Elixir

Gary Braver
Tor/Forge
06/15/2000
ISBN: #0312873085

When biologist Chris Bacon headed for the unspoiled rainforests of Papua New Guinea in search of medicinal plants, he had no idea he would bring home a rare flower rumored by a tribal shaman to prevent human aging. Driven by fountain-of-youth dreams, he plans to turn the flower into an elixir of youth and health.

But as Chris begins tampering with the ultimate secret of nature, he unleashes forces that threaten his own family, but exposes the world to unimaginably horrific cnsequences.

*   *   *   *   Praise for Elixir:

"Dorian Gray enters the world of the biotech thriller in a fast-paced and well-plotted debut novel that tells the tale of a geneticist who discovers a miracle drug that reverses the aging process. Unfortunately, users die if they stop taking it. Chris Bacon is the Massachusetts scientist whose clandestine effort to find the Fountain of Youth boomerangs when his corrupt boss at Darby Pharmaceuticals, Quentin Cross, attempts to leverage the value of the new compound against a mob debt he has incurred to get financing and to live the corporate high life. When the drug lord who controls Cross gets wind of the existence of "Elixir," and Bacon tries to impose ethical limits on the drug's applications, the mobster implicates Bacon in an airline bombing after setting him up to die in the crash. Bacon avoids the fatal flight, but evidence that incriminates him as the bomber forces him to go underground. Living with his wife and child in a remote cabin in upstate New York, he changes his identity and becomes a modern-day Methuselah after succumbing to the urge to take the drug. The second half of the book tracks the FBI's efforts to find Bacon as clues surface connecting him to the bombing. Braver's larger purpose is to explore the moral and ethical dilemmas proposed by anti-aging technologies. He does so with compelling plot twists, as well as with down-to-earth writing that bring his characters to life as ordinary yet complex people. The drug itself may produce a fatal addiction, but the story behind its development makes for an intoxicating read. Film rights optioned by Scott Free Productions" --Publishers Weekly

"The author's first novel under this pseudonym signals his entry into the arena of medical/biotech thrillers. . . . Among the best of recent contributions to its genre because of its engaging plot and the issues it addresses, this is an outstanding addition to all fiction collections."  --Library Journal

"...a fast-paced gem of a thriller!" -- The Capital Times, Madison, WI September 14, 2000

"...a page-turning thriller..." -- The Herald, Washington

"...a relentless page-turner that manages to deal with scientific and medical material while still being entertaining, witty and very unnerving." -- MetroWest & Community Newspapers

"A breathtaking series of moves and countermoves [yet] a meditation on the nature of life ... [and]family. This is one terrific thriller!" -- Wigglefish.com, Online magazine

"A first-rate biotech thriller ... and an excellent book with lots of important ideas..." -- Sullivan County Democrat

"A stimulating mixture of villainy, science and philosophical & practical issues..." -- Pharmaceutical News

"Braver manages to capture the agonizing ambivalence of immortality perfectly...a delightfully provocative read." -- bn.com

"Braver makes sure that every twist and turn makes sense...a master craftsman when it comes to creating characters..." -- ShelfLife