At first it appeared Lincoln Child (writing partner with Preston and author of Deep Storm ) may have been right when he wrote: "With Blasphemy, Douglas Preston has finally gone too far. One way or another, I'm afraid he may burn for this book." I was thinking these same thoughts almost until the end of the book. I stayed up way too late finishing Blasphemy. My hardcover copy was published in January 2008 and has 415 pages.
In Blasphemy, the government has built a new $40 billion particle accelerator named Isabella on the Navajo reservation. This supercollider, run by a super computer, was built in an attempt to study the Big Bang theory. A team of twelve scientists, lead by Nobel Laureate William North Hazelius, are isolated in the remote location and frantically trying to get Isabella working properly - without creating a black hole in the process. But something appears to be going wrong so the government sends in Wyman Ford, ex-CIA, ex-monk, to work undercover at Isabella. His known job is acting as a liaison with the local Navajo people, but his real mission is to try and find out why the supercollider is not working yet and what the scientists are not telling them. In the meantime, a Washington Lobbyist schemes to have a televangilist question the purpose of Isabella. This televangilist contacts a delusional preacher on the Rez who helps set into motion a small army of fanatic fundamentalists.
While reading you are going to really feel the book really is bordering on blasphemy, but keep reading. You have to finish this one to appreciate it. I highly recommend this book - but only if you read the whole book. Rating: 4.5
"The huge flat-panel screens all around suddenly woke up. A sudden singing noise seemed to float in the air, coming from everywhere and nowhere at once. 'What's that?...It sounds like the monolith in 2001' ."
"An image was appearing in the void, an image so strange, so beautiful, that at first he couldn't wrap his mind around it."
"We couldn't have found a better place, Wyman - isolated, undisturbed, uninhabited. But to me the most important thing was the beauty of this landscape, because beauty and mystery have a central place in physics. As Einstein said, 'The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true science.' "
"He was struck by their haggard appearance, their pale, cave-creature faces and rumpled clothes. They looked worse than a bunch of grad students at the bitter end of final exams."
"We will destroy that infernal machine out there in the howling desert. We will put an end to the blasphemy against You called Isabella."
" 'So you all don't believe that a Creator made the universe.'
' I'm Catholic, Mr. Begay In my view the Big Bang was simply how He did it.' "