A novel due out this month will resonate with people who have CFS because its main character has an unnamed illness that shares many symptoms with CFS. Patient 002 follows character Sam Kiehl’s experience in a clinical trial for an experimental therapy, showing what human medical research is like from the patient's point of view. Author Floyd Skloot has won numerous awards for his writing, including high praise for his book In the Shadow of Memory, and reviews of Patient 002 promise it will enrich his reputation as important writer. The novel is equal parts character study, exploration of the encounter between sick people and the medical research world, thriller and love story. The following review from Publishers Weekly offers a sneak peek.
Floyd Skloot. Rager Media (SPD, dist.), $19.95 paper (288p) ISBN 978-0-9792091-6-1
Medical research subjects get the shaft before striking back in Skloot's latest, an amusing and absorbing novel that pits a motley crew of Davids against a callous corporate Goliath. Sam Kiehl, a 42-year-old Vietnam vet and political analyst, signs up for a double-blind placebo-controlled study at an esteemed research center in Oregon after being diagnosed with herpes. The curiously named pharmaceutical company, Physicians for Ethical Research (PER), is optimistic over its promising drug, Zomalovir. Sam soon strikes up a romance with his massage therapist, Jessica Foster, but after PER goes bankrupt and cancels the Zomalovir study, the distraught subjects (including Sam) resort to desperate measures to continue receiving treatment. Skloot, the author of three novels, three memoirs and five volumes of poetry, treats the complicated and often absurd protocols of drug studies with an authoritative, compassionate touch. The balance of humor, romance and cold observation makes for a commendable yarn. (Apr.)