Blindsight

Michael Stewart, Author St. Martin's Press $16.95 (263p) ISBN 978-0-312-01392-9
Stewart (Monkey-Shines, Far Cry) has written a solid page-turner with strongly drawn characters and elegant prose. Patrick Ross, a research scientist at Cambridge University, is working on a process he hopes will help the blind to see and the paralyzed to walk. Guy Sullivan, a 29-year-old teacher, and his nine-year-old son, Jamie, are recovering from the painful death of their wife and mother, Sandy. Then, Guy discovers he is going blind. He breaks with his girlfriend, Lisa, partly out of fear and self-pity, and retires to the countryside. The boy is convinced his father's blindness is God's punishment for a terrible wrongand when Guy, with Lisa's connivance, agrees to undertake a dangerous experiment with Patrick, Jamie believes they are trying to cheat God. Patrick is sure he has made new connections in the brain, causing ""blindsight,'' and in Guy's case, the possibility of precognition. Jamie, meanwhile, makes his father more and more dependent on him. All the characters, in their own ways, exhibit forms of blindness. When Guy is left alone with a son who is devoutly intent on seeing God's will done, whatever the consequences, Stewart turns up the tension and produces a satisfying surprise in the novel's closing pages. (March)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1987
Release date: 01/01/1987
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