The Doll Hospital

Peter Menegas, Author St. Martin's Press $19.95 (417p) ISBN 978-0-312-01423-0
Timely, absorbing and enlivened by a liberal number of soap opera-style situations, this novel documents one hectic week at Tanglewood, a fictitious Connecticut clinic specializing in the detoxification and rehabilitation of drug and alcohol abusers. Since most of Tanglewood's patients are wealthy people with careers in show business, fashion or the arts, the accommodations are uncommonly sumptuous. By contrast, however, those being treated at Tanglewood have sordid, often pathetically tragic backgrounds, which the author recounts in flashbacks. Renowned actress Cat Powers has become reliant upon Demerol and Valium thanks to a ""Dr. Feelgood'' named Gene Stone, who eventually gives her syphilis. Powers and Stone arrive at Tanglewood, where the unscrupulous physician plots against his old nemesis, Dr. Roger Cooper, the clinic's co-owner and medical director. Model Lavender Gilbert must summon the courage to end a cocaine habit caused by career pressures. Heavyweight boxing champion Peabo Washington faces a divorce unless he gives up methedrine. British politician Nigel Burden contends with two problemsalcoholism and his married son who is a transvestite. Meanwhile, Dr. Cooper copes with his disgruntled business partner who wants to buy Roger's share of Tanglewood, then replace him. Menegas (The Nature of the Beast) keeps the pace enjoyably brisk. Without adopting an excessively solemn or moralistic tone, he unequivocally indicates the terrible consequences of substance and alcohol abuse. (April)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1988
Release date: 01/01/1988
Mass Market Paperbound - 978-0-312-91529-2
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