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Description - The Road to Wellville by T. C Boyle

An account of: Dr John Harvey Kellogg, inventor of the cornflake and peanut butter; his profligate, degenerate and opportunistic son; and the birth of America's first health fanatics. T. Correghessan Boyle is the author of Water Music, Budding Prospects and The Tortilla Curtain.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9781862071544
ISBN-10: 1862071543
Format: Paperback
(196mm x 129mm x 29mm)
Pages: 496
Imprint: Granta Books
Publisher: Granta Books
Publish Date: 12-Jan-1998
Country of Publication: United Kingdom

Book Reviews - The Road to Wellville by T. C Boyle

UK Kirkus Review » Coraghessan Boyle skewers the alternative health industry. Inside the Battle Creek Health Sanatorium run by Dr J H Kellogg (of breakfast cereal fame) the wealthy subject themselves to increasingly bizarre and outright dangerous treatments while outside hucksters hustle shares in non-existent cereal companies. The novel follows the trials of Will Lightbody, sceptical and genuinely ill, as he puts himself through the Kellogg regime in order to win back his wife, an initially healthy woman who hangs on the doctor's every word - until a new fad comes along. (Kirkus UK)

US Kirkus Review » In his fifth novel (East is East, 1990, etc.), one of America's most exuberant satirists takes on the national obsession with health and nutritional fads. It's a perfect fit. Battle Creek, Michigan, 1907, breakfast-food capital of the US. C.W. Post (Grape-Nuts) and the Kellogg brothers have already made their fortunes, but there's still a gold rush atmosphere in town. The inventor of the corn flake, Dr. John Harvey Kellogg, a preening martinet, now devotes himself to his Sanitarium ("luxury hotel, hospital and spa all rolled into one"), where he denounces meat-eating, enforces a five-enema-a-day regimen, and keeps his wealthy patients busy with such wacky treatments as the sinusoidal bath. Two of those patients are Will and Eleanor Lightbody of Peterskill, New York. While Eleanor talks up the San with fanatical zeal, the skeptical Will, struggling miserably with the cardboard food and fatuous pieties of his fellow-diners, is as lonely as Winston Smith in 1984. Another New York arrival, engaging young hustler Charlie Ossining, is in town to start his own breakfast-food company with partner Bender. What follows is a weave of satire and melodrama and three storylines: the lurid struggle-to-the-death between the Doctor and his outcast son George (the only one of 42 adopted kids to invalidate Kellogg's child-rearing principles); the equally melodramatic vicissitudes of Charlie; and the Lightbodys' marital drama, which climaxes when Will regains his sense of self and rescues Eleanor from the womb-manipulator Spitzvogel. Any raggedness is more than compensated for by Boyle's Dickensian eye for the grotesque and his formidable narrative power; most fittingly, for a book about the body, Boyle is one of those gloriously physical writers who can describe a simple walk on a cold night in a way that makes your blood tingle. Big, smart, exciting, and often wildly funny. (Kirkus Reviews)


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