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Pharmacology by Christopher Herz


by Christopher Herz

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It is always with in-trepidation that you start the second novel from an author, when you loved their first. It was with this in mind that I started Pharmacology by Christopher Herz. Would the book be as good as the first? Was this author just a one hit wonder? Could he continue his writing form into another novel to be loved?

Through this book we are taken into a world that we know exists, but may not be comfortable admitting exists. The world of pharmaceutical companies and the tactics that they use to manipulate the everyday public into buying their drugs. In essence within the book there were areas that remind me of another of my favourite books 'State of Fear' by Michael Crichton. Both depict how the everyday public can be manipulated by clever media to think in a certain way. The one line that I love from the book which describes the main thread running through the novel is

“Pharmaceutical companies were using homeless people in the city to run experiments in early clinical trials after the FDA had said that testing on mice was no longer a viable option”

However, it would be unfair just to review this book in these terms as it is so much more. The main character Sarah Striker is engaging and well written. By the end of the book you really feel like you have bonded and got to know her, warts and all. The book is written as if it is Sarah's memoirs and this is expressed well when the character at times floats from one thought to another and back again. There is a lovely subtle connection between the legal drugs used by the pharmaceutical companies and the illegal recreational drugs that some characters use. I loved the author's use of some of the old rock bands of the 80's. Growing up in the UK and having to import my favourite American music it is nice to know I didn't dream up some of these bands in my younger days.

In essence the book is a thoroughly enjoyable novel which is well written. The underlying theme in the book is written in such an engaging way that you are left pondering the ethics of these companies in society now. The theme is very different from the authors first book. However, it also has the twist towards the end, that I must be honest I didn't see coming at all. This is similar to his first novel. I feel compelled to say that this novel is better than his first. Although this leaves me feeling guilty like I have just picked my favourite child. I could write so much more about this novel but I don't want to spoil it for anyone. Go and read it yourself you will not be disappointed. My only criticism, if there was one, is that 214 pages is just not long enough. Although don't all excellent authors leave you wanting more.

( )
  samarnold1975 | Feb 23, 2014 |
  aletheia21 | Aug 23, 2013 |
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