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Cages

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3.60  ·  Rating details ·  25 ratings  ·  14 reviews
Two neurologists are engaged in divergent quests: one to locate the source of memory and the other to study speech patterns in humans by analyzing and manipulating bird vocalization. Both men use experiments on live songbirds in a laboratory on a university campus, and both become romantically intertwined with a woman lab assistant who takes issue with their methods. ...more
Paperback, 302 pages
Published May 1st 2017 by Schaffner Press, Inc.
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Average rating 3.60  · 
Rating details
 ·  25 ratings  ·  14 reviews


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Always Pouting
Apr 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
David started his career in science out with a lot of promise, becoming one of the first to do monitoring of brain activity in birds to unravel the way in which they learn to sing. As time passes though, grants have become scarcer and David has not published anything he deems impressive in a while. Meanwhile he struggles with loneliness in the wake of the loss of his wife and friend, the only two people he was really close to. He hires Rebecca as a lab assistant after she shows up persistently ...more
Mark
Jun 07, 2017 rated it it was ok
Okay, we have two scientists and a lab assistant, in a lukewarm love triangle. Think of a Jules and Jim, with birds.
First disclosure- This book is no where near as good as that classic French film.
The scientists are working on bird vocalization, by manipulating and experimenting with the vocal chords of these test birds, which leads into sticky moral issues that the lab assistant begins to struggle with, putting her at odds with both men. There is also lots of layers here, as the narrative
...more
Linda
Jun 02, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017, arc, fiction, e-book
I know I read about this book someplace and that is why I requested an ARC, unfortunately, I did not note where I found out about it. I was not as enthralled as whatever introduced me to this book.
Multi-layered story of a team of people who do research on birds, trying to learn how and why they sing. Some of the scenes of labwork were not easy to read, but it was the same for some of the interaction between lab mates - it was more than the birds that were confined by cages.
David Pace
Mar 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A well-written at times extraordinary tale of neuroscientists and their obsessive, divergent inquiries through the study of birds and birdsong: sourcing memory and elucidating communication patterns in humans. As the book cover states, the two men are rivals in their studies as well as in their interest in the same woman hired to work with them, but who soon raises moral and ethic questions about the treatment of birds, even as she becomes infected by her own relentless search through dissection ...more
Sarah
Jun 09, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arcs-netgalley
For a big part of my life, I tagged along with my dad when he went to different forest preserves to look for unusual birds. He could tell what a bird was just by its sound or a flash of color flying above us. I absorbed a very tiny part of that talent, and I feel hypersensitive when a new birdsong floats by.

Because of that, I looked forward to Sylvia Torti's book, Cages. The novel tells the story of three very different people working in a laboratory with birds. At times, they're deflated,
...more
Raima Larter
Jan 27, 2018 rated it it was ok
The story was somewhat interesting, and this author does a good job with descriptions, particularly those of the laboratory where the birds are kept. I found the book disappointing, though, in a number of ways. The biggest flaw is that the main character, David, has suffered some sort of loss that he definitely knows about, but the author chooses to not let the reader in on what it is until we are 80% through the book. This is a frustrating way to build suspense and it ultimately didn't work, ...more
Virginia Campbell
Human beings are masters at creating their own cages and then being clueless as to how to escape their own misery. They also trample upon and destroy the natural order of life of other, non-human species with which they co-inhabit the Earth. As far as romance goes, the lucky ones find someone to love who loves them in return. Most of the rest of the population forever searches for such personal happiness, sometimes finding a glimmer of hope here and there, but often searching to no avail. In ...more
Lynn
Feb 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This book, by my friend Sylvia, blends science and relationships in a fresh, interesting way. The novel tells the story of three characters whose lives intersect at a bird lab. They each have a unique relationship with the birds they study and with each other. The novel braids together their stories and back stories with science and research.
The novel does a great job making science accessible to those of us who are not scientists. The book also has a lot of good descriptions of sounds and
...more
Sarah (Workaday Reads)
This book had a very literary feel, with more emphasis on characters and feelings than on plot. It's the type of book that gets described as "interesting", rather than "engaging" or "thrilling".

There is a lot of science woven into the book, but it never feels like an infodump, nor is it distracting. The explanations really are part of the story, as they contribute to the overall feel and understanding of the characters. It's a unique mix of nonfiction and fiction.

Finishing the book, I felt the
...more
Heidi Svendsen
May 25, 2017 rated it really liked it
This was a raw, beautiful and emotional book.

It starts of a little chaotic, and hard to follow. But as you learn the structure of the book, it gets easier and I started to sense the different emotions of the characters, Right under the surface of the book, you can feel the raw pain of David, the loving curiosity of Rebecca and the strange feeling of not quite fitting in from Anton. As you learn to know them, it was hard to let them go.

The song of the birds are explained and romanticized in such
...more
Kyle O'Connell
Jul 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
Unforgiving in its scientific descriptions, this book takes its readers through the lives and interactions of two scientists and a lab assistant, back to their pasts and into their futures, this story is simple and feels like a snapshot of these individuals' lives, but is nonetheless enjoyable and unforgettable.
Kristine
Jun 08, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: amazon-reviewed
Cages by Sylvia Torti is a free NetGalley ebook that I read in early June.

Cages is very much a think piece - like A Beautiful Mind with its melodramatic pacing - but an overall lack of emotion. I think that its lab environments, avian research, and study into birdsong can best be expressed with its use of the loneliness after a relationship, a quiet room, and a closed door.
JenniferJ
The synopsis of this one sounded so good but I really never got into it. I felt nothing for the characters or what was going on and it took me forever to get thru it. The only thing that was even slightly interesting to me was the birds.

*I was given a free copy for an honest review.
Louise
May 23, 2017 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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