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.
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
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.