Friday, June 26, 2015
We relish news of our heroes, forgetting...we are extraordinary to somebody too.
S. G. Browne has written a contemporary, change of pace novel that packs a strong message in a wrapper of fun.
"Less than Hero" is a social commentary introducing Lloyd Prescott, a thirty-year-old professional guinea pig. For the past five years he's participated in over 150 clinical trials.
The pharmaceutical companies have volunteers who test experimental drugs for cash. In a typical month, Lloyd can make over $3,000. He also has a part-time job where he stands in Central Park with various signs for handouts. One states that he will accept money for abuse. People call him all sorts of things and he just thanks them as he accepts their money.
Lloyd and a group of five friends who are also human guinea pigs. They wonder if all the drugs they put in their bodies could have any effect. This is answered in a humorous fashion as Lloyd and his friend, Randy, are on the J train to Manhattan. Three punks enter the train and begin harassing a homeless man. Eventually Randy tells them to leave the man alone. Lloyd is expecting the worse but stands beside his friend facing the punks. Lloyd nicknames them Cue Ball, Cornrows and Soul Patch.
As the train pulls into Essex Street station, Cue Ball's skin turns bright red and blotchy and he becomes covered with hives. His friends back away from him and Lloyd and Randy casually depart from the train.
There are many parts of the story that had me laughing out loud. Lloyd and his friends all exhibit various powers. Lloyd has the ability to fall asleep before him, another in the group causes diarrhea and vomiting.
The men decide to use their powers to protect the innocent. Examples of this are funny and funnier.
To add to the uniqueness, Lloyd's girlfriend is a human statue. She stands in Central Park as a Fairy, sprinkling pixie dust on those who leave her a contribution.
The characters are well described, the scenes are most entertaining and the story is a fun romp and is a critique of a broken and corrupt pharmaceutical industry.
For those wanting a good story and something different, this is the book I recommend.
I received a free book for my honest review.
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