An engaging memoir by a tenacious whistle-blower.


In Search of Justice


In her debut, Driscoll-O’Neill documents the long, exasperating experience of exposing a pharmaceutical company’s greed-driven illegal activities.

In 1996, the author became a representative for pharmaceutical company Serono, which developed a drug, Serostim, to treat “wasting,” a symptom of AIDS in which a patient’s overall musculature, strength and virility decline. According to Driscoll-O’Neill, the company gave tacit approval to some shady backroom dealings to boost sales, including offering money and incentives to doctors who agreed to prescribe their drug. One scheme required the doctor to prescribe 30 regimens of the drug, at a cost of $20,000 to $30,000 for a three-month supply; in return, the doctor would be handsomely rewarded with new medical equipment. The author describes several of her own life’s trials and tribulations—including a difficult childhood, the loss of her business, being passed over for promotion, and losing bonuses and eventually her job—and readers will likely admire her ability to overcome adversity. Interestingly, she had been a whistle-blower once before (against Blue Cross), but she received no compensation because she hadn’t been the first to file a suit. She didn’t make that same mistake again and eventually won a lawsuit against Serono, resulting in a substantial settlement payment. This financial gain hangs over the story at times, as if the book were trying to justify the award. For example, Driscoll-O’Neill writes about how she used some of the cash to set up a non-profit, One Life at a Time, to help laid-off workers find jobs. In the end, it’s unclear if the lawsuit had any effect in curbing the corporate greed and corruption that prompted it. That said, the author delivers an intriguing story of her tireless fight against the pharmaceutical colossus.

An engaging memoir by a tenacious whistle-blower.

Pub Date: March 15, 2013

ISBN: 978-1481238359

Page Count: 240

Publisher: CreateSpace

Review Posted Online: Aug. 13, 2013

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Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis...



Privately published by Strunk of Cornell in 1918 and revised by his student E. B. White in 1959, that "little book" is back again with more White updatings.

Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis (whoops — "A bankrupt expression") a unique guide (which means "without like or equal").

Pub Date: May 15, 1972

ISBN: 0205632645

Page Count: 105

Publisher: Macmillan

Review Posted Online: Oct. 28, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 1972

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Analyzing his craft, a careful craftsman urges with Thoreauvian conviction that writers should simplify, simplify, simplify.


New York Times columnist and editorial board member delivers a slim book for aspiring writers, offering saws and sense, wisdom and waggery, biases and biting sarcasm.

Klinkenborg (Timothy; or, Notes of an Abject Reptile, 2006), who’s taught for decades, endeavors to keep things simple in his prose, and he urges other writers to do the same. (Note: He despises abuses of the word as, as he continually reminds readers.) In the early sections, the author ignores traditional paragraphing so that the text resembles a long free-verse poem. He urges readers to use short, clear sentences and to make sure each one is healthy before moving on; notes that it’s acceptable to start sentences with and and but; sees benefits in diagramming sentences; stresses that all writing is revision; periodically blasts the formulaic writing that many (most?) students learn in school; argues that knowing where you’re headed before you begin might be good for a vacation, but not for a piece of writing; and believes that writers must trust readers more, and trust themselves. Most of Klinkenborg’s advice is neither radical nor especially profound (“Turn to the poets. / Learn from them”), and the text suffers from a corrosive fallacy: that if his strategies work for him they will work for all. The final fifth of the text includes some passages from writers he admires (McPhee, Oates, Cheever) and some of his students’ awkward sentences, which he treats analytically but sometimes with a surprising sarcasm that veers near meanness. He includes examples of students’ dangling modifiers, malapropisms, errors of pronoun agreement, wordiness and other mistakes.

Analyzing his craft, a careful craftsman urges with Thoreauvian conviction that writers should simplify, simplify, simplify.

Pub Date: Aug. 7, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-307-26634-7

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Knopf

Review Posted Online: May 14, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2012

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