Top positive review
3 people found this helpful
Excellent and Relevant Novel
on 26 May 2015
Re-reading this book after a few years rekindled the gut theories that now are popular with evidence-based background. The forward to 'Parasite' refers to 'fringe science' in the late 1980's, ignoring people who were developing 'life-threatening allergies and autoimmune conditions... due to lack of allergens, bacteria, even parasites'. The balance to maintain an equilibrium between the gut, biological and neurological disorders are explicitly described. This is the opening of a fictional account of Sally Mitchell, a 20 year old dying on a life-support machine, legally dead after a road traffic accident. A gut parasite (Diphyllobothrium - a common world-wide tape-worm), marketed as 'SymboGen' has remarkable properties. It has been modified scientifically to not only secrete 'miracle' chemicals but can be manipulated to deliver drugs with a health and potential financial bonanza. Sally Mitchell recovers. Her memory does not. The story of her rehabilitation is fascinating.
The narrative delves into the processes of physical and mental recovery that are stirring. The genetic manipulation of the gut parasite has devastating effects when released on the population as a panacea for illness just by popping a pill. Marvellous, but Mira Grant delivers a grim account in her narrative of how a scientific marvel can have catastrophic effects through the doctors, scientists and the affected. The morals and ethics smell as much as the financial rewards.
This is an excellent and topical novel. It is part fact and fiction. I mention the former as drugs and other agents are currently being investigated and delivered by genetically modified viruses and bacteria. An intriguing read. I look forward to reading the second part.