Toxin. Robin Cook.


Robin Cook. Berkley: 1999.

Called by the AP a “heavyweight of a book” and the “most socially significant work” of Cook’s, and recommended by my father as making him want to stop eating meat, this fluff of a novel centers around a jerk surgeon whose daughter dies from e coli. We’re supposed to feel for him because he doesn’t have the money to fix his 10-year old Mercedes, and the poor guy can’t sell his Tudor house in the city.

This book must be loved by the meat industry. Instead of the plot line being created by a run-of-the-mill health hazard violation, this thing starts by two greedy backwards hicks and an evil corporation with a secret committee that kills people who ask too many questions. Thus, the story takes place in fantasy-land instead of the heart-land. We’re left with the feeling of relief that any danger to/from our meat can only come from psychos, not from the way things really are.

The writing is atrocious, plot inane, characters flat. The only saving grace is the nice medical descriptions of the dying girl, as bad as that sounds.