Vivid writing and impressive documentation in a powerful indictment of a system in need of immediate repair.

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DANGEROUS DOSES

HOW COUNTERFEITERS ARE CONTAMINATING AMERICA’S DRUG SUPPLY

An investigative journalist digs into the chilling story of how degraded, expired, contaminated and diluted medicines are being sold to American pharmacies and hospitals.

Eban, a Rhodes scholar whose work has appeared in the New York Times, New York Observer, The Nation and other publications, spent two and a half years interviewing numerous government investigators and regulators, pharmaceutical wholesalers, doctors and patients, and reviewing surveillance videos, investigative reports, court records and other documents. The result is a story rich in distinctive characters whose actions range from courageous to outrageous. Fortunately, the author has provided an annotated list of the major players in her enormous cast. The story begins with a 2002 break-in at a pharmaceutical warehouse in Florida and follows investigators as they pursue those trafficking in counterfeit drugs. What Eban found was that large volumes of drugs made by U.S. pharmaceutical companies don’t flow directly from manufacturer to hospital or pharmacy but are sold and resold in a gray market without a paper trail or with phony papers that obscure their origin. To become a pharmaceutical wholesaler in Florida requires only a refrigerator, an air conditioner, a security alarm, $200 for a security bond and $700 for a license. Aided by lax regulations, holders of these licenses, many of them criminal kingpins and street thugs, make fortunes trading in adulterated and counterfeit drugs. Eban shows the tragic results through her stories of patients whose lives have been affected by bogus medicines they believed were legitimate. Even more disturbing is what she reveals about the weakness of federal oversight in the distribution of pharmaceuticals. Her concluding two-page summary of the steps consumers can take to protect themselves from counterfeit drugs is little comfort.

Vivid writing and impressive documentation in a powerful indictment of a system in need of immediate repair.

Pub Date: May 9, 2005

ISBN: 0-15-101050-1

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Harcourt

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2005

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

SEVERAL SHORT SENTENCES ABOUT WRITING

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

THE ELEMENTS OF STYLE

50TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION

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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