Books

THE RATIONING

An entertaining political satire that follows the dealing with of a
nationwide medical disaster each within the White Home and within the lab.

Across the 12 months 2030, a brand new flulike viral illness emerges primarily
in the US. No drawback: Science has invented Dormigen, a drug that
successfully treats viral and bacterial infections. Sure drawback: A warehouse
hearth destroys a few of the federal authorities’s provide of Dormigen, and the
personal firm that produces the fallback stockpile tries to chop corners. The
terrible upshot because the demise depend from the brand new bug rises: Washington might should
ration current provides if the Nationwide Institutes of Well being can’t save the
day. Wheelan (Bare Cash, 2016, and so forth.) teaches public coverage at
Dartmouth, has written primers on
economics and statistics, and ran unsuccessfully for Congress. His narrator is
a 30-year-old scientist and purported writer of a e-book known as The
Rationing about his expertise as one of many NIH researchers in search of a
remedy and given entry to White Home conferences. Whereas the narrative’s science
facet is by turns attention-grabbing or tedious, the insider’s view of the political
turmoil is the massive draw of this debut novel. In a Hollywood pitch, it will be
a mashup of Dustin Hoffman movies: Outbreak meets Wag
the Canine. But it surely’s extra like a West Wing marathon, with
Sorkin-esque dialogue, well-drawn characters, and sharp-edged infighting. Meaty
subplots and sidebars come up. A feisty well-known older lady begins a nationwide
demise watch when she refuses accessible Dormigen on precept. China mounts a
clumsy tradeoff by providing its shops of the drug in trade for unfettered
Asian dominance and extra parking areas on the U.N. India’s prime minister
hyperlinks sharing his provide to a PR marketing campaign involving bogs and televisions.
There’s virtually an excessive amount of happening. Nonetheless, the pages usually flutter by
shortly, fueled by the political warmth and Wheelan’s easy, workmanlike prose.

A extremely readable and clever first novel.

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