• The Experiment

    by Richard Setlowe

    Holt, Rinehart and Winston, New York, 1980

    ISBN 0-03-041745-7     Buy This Book


    "Surpassing even Coma for sheer excitement, The Experiment is a high-powered medical thriller that deftly explores human reactions to an extraordinary event."

    The Literary Guild     (read the complete review)


    "Harry Styles, 36, family man, is a terminal case. But he can be a wretched statistic, or an explorer. So, with awe and horror, he and his wife consent to the experiment. Doctors remove his cancerous lung–"there goes his jogging," remarks the surgeon–and suture an artificial gill into his trachea. Harry takes his last breath–and wakes up to find himself submerged in a huge tank, breathing water like a fish, a human Neptune in the grotto of marine science. And, more particularly, our imagination…"

    — Ray Loynd, The Los Angeles Times Book Review     (read the complete review)


    "If Harry Styles speaks with the tones of an Earth Day advocate at the crucial moment of this book, he can be forgiven. For his creator, Richard Setlowe, has chewed off nothing less than life, the soul, man, science and the environment…"

    — Joan Gaul, The Pittsburgh Press


    "The dramatic finale, in which Harry escapes to the sea and experiences an underwater phantasmagoria, delivers a welcome sense of wonder in the tradition of H.G. Wells's 'In the Abyss.' "

    — Jack Sullivan, The New York Times Book Review     (read the complete review)


    "Medical science-fiction–but Setlowe manages to take a horror-movie premise and endow it with quietly realistic textures, unpretentious seriousness, and emotional grab….So this is no small achievement: honestly felt, carefully crafted entertainment for unsqueamish readers (the physical realities of Harry's illness and transformation are strong stuff) willing to make that small leap of the imagination."

    Kirkus Reviews


    "It's brilliantly done and all the characters are completely convincing…You've certainly taken the concept further than anyone else."

    — Arthur C. Clarke     (read the private correspondence)



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