Thursday, October 04, 2018

24. Donovan's Brain by Curt Siodmak

I finally had my fill of men's adventure fiction and felt like a move over into some science fiction.  I picked up this beauty at a difficult to walk to bookstore in Nanaimo while there.  He actually had a quite a decent collection of 80s sci-fi paperbacks, but I only picked up this one.  The guy was also re-organizaing a shelf of VHS and seemed confident they would move.  Interesting.

Also interesting is that in many ways, Donovan's Brain is as much a detective/crime story as it is science fiction.  The premise is very scientific but most of the narrative is about the protagonist going around LA and dealing with a weird cast of characters as he tries to uncover a mystery.  Said protagonist is Patrick Cory an obsessed scientist living in the desert with his neglected, supportive wife while he works on trying to understand the power of the brain.  Because the local doctor is a drunk, Cory gets called when a plane crashes in the forest.  While trying to resuscitate one of the victims, he realizes that while his body is done for, his brain is still living and he takes the opportunity to steal it for his experiments.

He also discovers that the brain he stole is that of W.H. Donovan a famous tycoon.  We don't learn much about Donovan at this stage of the book, though his character becomes very important as the story goes on.  Cory plugs the brain in and starts trying to communicate with it.  Things get interesting.

This is a real page-turner.  The characters and situation is interesting and it's the mystery of who Donovan was as well as the slowly increasing connection between Cory and Donovan's brain that really grabs the reader.  I can't do much analysis on the book without giving away a lot, so I won't (plus I'm lazy), but I do think Donovan's Brain is worthy of such analysis.  There is a lot going on here beyond just the entertaining narrative.  Very cool and fun book.

No comments: