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Afterparty Hardcover – April 22, 2014
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An Amazon Best Book of the Month, April 2014: Lyda Rose and her colleagues had the best intentions: to create a drug that would cure schizophrenia. Instead, she's in a mental hospital, saddled with a permanent hallucination of a doctor with angel's wings. When a newly admitted teenaged girl commits suicide rather than deal with withdrawal, Lyda recognizes the symptoms and realizes that her drug has hit the streets. She arranges her own release, helps her lover (a paranoid ex-government agent) break out of the hospital, and tries to find out where the drug is coming from. Combining elements of near-future science fiction, cyber-thriller, and whodunit mystery, Daryl Gregory takes us on a pulse-racing, brain-bending adventure that reads like the enthusiastic retelling of a crazy acid trip--twisted and imaginative and frightening and funny and intense. Along the way we investigate drug-pushing churches, we double-cross a gang run by ruthless old ladies, we team up with Native American smugglers, we dodge a split-personality urban rancher, and perhaps most dangerous of all, we try to track down Lyda's old scientific team in search of answers. --Robin A. Rothman
“Wickedly clever entertainment.” ―SF Gate (San Francisco Chronicle) on Pandemonium
“Part superhero fiction, part zombie horror story, and part supernatural thriller, this luminous and compelling tale deserves a wide readership beyond genre fans.” ―Library Journal, starred review, on Raising Stony Mayhall
“A quietly brilliant second novel. . . . A wide variety of believable characters, a well-developed sense of place and some fascinating scientific speculation will earn this understated novel an appreciative audience among fans of literary SF.” ―Publishers Weekly, starred review, on The Devil's Alphabet
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The ripped-from-tomorrow’s headlines stuff about designer drugs’ being printed by everyman in the church storeroom didn’t interest me as much as it seems to interest other people. I mean, yeah, that’s gonna happen. What’s more fun to consider (and Gregory does) is the leveling potential. (Also, you might consider re-balancing your portfolio if you own a lot of Big Pharma.) In the end, the most profound question posed by “Afterparty” is not really whether God is just a manifestation of brain chemistry but whether it matters.
Ahem. It's good. It's very, very good. Read it. If someone you know doesn't like it, explain to them that they're wrong, and then make them read it again since they clearly didn't pay attention the first time.
BUT, with some people there is an unexpected reaction of becoming very, very religious.
If God, the God of whatever religion you participate in suddenly feels much, much closer does that make you more schizophrenic OR so much healthier you are actually closer to God?
Interesting story on many levels. You might find yourself thinking about some of the issues and questions raised in this book after finishing reading it.
It's also an above average mystery.
Don't see how this can be a movie. To many touchy topics involved.
A biomed startup discovers a drug against schizophrenia. But it has one side effect - it makes you feel the presence of God. The team accidentally overdoses themselves with their own medication, leaving one of them dead, and all others insane. Ten years later the drug, Numinous, reappears again and its creators must find which of them broke the promise not to let it out in the world.
This one is perfect cocktail: a page-turner with twists that would make you reread some chapters just after you finished one, a perfectly researched hard sci-fi that makes this reviewer - an actual biologist - look up the author to see if he has a scientific background (nope, the author has a English and Theater degree, well done sir, well done!), and surprisingly good literature as a whole.
The book's ragtag bunch of clinically insane characters are sometimes over the top (but still lovable), while their physical traits could be described in a less sketchy way, but other than that this is what I love most in a good sci-fi: smart and humorous writing, ideas that are worth researching and reading about after and a good story. Personally "Afterparty" also has a bit of inspiration - I'd sign for work in Little Sprout in a heartbeat - Gregory captures some essence of what I always seek in workplaces and colleagues.