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Thorns - Robert Silverberg Another book by Silverberg that is less than great although not at all bad. It just doesn't quite have enough substance to it for me to rate it higher.

The inextricable link between pain and being alive is the central theme of this book. The two protagonists of this book are brought together by a cynical, manipulative tycoon who promises them an impossible hope of escape from their situations but really wants only to profit, in more ways than one, from their suffering.

One of the protagonists is the lone survivor of an alien encounter in which is crew mates were killed and he was left alive although heavilly mutilated by alien experiments to "improve" upon his human body and in constant pain. The other is a young woman who has had her eggs used in a experiment to see if they can fertilise, germinate and grow children entirely outside of the body. She now has 100 children which she is denied all contact with and left feeling suicidal. Can they find solace in each other's company? Is being the center of media focus a price worth paying for a chance to realise their respective dreams?

Good but I wanted, and expected, more. I know Silverberg is capable of it and I will keep on exploring his reknowned works so that I can once again experience his genius.