If computers could register all brain electrical impulses, couldn't they then keep a body alive even if the brain had "died"? Could one then isolate the very essence of the mind, the anima, the soul? When 13-year-old Tyler Jessup suffers profound brain injury, two neurosurgeons see conflicting opportunities. One wants to replace damaged brain cells with regenerated ones, the other wants to use a machine to separate the mind from its physical surroundings. Tyler's father, desperate to rescue his son, ultimately subjects himself to the latter experiment in order to find his son's psyche and bring it back. Darnton, a veteran New York Times editor, skillfully pushes current science just a bit further in his third novel and for the most part makes the what-if plausible. As he did in The Experiment with cloning humans on demand, he makes the science accessible but not intrusive while adding sometimes lurid plot twists. The suspense is largely psychological and emotional though no less frightening in its moral and religious implications.
"What really scares us about science & technology isn't that they will be perverted by mad researchers or abused by dictatiors. It's that their progress is unstoppable, irreversible. John Darnton taps into that FEAR in his latest 'science adventure' thriller." --Los Angeles Times --
This one is every bit as good as Darnton's perhaps better known THE EXPERIMENT!
From back cover: Brain damaged in a near-death trauma, thirteen-year-old Tyler lies in a New York hospital bed. At his side, his father waits helplessly as two scientists take charge of the boy's fate.
One is a neurosurgeon. His unorthodox approach uses computers to control the patient's responses. The other is a researcher with an experimental method of his own--isolate the spark of human consciousness . . . and capture it forever.
Together, they're sending Tyler far beyond the frontiers of medical science into a dark and terrifying netherworld of man and machine--a place no living soul has gone before . . . and from which one desperate person will try to bring him back.
This book is a semi-science fiction tale about a brain scientist who is doing research on where the soul resides in the brain and how to capture it as it leaves the body. I would describe it as a medical thriller and I enjoyed this unabridged version a lot.
Mind Catcher is one of the best suspense-thrillers I have ever read. Darnton addresses our deepest questions about the mysteries of the brain and fires up the debate over medical ethics. My copy is a hardcover in like-new condition.