PRIZES by Erich Segal


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 The three super-scientists Segal sets in motion work futuristic wonders, respectively, in genetics, immunology, and theoretical physics. They may not lope after gurneys like Doctors (1988), but the heroic trio lead strenuous lives, ER-style, all with an eye for the Nobel Prize. Adam Coopersmith, toiling in medical research for methods of preventing toxemia in pregnant women, is chosen by his beloved Harvard mentor to bring to a dying power broker in Washington, D.C., a possible cure--mice with human blood. (Never mind. All miracles accomplished here are based on ongoing research, declares the author, but don't try it at home.) Adam will marry the patient's daughter, a gorgeous, ambitious lawyer, but happiness will wane until a new wonderful love blossoms. Thereafter: glory and tragedy. Sandy Raven, geneticist and son of a Hollywood producer (Godzilla Meets Santa Claus!), is sandbagged by a doomed marriage, betrayal of a friend and mentor, and also his unrequited love and lust for a hometown bombshell who becomes overnight head of a studio and bounces Dad-the-producer. The shooting star of the lab luminaries is Isabel da Costa, a child prodigy who had been groomed by dazzled and dedicated dad Raymond for greatness in physics. It's while she's at MIT that she has a go at a Unified Field Theory (what Einstein died trying to come up with). But with all her successes, Isabel has a heavy possessive-dad problem. Dad dislikes boyfriend Jerry, whose brilliant mind has been on low beam for tennis tournaments. Isabel's Unified Field Theory is a smash (Jerry, on his way to Wimbledon, his professor dad, and Isabel, pull in final ``proofs'' with happy yelps). The scene is mainly Cambridge, California, and, of course, at the last, Stockholm. In Segal's high-gloss narration and dialogue, this is silly but benign, and the simplified science is, surprisingly, fun. (First printing of 250,000; Literary Guild main selection)

Pub Date: March 20th, 1995
ISBN: 0-449-90859-3
Page count: 480pp
Publisher: Ballantine
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1st, 1995


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