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by Tom Grimes
Ludlow Press, 2003
Review by Christian Perring, Ph.D. on Jun 3rd 2003

Tom Grimes' novel is a smart and funny look at the modern world of medication and cyberspace.  Its hero is Will, who has just started college.  Will is on a quest of some kind, although it's unclear what the goal of the quest is, although graduating from college would be a significant accomplishment for him.   Will both plans to save the world from an epidemic of Information Sickness and hopes to achieve romantic success with a Ms. Goodlay.  The mix of popular culture, psychopharmacology and philosophy is a winning combination, even if the theme of the quest is a little heavy handed.  Here's a typical paragraph:

In Which Everything is Not Fun, Fun Fun

Being psychotic, I quickly realized that Information Sickness and the death of metaphysics were linked, like a sitcom and its spin-off.  My heroic duty was clear, despite the tremors and blurred vision from Thorazine and Lithium.  Destiny had charged me not only with rescuing mankind from Information Sickness, I also had to resuscitate the corpse of the Western philosophical tradition if I was to win Naomi and once again be able to produce a noteworthy hard-on on demand. 

Grimes' writing is clever and occasionally thought-provoking; it's not surprising that this novel has also been published in France, a nation known for its love of intellectuals, or pseudo-intellectuals, depending on one's point of view.  Whether the book is ultimately satisfying as an exploration of modern culture or whether it is merely a piece of entertainment is also up for debate.  The grander aims of the novel and especially any pretensions to philosophical depth seem somewhat under-realized, but it is unusual and interesting enough to deserve recommendation anyway.



© 2003 Christian Perring. All rights reserved.

Link: Publisher's website


Christian Perring, Ph.D., is Chair of the Philosophy Department at Dowling College, Long Island, and editor of Metapsychology Online Review. His main research is on philosophical issues in medicine, psychiatry and psychology.

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