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07 January 2008



Good to see yet another person liking Intuition, as I just ordered it from amazon. I wasn't aware of the Baltimore incident, but it sounds interesting - Wikipedia gave me the basics but there seem to be a number of books about it, so I was wondering if you've read any of them and know which ones are good?


>I gave up somewhere around the time when Our Hero, having attained immortality, adopts the eight-year-old clone of his dead wife, who he raises expecting that she'll be his new wife once she's, y'know, past puberty. One hopes.


Susan Marie Groppi

Liz-- Dan Kevles's _The Baltimore Case_ is the book that I read about the Imanishi-Kari thing, and it's a good thorough coverage of the incident. There was some drama at some point as to whether Kevles was sufficiently impartial--the book was published not long after David Baltimore became president of Cal Tech, where Kevles was teaching at the time, and the book does lean very heavily towards the conclusion that Baltimore was completely innocent of wrongdoing. But I have an extraordinary amount of respect for Kevles as a historian, and I thought the book was great.

(And Hannah-- Seriously, right? And that wasn't the only "you have -got- to be kidding me" moment in the book, it was just the one that finally made me give up.)


You wrote:

I read The Curious Incident a couple of years ago, right after I read The Speed of Dark; it was an unplanned sequence, and an unfortunate one, because both books feature autistic narrators, and The Speed of Dark was so goddamned brilliant that The Curious Incident couldn't help but look sad and gimmicky in comparison.

Wow -- I would have started that sentence the same way, except changing "right after" to "right before", but I would've ended the sentence by saying exactly the opposite. My version of it would've read: "...because both books feature autistic narrators, and The Curious Incident was so good and so well-done that The Speed of Dark couldn't help but look kind of weak and slow in comparison."

I didn't dislike Speed of Dark, but it really didn't do much for me, and part of the reason for that was that I had found Curious Incident so thoroughly compelling.

Interesting that we both strongly preferred the one we read first. I'm pretty sure I would've liked Speed of Dark more than I did if it hadn't been for the juxtaposition; but I also suspect that I wouldn't have liked it more than Curious Incident even if I'd read them in the opposite order. But hard to know for sure.


Another data point: I read Curious Incident a couple of years after reading Speed of Dark, and found the latter much better written and more believable.


Ted: latter in sentence order or reading order? (I'm guessing sentence order, but I'm sleepy and confused today.)


Oops, very careless of me. I meant that I found Curious Incident better written and more believable than Speed of Dark, even though I read Curious Incident second.


Ah, got it. Thanks.

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Susan Marie Groppi

  • Susan Marie Groppi is a historian and an editor, currently living in Berkeley, California.


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