Mrs. Savage's second novel (Parrish- 1958) is also her second Literary ?uild selection and while it is strictly popular in...

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IN VIVO

Mrs. Savage's second novel (Parrish- 1958) is also her second Literary ?uild selection and while it is strictly popular in appeal, it is thoroughly readable. In vivo is the laboratory term for testing in life (mice or men) as against in vitro (in the test tube) and this is concerned with a small drug manufacturing firm's attempt to isolate a broader spectrum antibiotic than penicillin or streptomycin in the late '40's. In spite of the infighting at Enright, anything from professional conservatism to jealousy, maverick Tom Cable, a young researcher, succeeds in selling his idea for the project to the directors of the company. Backed by one scientist with vision, and with the help of a new pharmacologist, Cable's experiments go on and on; mice die like flies; ""pure science"" goes down the drain with hundreds of cultures; a first formula cures but also kills; a second one doesn't kill but also doesn't cure; a third, while harmless, perhaps too harmless, s unstable; time (two and a half years) and money (three million) run out just when Ambermycin proves its wonderdrug worth with a life-or-death case in point. On the side, a fair amount of intramural romance and sex, but no impurities here... The novel is told in spansule form, for continuing effectiveness over a really long period (circa 700 pages) and it cannot only stand, but benefits by, comparison with any one of several which have told this same story. It has lots of commercial properties, which, as Tom Cable asserts, does no disservice to science or the public.

Pub Date: May 29, 1964

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: N/A

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 1964