Cover image for Shock
Cook, Robin, 1940-
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Prince Frederick, MD : Recorded Books, LLC, [2001]

Physical Description:
11 audio discs (13 hrs.) : digital ; 4 3/4 in.
General Note:

Compact disc.
Geographic Term:
Added Author:
Format :
Audiobook on CD


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
XX(1159005.14) Adult Audiobook on CD Audiobooks

On Order


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 3

Booklist Review

Harvard graduate students Joanna Meissner and Deborah Cochrane decide to sell their eggs to a medical clinic to make money while writing their dissertations. The medical procedures go smoothly, and soon Deborah and Joanna are off to Venice for the sake of their theses. But when they return a year and a half later, Joanna desperately wants to know what's happened to her eggs and persuades Deborah to help her. When they fail to get the information they want, they adopt false names and disguises to get jobs at the clinic. Once hired, Joanna tries to hack into the computer system, while Deborah focuses on the unusual research being done at the clinic. They find more than they bargained for when they discover the true nature of that research and the lengths clinic doctors will go to cover it up. Cook's latest isn't up to par with his best. He spends too much time detailing how the women sneak into the clinic; the revelations, when they finally come, aren't particularly shocking or well explained; and the ending is abrupt. Still, the issues of egg selling and secret clinical research are timely enough to generate reader interest. --Kristine Huntley

Publisher's Weekly Review

The medical thriller has come a long way since Cook and Michael Crichton invented it: recent practitioners like Tess Gerritson have polished it into a powerful dramatic and social engine. Alas, Cook appears to have gotten off at the wrong station or missed the train entirely, judging by his latest effort, a crudely conceived, ineptly written and most damning of all totally unexciting story ripped from old headlines. Things have been going to hell at the Wingate Fertility Clinic, housed in a rambling Victorian mansion near Boston, ever since the gifted Dr. Spencer Wingate decided to take some time off to write a novel and chase women. Not only was he unsuccessful at both activities, but the nasty little replacement he left in charge has been doing some weird stuff including paying young Harvard women $45,000 for their eggs and driving down the profits. Spencer returns at the same time as two of these women, Deborah Cochrane and Joanna Meissner, who have been spending their payment on Boston real estate and a year in Venice. Judging by the burly security guards on hand who conveniently dispose of a donor who dies on the operating table (and her friend, too) in the first chapter, Deborah and Joanna aren't about to be greeted with open arms. They manage to join the clinic staff under assumed names, hoping to find out what became of the eggs they contributed. Add a farm straight from The Island of Dr. Moreau, where the Wingate staff experiment on animals when they're not busy applying unethical electric shock treatments to human zygotes, and the result is a medical and literary mess with no redeeming features. Advertising on the Today show and CNN; author tour. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

Ah, the wonders of modern medicine, which have given us, among other things, the medical thriller. Here, two graduate science students decide to earn a little extra money by donating their eggs to a fertility clinic. But then they discover that something is amiss. A Literary GuildR, Mystery GuildR, and Doubleday Book Club main selection. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.