The Book of Adam: Autobiography of the first human clone is a science fiction novel and the debut of Robert M Hopper.
On February 22, 1997, the world was shocked with the announcement that a lamb named Dolly had been born, the first mammal cloned from adult cells. The reaction was largely one of outrage – an emotional response that had little to do with the generic-looking lamb serenely staring back at us from our television screens. Everyone realized that if we could do it with sheep, then eventually we’d be able to do it with a human being.
Fast forward to 2034 and Adam 2 becomes the first confirmed human clone baby, born amist a sea of intolerance and protest. The Book of Adam encompasses the time from when the original Adam is born in the 1970's through to the 2080's and explores the social, religious and scientific ramifications of human cloning.
The story is told from the perspective of the clone himself and covers his life as society struggles to adapt to the reality of human clones. The first person perspective from the view point of a reliable narrator is very intriguing and enables you almost to see through the clones eyes and experience just what it could be like to be the very first clone.
Before long society has adjusted to human cloning and thus people begin to see it as a way of living forever however many religious organises condemn the practice as being unholy and against God's will. The questions raised by this novel are both fascinating and well played out, one of the biggest has to be the soul. If you can clone a human, is the sole transferred to the new "host" or is the soul derived from the memories and experiences. The novel also has the usual messed up families drama which is obviously more complicated when you are essentially a clone of your grandfather who's also sort of your father but who's daughter is your mother (not exactly incest but there are obviously genetic issues in any such union).
The Book of Adam is a very interesting and rewarding novel that offers one idea and then plays that idea out over the lifespan of the first ever human clone. Conducted in an intelligent and thought provoking manner, The Book of Adam is a novel that really does make you think and asks the unlimate question "What is self", a question for which there is no easy answer.
Written on 13th October 2010 by Ant.
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