Cover image for Invasion
Cook, Robin, 1940-
Personal Author:
[Large print edition].
Publication Information:
Thorndike, ME : Thorndike Press, 2000.

Physical Description:
521 pages ; 23 cm
Format :


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X Adult Large Print - Floating collection Floating Collection - Large Print

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With his finger on the pulse of the latest medical technology, Robin Cook preys upon our deepest fears with uncanny skill. Now, in his most provocative thriller to date, he explores a sudden outbreak of strange new symptoms that defy diagnosis. The cause is unknown -- and unknowable -- because it is unlike anything humankind has ever seen ...

Author Notes

Robin (Robert William Arthur) Cook, the master of the medical thriller novel, was born to Edgar Lee Cook, a commercial artist and businessman, and Audrey (Koons) Cook on May 4, 1940, in New York City. Cook spent his childhood in Leonia, New Jersey, and decided to become a doctor after seeing a football injury at his high school. He earned a B.A. from Wesleyan University in 1962, his M.D. from Columbia University in 1966, and completed postgraduate training at Harvard before joining the U.S. Navy. Cook began his first novel, The Year of the Intern, while serving on a submarine, basing it on his experiences as a surgical resident.

In 1979, Cook wed Barbara Ellen Mougin, on whom the character Denise Sanger in Brain is based.

When Year of the Intern did not do particularly well, Cook began an extensive study of other books in the genre to see what made a bestseller. He decided to focus on suspenseful medical mysteries, mixing intricately plotted murder and intrigue with medical technology, as a way to bring controversial ethical and social issues affecting the medical profession to the attention of the general public. His subjects include organ transplants, genetic engineering, experimentation with fetal tissue, cancer research and treatment, and deadly viruses. Cook put this format to work very successfully in his next books, Coma and Sphinx, which not only became bestsellers, but were eventually adapted for film. Three others, Terminal, Mortal Fear, and Virus, and Cook's first science- fiction work, Invasion, have been television movies. In 2014 her title, Cell made The New York Times Best Seller List.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Exploding TVs are not the only problem normal people have in Cook's new pressure cooker of a thriller. At the start, the normals include ER physician Sheila Miller and college seniors Pitt Henderson, Cassy Winthrope, and Beau Stark. But Beau soon finds the first black disc, gets needled by it, has a brief flu, and becomes a literally radiant personality. Newly confident and resourceful, he goes for an interview with wealthy Randy Nite at Nite's software company and presents a gift--another black disc. Stung like Beau, Randy founds the Institute for a New Beginning. The flu spreads, but most survive it with fixed smiles, radiant eyes, and the urge to work at the institute for the betterment of the environment. Sheila, Cassy, Pitt, and others set out to find the cause of the flu, as some two-thirds of the world's population succumbs. Cook fans will revel in this story and find their enthusiasm realized in an April TV dramatization--which explains why hardcover best-seller scribe Cook is here originally published in mass-market paperback: apparently, the theory is that interest in one will feed interest in the other. --William Beatty

Publisher's Weekly Review

There are certain similarities between science fiction and medical thrillers (futuristic technology, nature subverted) so it's not really surprising that a master of the medical genre like Cook (Acceptable Risk) would try to combine the two. Unfortunately, the result doesn't succeed as SF and doesn't live up to his usual standards as a medical thriller. Instead, this book reads like a script for the soon-to-be-released NBC "major television event" based on this book‘you can almost hear the director yelling "Cut and print" at the end of each chapter. The story starts well enough, with a small college town and a flurry of unusual black rocks. Those who pick them up are stung and, after a short fever, come up with a curious list of aftereffects. They become extroverted, environmentally conscious, attached to dogs‘and telepathically connected. As a group of those who haven't been stung rush to find some sort of cure, the leader of the changed begins to take on alien form, while directing the construction of a space ship. By this point, though, Cook doesn't seem to know how to get out of his plot, except for an esoteric cure involving the common cold. One can only hope that aided by special effects, this lame resolution plays better on the small screen than it does in the novel. (Apr.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved