Einstein's Brain

by Mark Olshaker
Reviewed date: 2007 Apr 18
Rating: 2
421 pages
cover art

Any neurosurgeon who claimed he'd never gotten an erection in the operating room was either a liar or an underachiever.

The line between science fiction and a technothriller is hard to draw, but I can tell the difference. There is some science in Einstein's Brain, but it owes more to James Bond than to Isaac Asimov.

When Albert Einstein died, his brain was preserved for science. Olshaker's story supposes that the brain was kept alive in a laboratory until it could be dissected and pieces of it transplanted into other people's brains. The victims--all brain tumor patients--are not aware they have received portions of Einstein's brain.

All the patients begin to exhibit attitudes, thoughts, and characteristics of Einstein. One, Paul Garrett, makes it his life's work to develop a Unified Field Theory--which Einstein was working on at the time of his death.

That's about the extent of the science. The rest reads like a bad spy novel. Garrett is being watched closely by a number of organizations: the mysterious group that arranged his illegal brain transplant; an international cabal of oil executives who fear the Unified Field Theory will make fossil fuels obsolete; and Mossad, which hopes to use the Unified Field Theory to invent weapons to protect Israel; and a shadowy secret society of scientists.

Einstein's Brain might make a decent B movie, but as a novel it is not worth recommending.

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