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The Pinocchio Syndrome

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    Available in PDF - DJVU Format | The Pinocchio Syndrome.pdf | Language: ENGLISH
    David Zeman(Author)

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An international thriller of political intrigue, personal betrayal and cutting-edge science, The Pinocchio Syndrome marks the debut of a brilliant new talent. America is in turmoil. And that spells trouble for the entire world. In the middle of a vicious struggle for the leadership of the country, the vice president is struck down by a new `living death' disease that is breaking out across the globe - the `Pinocchio Syndrome'. With the current administration close to collapse, and billionaire extremist Colin Goss and his dangerous views gaining ground, it seems that only one man can unite the country - Michael Campbell, a popular, media-friendly young senator. But what is his secret? In a nerve-shredding race against time, a Secret Service agent and troubled female journalist are forced together to crack a conspiracy that could destroy the world ...

Freelance public health reporter Karen Embry stumbles onto the story of her life in this far-fetched political thriller by debut novelist Zeman. The American cruise ship Crescent Queen has been zapped by a nuclear missile in a presumed terrorist attack, and the U.S. government has yet to identify the perpetrators. Soon afterward, people around the world begin to succumb to a mysterious illness that seals them in a zombie-like coma. Doctors and scientists are baffled. Then the disease strikes the vice-president, Dan Everhard, the brains behind the current presidential administration. Without him, the unnamed president, whose popularity has already plummeted since the Crescent incident, is all the more vulnerable to the attacks of Colin Goss, an ultra-right-wing billionaire vying for the presidency. His platform consists of one plank: death to terrorists. Coming to the rescue of a floundering administration is charismatic Maryland senator Michael Campbell ("Michael had a near-perfect body for a man of his age"). Secret Service agent Joseph Kraig ("He liked to immerse himself in the longer Dostoyevski novels, and sometimes even read Shakespeare") rounds out the cast as he investigates the illness and eventually must save Campbell's kidnapped wife. Embry's story about the public health crisis becomes an investigative coup de grace revealing the evil Goss's ultimate goal: "World domination." The plot leaps from one improbable scenario to another, heedless of common sense. The characters barely achieve one dimension, the plot turns are preposterous and the sex scenes, of which there are scores, are laughable: "He would enter her gently and stroke her with himself until her sex was literally aflame." Ouch, that's got to hurt. Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition. This political thriller begins at sea, where a cruise ship and all its passengers are vaporized, along with the ship itself, in a hydrogen-bomb explosion. Flash forward six months: an Iowa mail carrier is struck immobile in the middle of the street. In rapid succession, we meet an assortment of characters; some of them (like the vice president of the U.S.) will be victims of this strange affliction; others (like journalist Karen Embry and Secret Service agent Joseph Kraig) will risk their lives to discover the secret of the epidemic and--this will come as no surprise to the veteran reader--the political conspiracy that lurks in the background. The author sticks closely to formula: open with some mysterious goings-on and a frightening disease; introduce the heroes and villains; construct an elaborate conspiracy; and bring it all together in a rousing finale. The formula serves him well enough, and he pushes all the right buttons, but the novel suffers a bit from its tired subject matter. Derivative but readable. David PittCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Book details

  • PDF | 752 pages
  • David Zeman(Author)
  • HarperCollins Publishers Ltd (July 28, 2004)
  • English
  • 3
  • Literature & Fiction

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Review Text

  • By GT Raymond on October 6, 2012

    I was wondering why this book did not take off. Did someone want this story squelched? Is this story a parody of the Kennedy's? Have I had one too many conspiracy cocktails?Is Judd (Campbell) like Joe (Kennedy), Sr.? A behind the scenes influence in helping Jack become Prez. With good looks & personality, Jack K. (like Michael Campbell) was portrayed as a hero. Jack (like Michael C.) had back problems (surgery?). And in the public's eye, Jack & Jackie had star quality (a la Michael & Susan C.). Like Judd C., Joe K. was powerful - suffice to say he had enemies (a la Colin Goss?). And is it common knowledge that Joe K. allowed an experimental lobotomy performed on his incapacitated daughter, Rosemary (with unsuccessful results?)Did Jack K. ever not comply with his Dad's wishes? Did Jack K. ever betray Joe?Why does the author call attention to the Warren Commission findings?Recently, Joe Kennedy III stepped out of politics on the heels of his brother's death. His brother - Michael - had gained early control of the Congressional Energy committee. Joe III had considered running for Massachusetts Governor but withdrew after reports that Michael had a relationship with the family babysitter.I love a good conspiratorial yarn, and this book has all the makings: a scientific techno-thriller a la Creighton, an intelligent background a la Baldacci, taut story lines a la James Patterson, implied intricacies a la Dan Brown, and horrific implications a la Stephen King.While serving at John Hopkins and Yale, author Dr. Zeman may have rubbed elbows with those in the know - and he seems to be the right age to accurately portray such a parody. If I'm warm and onto something resembling truth, then this book is far from silly. But it looks like I'll never know. Men in Black have just arrived for me.

  • By Edward Mcdermed on November 11, 2014

    I picked this "book" up from a read share in my company dining room. After reading half of it I threw the book away. It was too painful to continue and I wanted to make sure no one else would have to endure what I did.The characters are barely one dimensional with no effort to depict them as actual human beings. After just about every human interaction, each character evaluates the other in relation to how good looking the other was, or how sexually attractive they are or whether they would like to go to bed with them or whether their wife was attractive.Women are denigrated into being sex objects incable of getting anything done without flashing leg. Men are all pigs who cheat on their wives. Women are constantly referred to as girls that the male in the scene fantasizes about from their childhood adolescence. There is even a pedophile S+M rape fantasy thrown in for good measure in chapter 12. The antagonist is depicted as an evil right wing capitalist that makes Heath Ledger's Batman look like a school boy. Actual quote from the book "the president couldnt say anything publicly about Goss at this sensitive time, but he had told more than one close associate that he believed Goss was a potential Hitler."A president of the US was too paralyzed to speak out about a Hitler inciting people to kill the homeless or those in poverty. This book requires more than a suspension of disbelief, it requires a complete lack of intellect to be able to read it.Don't wast your money or time.

  • By Karen Kirsch on June 26, 2003

    After "The Da Vinci Code" and "Angels and Demons", both by Dan Brown, I felt hard-pressed to find another novel that would capture my interest as much. Hooray to Dan Zeman, a first time author. "The Pinocchio Syndrome" was a totally captivating read.It begins on a cruise ship filled with some unusual shipmates.Their demise causes severe unrest in the U.S. This sets the stage for lack of confidence in the current governmental leadership as no culprit can be found. Add to that a mysterious fatal contagion that causes paralysis and eventual deformation of hands and feet...wow!...and the country is ready to call for new leaders, fearing terrorist activity. Just when you think you can predict what is going to happen...NOOOO! I loved this book, especially the flawed reporter. You will never look at "Pin the Tail on the Donkey" in the same light. Trust me!

  • By A customer on December 10, 2003

    A book that reads well and keeps our attention till the end.At first,I thought that the writing style was a little more than average at best,but the description of the sea and its waves towards the end of the book is absolutely splendid.The author should develop his obvious ability for beautiful descriptions that he has only shown at the end of his book


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