Cell … a review

Robin Cook has been my go to man for fast-paced, enjoyable, thrilling medical novels. For the last 15 years! Yes, you read that right… I read my first Cook when I was ten, and I have never looked back. I’ve read all 33 of them… he’s a great writer. That said, he has had his moments. Some books, like Abduction, were kind of not-that-great. But the Jack and Laurie series of books were stellar. And with his latest offering, George Wilson from LA is now my favourite doctor! In keeping with his uusualstyle of making medical ‘problems’ absolutely believable, in this book, he deals with the subject of technology. Cell in this book refers to Cellphones, which have an app called iDoc, replacing the need for traditional doctors. Of course, these things are being debated upon as we speak but in this book, as people start dropping like flies around Wilson, Cook presents a very chilling perspective.
How much technology is good? How much can we handle before it takes over our lives? these questions are important enough for grocery shopping, or the education of kids, or 3D printers and guns, but when it comes to the evolution of modern medicine, this question hits home deep. When the code behind an app starts developing ‘problems’, their developers are the decision makers for the rights vs the money. And the systems and political machinery that backs ventures such as these is also very ‘Big Brother’-esque.
I really enjoyed this book. I liked how the app seems like such a natural progression of our lives and then you see why real doctors are needed, why you cannot trust computers, and why, George loses his fiancee, his neighbour, a colleague, and a friend one after another. It is my kind of book, it raises my kind of issues, and it pulls it off with the fine kind of writing that Cook never fails to deliver. Must read!

Happy Birthday, Robert Ludlum!

5 things one might like to know about him:

1. The number of copies of his books in print is estimated between 290 million and 500 million, across 33 languages and 40 countries.

2. Before he started writing thrillers, he had been a United States Marine, a theatrical actor, and producer.

3. Ludlum’s novels were often inspired by conspiracy theories. I must confess I haven’t read any of the ones that are… The Matarese Circle, The Holcroft Covenant etc.

4. Ludlum also published books under the pseudonyms Jonathan Ryder and Michael Shepherd.

5. Ludlum used the same fixed titling pattern of  The [Proper Noun] [Noun] for most of his books. Subsequent to his death, books written by other authors have carried the phrase Robert LudlumTM on their covers, thus asserting the name Robert Ludlum as a trademark.

(Information courtesy: Wikipedia)