HEART SEIZURE by Bill Fitzhugh


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A pair of loving but ill-prepared brothers take on the minions of the presidential machinery who have medical designs on a heart intended for the lads’ mum.

Fitzhugh (Fender Benders, 2001, etc.) slathers on the satire, sparing no excess in a sendup of medical/hospital/HMO and presidential evil doings featuring an ever growing cast of ever wilder characters blundering from LA to Salt Lake City as they dodge pursuers from warring Washington factions. Sweet 60-ish Rose Tailor is at the center of this pleasant nonsense about hearts and powers. Rose’s ticker is down to its last few beats when word comes that she’s finally at the top of the list of transplant patients. She’s had to wait unusually long because of her AB negative blood type, a type shared by America’s current president, whose dastardly chief of staff Martin Brooks believes the country would be better off not knowing that the Chief Executive isn’t really sturdy enough for the approaching election. So, just as West Coast transplant trainee Dr. Debbie Robbins is scrubbing up to pop a nice new heart into Rose, an FBI agent dispatched by Brooks informs her that there’s a higher place for it. But Washington hasn’t reckoned on Rose’s sons Spence and Boyd, bleeding-heart lawyer and chickenhearted banker respectively, who snatch organ and surgeon, scoop up their sedated mum, shanghai a closeted gay California Highway Patrolman, and cram them all into a 1965 Mustang, starting a trek for a new transplant venue. They’re pursued not only by the president’s goons but by Men in Black sent by the president’s comely rival, who thinks it might advance her cause if that heart didn’t make it into the executive thorax. Guided by desperation, ringleader Spence and reluctant brother Boyd head eastward in increasingly bizarre vehicles until they come to a Major Mormon Hospital, arriving in a Mormon school bus populated by nearly everyone they’ve met on the way.

Harmless fun, with some good thwacks at America’s idiotic health system.

Pub Date: March 18th, 2003
ISBN: 0-380-97758-3
Page count: 480pp
Publisher: Morrow/HarperCollins
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1st, 2003


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