Narrator James Lurie does an evenhanded, well-paced reading of this strange story of agricultural espionage. Author Mara Hvistendahl also narrates a few chapters, switching to the first person to offer a personal view of the material. What unfolds is espionage among Iowa cornfields as Chinese scientists collect genetically altered corn in an attempt to beat Monsanto and Pioneer out of licensing fees. Hvistendahl highlights the various stakeholders: the corn farmers, dependent on China for sales; the FBI, eager to set an example for Chinese industrial spies; and Monsanto and Pioneer, competitors yet happy to share the resources of the federal government to protect their patents. Mix these conflicting interests, add a dab of xenophobia, and the result is an engaging listen. R.W.S. © AudioFile 2020, Portland, Maine [Published: APRIL 2020]
Trade Ed. Penguin Audio 2020
DD ISBN 9780593166802 $17.50
Library Ed. Books on Tape 2020
DD ISBN 9780593166819 $66.50
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