Fantastic Voyage by Isaac Asimov

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The Fantastic Voyage by Isaac Asimov is a very captivating read. It is short, but it is also quite a page turner. In essence, the story involves a team of scientists that venture into the body of a mastermind. They are required to do this because the man is wanted by two different world powers, known as the Other Side and the United States. Both teams want the knowledge this man possesses, but before he can tell the good people what he knows they plan to kill him and he develops a blood clot in his brain. Thus, he is placed in a coma and his life is in danger. The team of scientists travel through the mastermind’s, known as Benes, body through a miniaturized submarine. They must travel from the neck through the brain to the clot and back again in 60 minutes, at which time the submarine and people would revert to their normal size.

This book is generally scientific in nature. The plotline revolves around a biological specimen and the treatment thereof. The story is told from third-person omniscient view, but it mainly focuses on a character known as Grant. This man is the only member of the crew that does not have medical or scientific expertise. He is a member of the police force and is charged with fixing any emergencies. Since he knows nothing of the anatomical sciences, the other characters often must explain concepts to him. For example, Michaels, another scientist, once had to explain where the submarine was currently. It was supposedly travelling through a pleural membrane instead of the bloodstream as Grant thought. Likewise, many other instances arise when Asimov gives a detailed explanation based on the human body. The book does not simply list medical facts though.

During this story, there is a certain sense of suspense. One seems to realize that it would seem weird for a single military man to be sent with a team of scientists to operate inside someone’s brain. This obviously means that a higher member of the United States is suspicious of one of the scientist’s motives. Over the course of the story, many problems arise that could have been chance, but they could also have been created by someone to sabotage the mission. For example, at one instance the laser that was supposed to operate on the blood clot in Benes’ head was loosened from its latch and was damaged. In conclusion, this was a scientifically relevant book, but it was also not drab book of medical facts.





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MissTasty said...
Jan. 6, 2015 at 2:49 pm
how does grant, duval, cora, michaels and cater react to the miniaturization procees?
 
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