Elixir

Gary Braver, Author Forge $25.95 (352p) ISBN 978-0-312-87308-0
Dorian Gray enters the world of the biotech thriller in a fast-paced and well-plotted debut novel that tells the tale of a geneticist who discovers a miracle drug that reverses the aging process. Unfortunately, users die if they stop taking it. Chris Bacon is the Massachusetts scientist whose clandestine effort to find the Fountain of Youth boomerangs when his corrupt boss at Darby Pharmaceuticals, Quentin Cross, attempts to leverage the value of the new compound against a mob debt he has incurred to get financing and to live the corporate high life. When the drug lord who controls Cross gets wind of the existence of ""Elixir,"" and Bacon tries to impose ethical limits on the drug's applications, the mobster implicates Bacon in an airline bombing after setting him up to die in the crash. Bacon avoids the fatal flight, but evidence that incriminates him as the bomber forces him to go underground. Living with his wife and child in a remote cabin in upstate New York, he changes his identity and becomes a modern-day Methuselah after succumbing to the urge to take the drug. The second half of the book tracks the FBI's efforts to find Bacon as clues surface connecting him to the bombing. Braver's larger purpose is to explore the moral and ethical dilemmas proposed by anti-aging technologies. He does so with compelling plot twists, as well as with down-to-earth writing that bring his characters to life as ordinary yet complex people. The drug itself may produce a fatal addiction, but the story behind its development makes for an intoxicating read. Film rights optioned by Scott Free Productions. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 04/03/2000
Release date: 04/01/2000
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FORMATS
Mass Market Paperbound - 448 pages - 978-0-8125-7591-0
Prebound-Other - 978-0-606-21174-1
Ebook - 448 pages - 978-1-4299-6293-3
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