Jason Canane Book Review
I am reading Riptide by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child. This book starts out as two young boys (Hatch and his brother) make a odyssey to their parent's property, Ragged Island that supposedly has hidden treasures. Hatch's brother dies on this rugged trip, and scars his younger brother's life. At this point, the book speeds up through Hatch's life. Now a successful doctor, Hatch gets approached by Captain Neidelman. The captain wants Hatch to come along with him and his crew because Hatch knows where the water sink hole of death is located and also that the island is his property. Then the book proceeds to tell about adventurous travels on this island, that turn out to be mysterious malfunctions of the high tech equipment and horrifying deaths.

Google Images. Web. 06 Nov. 2009. <http://images.google.ca/>.


This is is my visual of what Dr. Hatch would look like in Riptide.

Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child - The Official Web Site | Home. Web. 06 Nov. 2009. <http://www.prestonchild.com/>.

Below is Lincoln Child
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Lincoln Child was born in Westport, Connecticut, which he still calls his hometown (despite the fact that he left the place before he reached his first birthday and now only goes back for weekends).
Lincoln seemed to have acquired an interest in writing as early as second grade, when he wrote a short story entitled Bumble the Elephant (now believed by scholars to be lost). Along with two dozen short stories composed during his youth, he wrote a science-fiction novel in tenth grade called Second Son of DaedalusThe Darkness to the North (left unfinished at 400 manuscript pages). Both are exquisitely embarrassing to read today and are kept under lock and key by the author. and a shamelessly Tolkeinesque fantasy in twelfth grade titled
After a childhood that is of interest only to himself, Lincoln graduated from Carleton College (huh?) in Northfield, Minnesota, majoring in English. Discovering a fascination for words, and their habit of turning up in so many books, he made his way to New York in the summer of 1979, intent on finding a job in publishing. He was lucky enough to secure a position as editorial assistant at St. Martin's Press.
Over the next several years, he clawed his way up the editorial hierarchy, moving to assistant editor to associate editor before becoming a full editor in 1984. While at St. Martin's, he was associated with the work of many authors, including that of James Herriot and M. M. Kaye. He edited well over a hundred books--with titles as diverse as The Notation of Western Music and Hitler's Rocket Sites--but focused primarily on American and English popular fiction.
While at St. Martin's, Lincoln assembled several collections of ghost and horror stories, beginning with the hardcover collections Dark Company (1984) and Dark Banquet (1985). Later, when he founded the company's mass-market horror division, he edited three more collections of ghost stories, Tales of the Dark 1-3.
In 1987, Lincoln left trade publishing to work at MetLife. In a rather sudden transition, he went from editing manuscripts, speaking at sales conferences, and wining/dining agents to doing highly technical programming and systems analysis. Though the switch might seem bizarre, Lincoln was a propeller-head from a very early age, and his extensive programming experience dates back to high school, when he worked with DEC minis and the now-prehistoric IBM 1620, so antique it actually had an electric typewriter mounted into its front panel. Away from the world of publishing, Lincoln's own nascent interests in writing returned. While at MetLife, Relic was published, and within a few years Lincoln had left the company to write full time. He now lives in New Jersey (under protest--just kidding) with his wife and daughter.
A dilettante by natural inclination, Lincoln's interests include: pre-1950s literature and poetry; post-1950s popular fiction; playing the piano, various MIDI instruments, and the 5-string banjo; English and American history; motorcycles; architecture; classical music, early jazz, blues, and R&B; exotic parrots; esoteric programming languages; mountain hiking; bow ties; Italian suits; fedoras; archaeology; and multiplayer deathmatching.
Some highlights of Lincoln Child's life to date:
  • 1957 - born in Westport, Connecticut
  • 1963 - moved to Aberystwyth, Wales (try saying that quickly three times) for a stint in the U.K.
  • 1970 - voted most likely to be beat up in shop class
  • 1971 - discovered H. P. Lovecraft
  • 1971 - was sent a Led Zeppelin album as a Christmas present by a well-meaning grandmother, who clearly had never listened closely to the lyrics of "Whole Lotta Love" or "The Lemon Song." (Gradual decline into sensuality and decadence dates from this period.)
  • 1972 - tried reading War and Peace. Gave up after 400 pages.
  • 1973 - tried reading Gravity's Rainbow. Gave up after 300 pages.
  • 1974 - saw The Exorcist and was traumatized for approximately seven months
  • 1976 - decided to become a medical journalist. Began taking pre-med courses.
  • 1977 - dissected a cat. Gave up on idea of being a medical journalist.
  • 1977 - began writing very romantic, and very bad, poetry. Was persuaded to stop after about a year.
  • 1978 - was glimpsed in London, a copy of Wordsworth's Lyrical Ballads under his arm, asking directions to Westminster Bridge.
  • 1979 - received Distinction in English Literature from Carleton College. Started working for a living.
  • 1982 - tried reading To the Lighthouse. (You can fill in the rest.)
  • 1984 - discovered Jack Daniel's
  • 1988 - first sowed the seeds of Relic with Douglas Preston
  • 1995 - Relic published by Tor Books
  • 1996 - Film version of Relic went into production. Stopped working for a living.
  • 1999 - began Bleak House for the third time. (And finished it this go-round. Perhaps there's hope.)
  • 2003 - Published his first solo novel, Utopia.

Below is Douglas Preston
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Douglas Preston was born in Cambridge, Massachusetts, in 1956, and grew up in the deadly boring suburb of Wellesley. Following a distinguished career at a private nursery school--he was almost immediately expelled--he attended public schools and the Cambridge School of Weston. Notable events in his early life included the loss of a fingertip at the age of three to a bicycle; the loss of his two front teeth to his brother Richard's fist; and various broken bones, also incurred in dust-ups with Richard. (Richard went on to write The Hot Zone and The Cobra Event, which tells you all you need to know about what it was like to grow up with him as a brother.)

As they grew up, Doug, Richard, and their little brother David roamed the quiet suburbs of Wellesley, terrorizing the natives with home-made rockets and incendiary devices mail-ordered from the backs of comic books or concocted from chemistry sets. With a friend they once attempted to fly a rocket into Wellesley Square; the rocket malfunctioned and nearly killed a man mowing his lawn. They were local celebrities, often appearing in the "Police Notes" section of The Wellesley Townsman. It is a miracle they survived childhood intact.

After unaccountably being rejected by Stanford University (a pox on it), Preston attended Pomona College in Claremont, California, where he studied mathematics, biology, physics, anthropology, chemistry, geology, and astronomy before settling down to English literature. After graduating, Preston began his career at the American Museum of Natural History in New York as an editor, writer, and eventually manager of publications. (Preston also taught writing at Princeton University and was managing editor of Curator.) His eight-year stint at the Museum resulted in the non-fiction book, Dinosaurs in the Attic, edited by a rising young star at St. Martin's Press, a polymath by the name of Lincoln Child. During this period, Preston gave Child a midnight tour of the museum, and in the darkened Hall of Late Dinosaurs, under a looming T. Rex, Child turned to Preston and said: "This would make the perfect setting for a thriller!" That thriller would, of course, be Relic.

In 1986, Douglas Preston piled everything he owned into the back of a Subaru and moved from New York City to Santa Fe to write full time, following the advice of S. J. Perelman that "the dubious privilege of a freelance writer is he's given the freedom to starve anywhere." After the requisite period of penury, Preston achieved a small success with the publication of Cities of Gold, a non-fiction book about Coronado's search for the legendary Seven Cities of Cibola. To research the book, Preston and a friend retraced on horseback 1,000 miles of Coronado's route across Arizona and New Mexico, packing their supplies and sleeping under the stars--nearly killing themselves in the process. Since then he has published several more non-fiction books on the history of the American Southwest, Talking to the Ground and The Royal Road, as well as a novel entitled Jennie. In the early 1990s Preston and Child teamed up to write suspense novels; Relic was the first, followed by several others, including Riptide and Thunderhead. Relic was released as a motion picture by Paramount in 1997. Other films are under development at Hollywood studios. Preston and Child live 500 miles apart and write their books together via telephone, fax, and the Internet.

Preston and his brother Richard are currently producing a television miniseries for ABC and Mandalay Entertainment, to be aired in the spring of 2000, if all goes well, which in Hollywood is rarely the case.

Preston continues a magazine writing career by contributing regularly to The New Yorker magazine. He has also written for National Geographic, Natural History, Smithsonisan, Harper's,and Travel & Leisure,among others.

Preston is a Research Associate at the Laboratory of Anthropology in Santa Fe, a member of PEN New Mexico, and a board member of the School of American Research in Santa Fe. He counts in his ancestry the poet Emily Dickinson, the newspaperman Horace Greeley, and the infamous murderer and opium addict Amasa Greenough. Preston and his wife, Christine, have three children, Selene, Aletheia, and Isaac. They live on the coast of Maine.

By Jason Canane

To the right is Ragged Island off the coast of Maineragged_island0013-1.JPG

My Author Letter

Dear Mr. Preston & Mr. Child,

I am reading your book, Riptide in English class. I love this book, it is one of the few books that I have enjoyed very much. I have to say that this book makes people have vivid images of what's the next thing that will happen. If I were a teacher, this would be one of the books that I would recommend for the students.
My favorite part so far is when Captain Neidelman brings Dr. Hatch into the computer technician's lab. Your exquisite imagery of the captain and Hatch walking into the lab so Hatch could meet the computer technician was very effective. It made it like watching a movie inside of my head. My favorite character is Hatch, a young adventurous boy that reminds me of me. I could connect with how he loves to explore and search for hidden treasure. I also like when years later, and now not so young any more, Hatch is back again for another stab at the treasure, only because Neidelman approached him saying he knew the watery sand pit. This shows that even as an adult, Hatch still takes risks, as I hope I will later on in life.
If you don't mind, I have a few questions for you. First of all, is there actually a Ragged Island located off the coast of Maine? And another is, you describe some electronics in the book well; do you have some computer knowledge in your background? The last question is, you two work together, how do you pull your ideas together to make a book?
I learned that not all thick books are boring and that people should try to find one to read.
Another aspect I liked your book is the vocabulary; I was exposed to new vocabulary that I would not be able to spell out in a Spelling Bee. Thanks for your time and I hope I can hear back from you.


Jason Canane