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Reviews of Big Time by Ben Winters

Big Time

A Novel

by Ben H. Winters

Big Time by Ben H. Winters X
Big Time by Ben H. Winters
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     Not Yet Rated
  • Published:
    Mar 2024, 288 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Callum McLaughlin
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About this Book

Book Summary

In this "wild and wonderful" (Lou Berney) corporate espionage thriller that takes the adage "time is money" and makes it frighteningly so, an everywoman FDA employee stumbles upon a dark, clandestine conspiracy to harvest and sell people's time.

What if time could be taken from us—the minutes, the hours, the years of our lives, extracted like organs taken for transplant? What would it mean for the world? And what would it do to the person from whom it's taken?

Grace Berney is a mid-level bureaucrat in the Food and Drug Administration, a woman who once brimmed with purpose but somehow turned into a middle-aged single mom with a dull government job and a melancholy sense that life has passed her by. Until the night a strange photo comes across her desk, of a young woman in a hospital bed who has been subjected to a mysterious procedure. Against orders and against common sense, Grace sets out to bring the girl to safety, and finds herself risking her job, her future, and her life on whether she can find the missing girl before an obsessive and violent mercenary who's also looking. Big Time is a fast-paced thriller and a metaphysical mystery about the very nature of our lives.

Prologue
i.

Wait a second, wait a second, wait a second," Allie called from the back seat.

The driver didn't answer. The woman had said not one word this entire time, which was part of what was so terrifying about the whole thing. She just drove, not turning around, not answering Allie's questions, acting like Allie wasn't even back here. Allie tried to get her to engage, Allie had been trying the whole time, since the moment this lady had grabbed her from the bench at the edge of the playground and forced her across the sidewalk and into the back seat of her silver SUV.

"Hi, could you — I'm sorry, would you just talk to me? Can you look at me? Please."

Allie tried to stay calm. She was trying to stay calm. It had been — what? — an hour? Two hours? The sun was going down. They were driving south, or at least that's what Allie thought, she thought they were driving south, she had tried to look for landmarks but the windows were tinted and it was hard to see.

"Can you tell me...

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Reviews

BookBrowse Review

BookBrowse

The latest offering from prolific novelist and screenwriter Ben H. Winters is as philosophical as it is electrifying to read. Set in the near future, the novel follows the interwoven stories of three Maryland women. Despite grappling with grand concepts like the ethics of contemporary science and the nature of time itself, the novel never gets bogged down in its own philosophical wonderings. Instead, these ideas form the framework for a speculative, corporate thriller that favors intrigue and a focus on its characters over a desire to present solid answers to any of the questions it poses about the potential future relationship between time, technology and humanity...continued

Full Review Members Only (566 words)

(Reviewed by Callum McLaughlin).

Media Reviews

Booklist
Winters, author of the stunning Last Policeman trilogy and the mind-bending The Quiet Boy (2021), doles out another heaping serving of metaphysics...Winters asks us to open ourselves to the impossible by following real, relatable characters. Another strong, thought-provoking novel from a writer who gets better with every book.

Library Journal
Winters (The Quiet Boy) is an expert at gripping adventures that invite readers to ponder big existential questions. Here he explores the balance between scientific advancement and ethics, a timely theme...A fast-paced and thought-provoking speculative thriller with well-drawn and relatable characters.

Publishers Weekly (starred review)
Winters plays with readers' expectations like a virtuoso in this stellar technological thriller...jaw-dropping plot twists are always grounded in pitch-perfect depictions of ordinary people caught up in extraordinary events. Blake Crouch fans will be in heaven.

Author Blurb Alex Segura, bestselling author of Secret Identity
Ben Winters is a genre alchemist - the kind of writer who blends and weaves the preconceived ideas of story to create something wholly new and riveting, and Big Time is no exception. A brilliant thriller that also dances between the raindrops of reality and time itself, Winters continues to keep readers on their toes, in the best way possible. I'm so glad this book exists.

Author Blurb Lou Berney, author of the New York Times-bestselling November Road
Big Time is a wild and wonderful trip, a kaleidoscope of mind-bending science, metaphysics, and good old-fashioned thrills. And most engaging of all are the characters Ben Winters creates: a hugely appealing Everywoman sleuth, a young woman struggling with a harrowing dilemma, and one of the scariest antagonists in recent memory.

Reader Reviews

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Beyond the Book

What Is a Portacath?

Diagram of the heartA portacath is a medical device used to assist with the treatment of ongoing conditions, most commonly cancer. It is composed of two key parts: the portal, which is a small chamber usually made of silicon that is placed just beneath the skin on a patient's chest; and the catheter, which is a flexible, hollow tube that is threaded into the superior vena cava—the vein that leads to the heart. The device's name is a portmanteau of these two parts.

The purpose of a portacath is to provide quick access when administering repeated doses of intravenous (IV) fluid over a prolonged period of time. After numbing the skin over the port, a special needle called a Huber needle can be painlessly inserted directly into the chamber, ...

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