Wells—not that I consider him a poor writer, but his particular fare holds little interest for me in general. However, the premise of this book is good enough that I decided, since it was on offer as part of a 3 for $10 sale, I’d give it a try. It pretty much met my expectations: Extreme Makeover is a competent, slightly bizarro SF thriller that never really transcends its tropes. Nevertheless, credit to Wells for occasionally at ...more
Jan 15, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: z-2017, horror, sci-fi
This was one of the scariest books I have read. Not "guy shows up in a mask with a chainsaw" scary. Not "Cthulu-type entities beyond human understanding come to devour the earth" scary. This was scary on a different level--on a deep existential level, where our identity lives, where the very things we depend on for a functional society to continue are far more fragile than we realize. I had moments of dread as I saw where parts of the plot were going and had some surprises a few times (both in w ...more
Blair Conrad
Dec 01, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: fiction, library
A very interesting concept, and I enjoyed how Mr. Wells (or Mrs. Wells, according to the acknowledgements) thought up many interesting ramifications for ReBirth. However the overall story and characters left me flat. I felt no particular affection for any of the people, and there was almost no tension in the story. I think the latter problem was augmented by the chapter headings, "xxx days until the end of the world"; I mean it really kills the "how's this going to turn out?" motivation for read ...more
Spencer Borup
"Immortal lesbians," said Japan.

The quote above is a perfect example of how equally bizarre and hilarious Dan Wells' EXTREME MAKEOVER is, but here's the thing—IT'S ALSO COMPLETELY BELIEVABLE AND TERRIFYING.

I've read most of Wells' work, and this stands out far above the rest in so many ways. The concept—a new beauty product that accidentally cloned, mutated, and consequently destroyed all of civilization—is so original and the perfect story for this author, who worked in the beauty industry for
Put cloning technology into the hands of beauty execs and what do you get?


A black comedy reminiscent of Catch-22--with a sci-fi twist. 4/5 STARS.

I added Extreme Makeover: Apocalypse Edition to my tbr because of its killer premise, but I actually downloaded the audiobook because I'm suffering John Cleaver withdrawals. Thus, I was surprised to find myself embarking upon a black comedy!

Story time: let me tell you about me and comedy. My husband has taken pains
Jan 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
Really impressive story and I totally fell for it. Although it may sound weird that a lotion could change your whole DNA - the outcome isn't as unrealistic as it may be. Biological warfare at it's best.
Jun 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2017
Crichton-esque wacky science pulp of the best kind.
Oct 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A fun, ridiculous, scary, and disturbing look at how a cloning hand lotion could cause the end of the world. Dan Wells is one of my favorite authors, and this book doesn't disappoint.
Aimee Meester
Sep 11, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2017, meh, sci-fi
meh? An interesting concept that interested me less as I went on.
Lisa Wolf
Presenting... the book that will make you scared of your moisturizer.

What better book for getting in the holiday spirit than a terrifying yet farcical tale of the end of the world -- not an apocalypse caused by climate catastrophe or nuclear war, but rather by a beauty product run amok.

In Extreme Makeover, main character Lyle thinks he's come up with a promising product that can prompt the body to amp up collagen to repair wrinkled skin. Cool, right? As the executives' eyes gleam with greed, the
Jessica Strider
Dec 20, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: sf, horror
Pros: great characters, terrifying premise, thought-provoking


Lyle Fontanelle is the head chemist at NewYew. His newest experimental product is an anti-aging cream developed from research conducted on burn victims. But the most recent test group starts showing strange side effects, which show alternate potential uses for the cream. Uses that could destroy the world.

Each chapter header of the book mentions a time and a place and the number of days until the end of the world. This is a slow a
Tiffany Anne
Jan 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
This was so much fun. I don't normally love apocalyptic, end of the world, type stories. It's hard to come across one that does something new, isn't too predictable or doesn't involve zombies (as much as I love horror, zombies bore me). In this, a cosmetics company creates an anti-aging lotion and unleashes it into the world prematurely because it'll make them mad bank - and adds a sci-fi twist: that lotion changes your DNA, it clones you. And of course, shit hits the fan and now there's a count ...more
3.5/5 stars This was alright, but by far not the author's best work. Here are a few things Rosey and I found particularly odd about Extreme Makeover.
Jan 16, 2017 rated it did not like it
Shelves: unfinished
Intriguing idea. Disappointingly terrible execution.
He mores differently, thought Lyle, watching Kerry closely. It's the same Kerry, thinking the same old thoughts in the same old way, but he moves like a completely different person--different muscles moving different bones, rotating against each other with a completely different set of joints. He's...smoother than Kerry used to be. More flowing. Changing his body has changed the way he interfaces with the world.

How will that change his brain?

Wanting to alter one's appearance has been part of h
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Dan Wells is a thriller and science fiction writer. Born in Utah, he spent his early years reading and writing. He is he author of the Partials series (Partials, Isolation, Fragments, and Ruins), the John Cleaver series (I Am Not a Serial Killer, Mr. Monster, and I Don't Want To Kill You), and a few others (The Hollow City, A Night of Blacker Darkness, etc). He was a Campbell nomine for best new w ...more