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Past Lives | [Ken McClure]

Past Lives

After neurosurgeon John Macandrew performs a routine operation, the patient undergoes a severe personality change. The diagnosis is a rare condition that leaves its victims confined to mental institutions. Blamed by the patient's husband for the dreadful outcome, Macandrew retreats to his native Scotland. There, he makes discoveries about the illness and the chemical that induces it. But someone is using the chemical to regress selected individuals and gain eyewitness accounts of past events.
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Publisher's Summary

When successful neurosurgeon John Macandrew performs a routine operation, the patient undergoes a severe personality change post-surgery. The diagnosis is a rare condition called Hartman's Tumour, which leaves its victims deranged and destined to be confined to mental institutions.

Blamed by the patient's husband for the dreadful outcome, Macandrew retreats to his native Scotland to lick his wounds. It is there that he makes new discoveries about the mysterious illness and the chemical that induces it. Armed with this new knowledge, Macandrew thinks he may be able to save his patient, until he discovers someone is deliberately using the chemical to regress selected individuals and gain eyewitness accounts of past events.

©2006 Ken McClure; (P)2006 Isis Publishing

What the Critics Say

"Well-wrought, plausible and unnerving." (The Times)

What Members Say

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3.7 (32 )
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4.0 (3 )
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    02-18-07
    02-18-07 Member Since 2002
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Past Lives"

    I thoroughly enjoyed this book, and will recommend it to my friends. The first chapter was a little slow, but then it got interesting and held my interest to the end.

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lia Sutton, Australia 01-14-10
    Lia Sutton, Australia 01-14-10 Member Since 2009

    I love all genres of books. However, when I listen to audio books as I clean, garden, drive they are better with a lot of heat!

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    "OK listen"

    The narration was good, and I liked the story. But I thought the end was a bit flat, but it was OK. Not my highest recommendation here, but it's worth a listen if the idea intrigues you.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    BillNapoli 02-27-08
    BillNapoli 02-27-08 Member Since 2001
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    "Great Read!"

    After forcing myself to slog my way through the last several rather boring audible books, I was delighted to find myself unable to put this book down. Yes, I really enjoyed this one. The plot was excellent, the dialog true-to-life, and the action fast-paced. It has a little bit of everything--including murder, kidnapping, torture, and sex--but more than that, a unique twist on a premise involving people's past lives and reincarnation. Perhaps the best thing about this book was its narrator, Robert Slade, who has the ability to deliver a wide range of believable male and female voices and accents. Scott Brick has, until now, been my favorite narrator, but I think I like Slade even better. I searched and found that this book is Slade's only narrational work to date. I'm hoping to hear a lot more from him in the future.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer Columbia, SC 05-13-07
    Amazon Customer Columbia, SC 05-13-07 Member Since 2003
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    "Great Idea, but fell a little flat in the end"

    The narration on this is pretty good, and I liked the premise of the story. I felt like the story fell a bit flat, but it was OK. Not my highest recommendation here, but it's worth a listen if the idea intrigues you.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    04-30-07
    04-30-07 Member Since 2007
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    "Pretty Good"

    This is the first book I've read from the author but it did not dissappoint. The plot was believable and the reader did an excellent job with charactor voices.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
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    Hans Australia 01-24-09
    Hans Australia 01-24-09 Member Since 2007
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    "Good story but runs out of steam"

    The idea this book is based on, is very good but it is a shame the story start losing speed. The narrator is first class and helps keeping you listening to the end.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Susana Arenys de Munt, Spain 01-17-09
    Susana Arenys de Munt, Spain 01-17-09 Member Since 2007
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    "Interesting until the end"

    A very good story. Well created, well developed and superbly read. Can't ask for more. I had really good fun with this book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dana Anderson, SC, United States 11-19-08
    Dana Anderson, SC, United States 11-19-08 Member Since 2006
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    "Marcus Welby simplicity or worse"

    The 2006 copyright date threw me. This is mostly set and probably written in the 1960s but with updates added, sometimes awkwardly, to modernize it. The surgeon and other doctors seem to have only one patient and are very unbusy. They don't carry pagers (except in one brief passage), much less cellphones. Patients with mental illness fairly automatically go to a sanitorium. It seems that significant care was taken in the writing to not add a detail that would date it specifically

    And this is not written for adults. The prose level in vocabulary and complexity is about 5th grade. The plot sophistication, characterizations, and medical oversimplifications are also commensurate for a middle school audience.

    Despite lack of conversational and narrative detail, annoying errors show. e.g.: The one time a drug is referred to by name, the surgeon agrees to hold back and sedate a patient with only 50 mg of Valium (5 or 10 mg is typical nowadays).

    The narrator doesn't do accents well beyond perhaps midwest and italian. But he otherwise is smooth with no particular annoyances.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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