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A high-finance thriller about a wonder street-drug that turns people into supercomputers, this debut from Dublin-based Glynn glitters with a carnival of effects but lacks thrust enough to stay in orbit.

The drug, MDT, alters brain chemistry to produce unique focus and drive, while substituting itself for food and sleep. It enters hack writer Eddie Spinola’s life through an encounter in New York with his ex-brother-in-law, who after listening to Eddie ramble about his inability to proceed on a book he’s writing, leaves him with a pill that will change his life. After Eddie experiences MDT, he visits his in-law for more, only to find the guy dead. But Eddie discovers the dealer’s stash and squirrels it away for his own use. From eradicating his slovenly ways to finishing his book in record time to becoming a celebrity of the late-night bar-hop circuit, Eddie is on the rise, fueled by increasing doses. At some point a desire to make a killing in the stock market takes hold of him, and his start as a day-trader meets with meteoric success, bringing him to the attention of one of Wall Street’s biggest players. Success has a price, however: Eddie begins to experience blackouts, one of which leaves him walking down a hotel corridor with bruises all over his body and no memory of what has happened. The next day’s news fills him in: the wife of a famous Mexican painter has been beaten savagely and is near death. Eddie goes off MDT in horror, but his withdrawal symptoms and subsequent failure to impress his patron, who wants him to advise on the biggest merger deal in corporate history, bring him back on board, flying higher than ever. The deal goes through just as Eddie’s past missteps catch up to him—and his fall is no less meteoric than his rise.

Undeniably clever, and hip enough to garner a cult following, but not much is left once the bells and whistles are stripped away.

Pub Date: Jan. 1st, 2001
ISBN: 1-58234-224-5
Page count: 342pp
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15th, 2001


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