Pharmakon

Pharmakon

Book - 2008
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Penguin Putnam
An epic novel about family secrets and the consequences of ambition

William Friedrich, an ambitious professor of psychology at Yale in 1952, has stumbled upon a drug that promises happiness?and that can make him a famous man. When his experiment goes awry, and a research subject commits murder, the consequences will haunt him and his family forever.

Pharmakon is an epic novel, an invocation of the quest for bliss, for love, for family, and all of the betrayals that follow. We follow the Friedrichs from the well-ordered suburban life of postwar America through the chaos and freedom of the counterculture, into the drug-fueled, media-crazed eighties and beyond. In William Friedrich, Wittenborn has defined the archetypal American patriarch: a miracle worker and source of strength to everyone except those he loves the most. Pharmakon is also a layered, thoughtful search behind the veil of psychopharmacology as we know it today?a tale not only of the consequences of research, but also of the complex personalities, appetites, and struggles that created it.

Honest, insightful, and ruefully funny, Pharmakon captures formative moments of the twentieth century, the quirks of an American family, and will enthrall fans of the novels of John Irving.

Baker & Taylor
Inventing a drug that appears to have happiness-inducing qualities, a mid-twentieth-century Yale professor is launched into fame before his experiments go awry and a research subject commits murder.

Blackwell North Amer
William Friedrich, an ambitious professor of psychology at Yale in the early 1950s, has stumbled upon a drug that promises happiness - and that can make him a famous man. His is a humanitarian effort; an attempt to relieve Americans of suffering, and the early results are so promising that Friedrich stakes his future on it. But when his experiment goes awry and a research subject, a brilliant and troubled Yale student, commits murder, the consequences will haunt him and his family forever.
Pharmakon, which in Greek means both "poison" and "cure," is an epic invocation of the quest for bliss, for love, for family and prosperity, and all of the betrayals that follow. Through the eyes of the youngest son, Zach, we follow the Friedrichs from the well-ordered suburban life of postwar America through the chaos and freedom of the counterculture into the drug-fueled, media-crazed eighties and beyond. In William Friedrich, Wittenborn has defined the archetypal American patriarch: a miracle worker and source of strength to everyone except those he loves the most. Honest, insightful, and ruefully funny, Pharmakon captures formative moments of the twentieth century and the telling traits of an American family. It is also a layered, thoughtful search behind the veil of psychopharmacology as we know it today - a tale not only of the consequences of research, but the complex personalities, appetites, and struggles that created it.

Baker
& Taylor

Inventing a drug that appears to have happiness-inducing qualities, a mid-twentieth-century Yale professor is launched into fame before his experiments go awry and a research subject commits murder. 50,000 first printing.

Publisher: New York : Viking, 2008
ISBN: 9780670019427
0670019429
Branch Call Number: Fiction Wit
Characteristics: 406 p. ; 24 cm

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