Friday 7 June 2013

Montaro Caine

Finished June 4
Montaro Caine by Sidney Poitier

Well, I was intrigued enough that Poitier had written a novel to want to read it, especially as I had really enjoyed both his memoirs. I found the novel interesting enough, but not at the same level as the memoirs. Here we have the title character as the CEO of a multinational mining/chemical company, although you get little sense of just what the company does. When Montaro was a child his father travelled to Washington, D.C. to work on a research project about into autistic people. On the return trip, the plane crashed and his father was killed. But someone involved in the research project had given him an object for Montaro and that object and his research notes survived the crash.
Montaro seems to be in jeopardy of being replaced as leader of his company through some internal politicking. When he is approached by two strangers and asked to look at a coin, he is immediately brought back to his university days when he analyzed a similar coin. The story of the two coins is at the heart of this book, their origins and the people who have held them along the way.
There is a moralizing heart to this book about the need for peace, scientific discovery and forward-looking people working for the good of the planet rather than their own wealth. So it has got a bit of science fiction to it, along with an underlying commentary on doing good. However, I didn't really connect with any of the characters, finding that they seemed a bit flat to me. The story was interesting as was the underlying premise.

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