Antisense by R. P. Marshall – Book Review []

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Antisense by R.P.Marshall
Published by CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (1 Nov 2013)

“A compelling, original and persuasive debut.” – Harry Bingham. Author of the Money Makers.

Richard trained in medicine at London hospitals, specialising in respiratory and critical care medicine. Motivated to find new treatments he moved into research, obtained a PhD in medical sciences at University College London and has published widely in scientific journals.

Knowing his extensive medical and scientific background I must admit left me feeling slightly daunted. My concern was that I would be ‘Googling’ certain medical terms and keeping a dictionary close by at all times. However this was not the case at all. A true expert in his field R.P. Marshall ensures everything is clearly explained.


The book echoes R.P. Marshall’s view that there are two ways in which we try to understand human beings, which is who we are and what makes us the way we are. This comes from relationships and emotional experiences. As R.P. Marshall states the “classic basis for literary fiction” but the other is science and biological mechanisms like genetics.

The first half of the novel introduces Dr Daniel Hayden who is dealing with a number of personal issues. These stretch beyond the passing of his father. In the second half it is suggested that this apparently spurious result could be based in the evolutionary theory of Lamarck – that learned or acquired characteristics can be passed on. This results in Daniel diving into his own recent family history.

The juxtaposition of the scientific themes and the protagonist’s own quest of finding out what makes us who we are is both clever and extremely effective.

The reader is drawn in from the very first line, something many readers of the novel have stated. You are effortlessly swept along Daniel’s journey to the final unexpected revelations. RP Marshall has created a highly original and intriguing protagonist, whose acerbic voice will stay with you for sometime after reading.

Antisense is a gripping and enjoyable read.

Verdict 7.9/10

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