26 December 2014

The Doubt Factory; Paolo Bacigalupi

The Doubt FactoryThe Doubt Factory by Paolo Bacigalupi
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Unlike his previous books, this is set today, in a very recognizable Connecticut (even the prep school sounds familiar). The problem is that while they had a message, they felt less strident because of the future setting. The message here is that there are Big Bad Drug Companies profiting by seeding doubt in the minds of the FDA and juries, raking in the money while people die. It's not a bad message, one that students might need to hear or research as part of learning to evaluate information critically. It's more that that surrounding story doesn't do it justice, yet we get hit over the head with it several times.

The other problem I had was with Alix' conversion. It happens rather quickly, sort of like Kate's "taming" (one of my least favorite transformations in Shakespeare). For some reason it just doesn't feel plausible that she would move from defending her father to conspiring against him so easily, and with so little input from 2.0. Maybe more information, a longer period of "is he? isn't he?" would have worked better.

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