Review: “Abduction,” Robin Cook

Pros: Not much
Cons: Cartoonish and full of stereotypes
Rating: 1 out of 5

Perry Berg is the president of Benthic Marine, present for one of his company’s drilling projects. Dr. Suzanne Newell is an oceanographer; Donald Fuller is ex-Navy and the captain of the submersible. Said submersible gets sucked into an undersea vent along with divers Richard and Michael, and all five people end up in a mysterious undersea civilization. It’s more than a little heavenly, but they can never go home again.

 

I felt like reading a Robin Cook novel, but I should have realized what was coming when I downloaded the only Cook e-book that my library had available without any waiting. Abduction turned out to be an incredibly derivative, schlocky, silly piece of fiction.

Cook’s writing is cartoonish. Characters behave in highly exaggerated and stereotyped fashion, and we’re baldly told extensive backstories for every little behavior at the beginning of the book. Tropes such as “…as I’m sure you know…” and “…refresh his memory…” are used to trigger stark info-dumps. I also can’t even begin to imagine what would possess someone to write a line like, “she gave off a stunning gender message.” What does that even mean?

Characters are walking, talking stereotypes. The paranoid ex-military bully is straight out of every 80s movie ever. The two juvenile, barbaric divers provide the obvious source of idiocy and conflict.

As for the under-sea civilization, we have the standardized highly advanced, childlike and naive, completely non-violent, free-loving people. I felt like I’d gone back to a 1960s vision of utopia. They’re entertained by the ‘primitive’ main characters and of course cannot understand why they wouldn’t be satisfied being held captive in paradise.

Abduction was published in 2000. Frankly it would have been outdated and derivative even a couple of decades before that. Now it’s just a bizarre throwback to a well-beaten trope.

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One comment on “Review: “Abduction,” Robin Cook
  1. Paul Cheetham says:

    Oh my! I have just listened to this on audio. The two divers are from some 1930s boxing movie or maybe a popeye cartoon. I googled ” the divers from abduction robin cook just to see if there were any comments out there and this site came up. The narraror has them as New York wise guys….so annoying….as is the rest of the book. I read Coma years ago and thought it was good….

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