When Dr. Tom More (of Love in the Ruins) is released on parole from state prison, he returns to Feliciana, Louisiana, the parish where he was born and bred, and where he practiced psychiatry before his arrest. Upon arriving, he notices something strange in almost everyone around him: unusual sexual behavior in women patients, a bizarre loss of inhibition, a lack of complexity in speech - even his own wife’s extraordinary success at bridge tournaments, during which her mind seems to function like a computer.
With the ingenious help of his attractive cousin, Dr. Lucy Lipscomb, More begins to uncover a criminal experiment to "improve" people’s behavior by drugging the local water supply. But beyond this scheme are activities so sinister that even Tom More wouldn’t believe them if he hadn’t witnessed them with his own eyes.
"Spins along at a brisk thriller pace, laced with escapes and chase scenes and risky, ingenious detective work." (Gail Godwin, New York Times Book Review)
"What a pleasure it is to read a real novel…The Thanatos Syndrome has the ambition and purposefulness to take on the world, to wrestle with its shortcomings, and to celebrate its glories." (Washington Post Book World)
"He is a dazzlingly gifted novelist…Percy stages a lively medical mystery…that no serious reader will want to miss." (USA Today)
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In the end one must chose--given the chance.
Somewhat dated plot
Not in this form. The reader has obviously never set foot in Louisiana or he would have been able to pronounce Ponchartrain (as in the lake), Tunica and (for God's sake ) New Orleans. His faux southern accent set my teeth on edge and ruined this Walker Percy novel.
This book reminded me of several books I have read which focus on environmental tampering by persons wanting to "better" humanity.
Never, never, never! Note to Mr. Hilder- only in bad movies or on television do people say
"Nawlins" for New Orleans. People from Louisiana doe not say this-ever!!!!
I love Wlaker Percy but will go back to reading rather than listening to his books. Actually this book would have been very good with a reader like Will Patton or Dick Hill.