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Sue HalpernGoodman has written an energetic indictment of high-stakes science, presenting it as a system that makes unreasonable demands on young researchers, promotes cupidity, doesn't tolerate dissent. In the end, though, this argument fails to move either Cliff or Robin, who come to realize that despite its failings they'd rather do "the slow exhausting work" of science than anything else. The reader, meanwhile, understands that despite being cast out of the Mendelssohn-Glass lab—one for being too exacting, the other for not being exacting enough—neither Cliff nor Robin will have a problem getting hired somewhere else. Cancer hasn't been cured, but there'll still be a pretty happy ending for each of them.
—The New York Times