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Dust
     

Dust

by Charles R. Pellegrino
 

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In an idyllic Long Island community, paleobiologist Richard Sinclair is one of the first to suspect that the environment has begun to wage bloody, terrifying war on humanity. What initially appear to be random, unrelated events are actually violent eruptions in a worldwide biological chain reaction. Along with a brave group of survivors, Sinclair must learn to

Overview

In an idyllic Long Island community, paleobiologist Richard Sinclair is one of the first to suspect that the environment has begun to wage bloody, terrifying war on humanity. What initially appear to be random, unrelated events are actually violent eruptions in a worldwide biological chain reaction. Along with a brave group of survivors, Sinclair must learn to understand the catastophe while it roils around them, slowly crumbling a panicked world and threatening apocalypse. The survival of humankind depends on finding an answer immediately—or else they will face the final, tragic dentiny of their species.In an idyllic Long Island community, paleobiologist Richard Sinclair is one of the first to suspect that the environment has begun to wage bloody, terrifying war on humanity.

Editorial Reviews

bn.com
When seemingly unrelated eruptions cause a worldwide biological chain reaction, talented paleobiologist Richard Sinclair and a determined group of survivors must uncover a way to end the turmoil. If they don't, it looks like humankind will go the way of the dinosaur.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
"They're dead, I tell you! All the fungus gnats are dead!" screams a famous entomologist just before his protective suit is ripped apart and he's devoured by millions of vicious mites in this biothriller debut from self-described "scientific gadfly" Pellegrino. According to the publisher, it was Pellegrino's theory of dinosaur cloning that jump-started Jurassic Park; and his first novel does share with Crichton's novel a certain X-Files-meets-Scientific American appeal. What it doesn't have is the mighty Crichton narrative engine to carry it over the rougher patches of weird science. Pellegrino gets off to a good start: paleobiologist Richard Sinclair's Long Island neighborhood has been attacked by a deadly horde of mitesthe first indication that something has gone horribly wrong with the world's ecosystem. After the bugs kill his wife, Sinclair and his nine-year-old daughter escape to the relative safety of a nearby research facility, and Sinclair begins an investigation of the widespread insect extinctions that have brought on a host of other, world-threatening disasters. Meanwhile, a crooked former talk-show host with messianic pretensions whips up a frenzy among the hungry, frightened populace. Despite the promising ingredients, most readers will probably be so bogged down by overheated pseudo-jargon ("everything that was happening today was but the final blossoming of a stupendous explosion that had begun as a small flaremuch like... Richard's crystallization event") that they'll be rooting for the mites. (Mar).
Library Journal
It all starts with a massive die-off of fungus gnats. The fungus the gnats ate grows with nothing to control it. Worse, the bugs that eat the gnats have to find other food. Up the food chain the disaster moves until a horde of mites swarm ashore at a Long Island community, eating their way through every living thing. Scientist Richard Sinclair evacuates Long Beach with his daughter, Tam, leaving behind his wife, a victim of the mites' rampage. With other scientists around the world, Richard plots the course of nature out of whack as predators switch prey and entire species of insects die. As crops that depend on insect pollination perish, the commodities markets plummet, followed closely by the world's stock markets. When vampire bats start attacking humans, Richard fears the destruction of the world. Paleontologist Pellegrino has written a biological thriller that will convince readers to treat insects with more respect. His afterword discusses the events in the book and identifies which ones were based on fact. Recommended for all public libraries. [Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 12/97.]Grant A. Fredericksen, Illinois Prairie Dist. P.L., Metamora
Kirkus Reviews
Brilliantly scary (and highly entertaining) vision of eco-catastrophe, courtesy of the maverick scientist whose DNA-in-amber theory gave us Jurassic Park. Frogs dying off mysteriously, mad cow disease, toxic algae blooming in the ocean: Horror gets personal as Pellegrino (the nonfiction Return to Sodom and Gomorrah, 1994, etc.) paints his vision of how these events could all be symptoms of a collapsing world ecosystem. Scientist Richard Sinclair is helpless when clouds of "dust" devour everyone in his small town, including his wife. Escaping with daughter Tam to the Brookhaven Labs on Long Island, grieving Richard joins a team trying to puzzle out the incident. Soon it becomes clear that Earth is entering one of its extinction cycles, brought on by a mass die-off of ants, flies, and other insects. Within weeks the soil goes sterile, crops fail, India invades Pakistan, starving vampire bats bearing mad cow disease swarm into the Caribbean—and cities around the world simply "drop off the map." As a frantic Richard and a former rival, Leslie, succeed in "biomorphing" replacement insects from dinosaur-era ancestors locked in fossil amber, mobs begin attacking laboratories, urged on by neo-Luddite talk-show host Jerry Sigamond, whose hatred of science in general and Sinclair in particular runs deep. Recognizing the danger, the scientists prepare a huge dirigible to spirit away, … la Noah's Ark, the biomorphs and assorted children, but Sigamond's mob moves first. Only a nuclear strike—sent by a mad cowinfected officer in charge of an underground missile silo—allows the dirigible to take off. But when it breaks apart over the Atlantic, Richard must choose between saving hisdaughter or the biomorphs, humankind's likely last chance. Horrifying set pieces, lively characters, intense doses of cutting-edge research (too much of a good thing at times): first fiction worthy of comparison to Childhood's End and When Worlds Collide.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780671580360
Publisher:
Simon & Schuster Audio
Publication date:
03/01/1998
Edition description:
Abridged, 4 cassettes, 4 hrs. 30 min.
Pages:
5
Product dimensions:
4.11(w) x 7.08(h) x 1.21(d)

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