“And it all began just one year from today”…. So begins Edward Abbey’s classic subversive ecoclassis “The Monkey Wrench Gang” focusing on a gallant but quirky group of environmentalists that band together to stop the ravages of big Coal in the Southwest.
Caroline Anderson’s gripping portrayal of a small communities fight for health (and justice) in the face of a mysterious disorder in “A Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Novel” is not far removed from Abbey’s creation. When the local country doc, Alistair, goes searching for answers she stumbles into a shadowy and even, at times, dangerous world of tainted government agencies and big corporations doing what they need to do to ensure their bottom line is met. Soon she and her band of compatriots are banding together to defend their health, properties and livelihood.
True or not it doesn’t take much to dream up government officials ‘colluding’ with insurance companies to keep the lid on a million person tinderbox. Something, after all, (inertia? fear? lack of leadership? money??…take your pick) must explain the federal government?s strange unwillingness to even to begin to treat ME/CFS seriously for so long… Conspiracy buffs heads will wag furiously as they read this book; others will probably furrow their brow and think bit more…
Where ever you stand on the ‘reason for government neglect?’ question, ‘Chronic Fatigue Syndrome: A Novel’ is sure to delight. A quick moving tale it’s an entertaining introduction to a disorder a lot of people just don’t know about. A nice blend of science and passion, it’s just about the right length, and it’s got a catchy story (people who aren’t who they say they are, there’s a love story, a death, a show down….and even just as in Floyd Skloot’s CFS novel, ‘Patient 002’ a helicopter scene). Carol writes with the conviction of someone who did find an answer and now wonders, why it took so long.
“Chronic Fatigue Syndrome: A Novel” is an eye-opening entree for the uninitiated and a rousing read for those in the know. Highly recommended.