By: Christopher Herz
Somewhere around 1993, the digital revolution was happening. The internet was starting it’s meteoric rise to the top, and headed for everyone’s homes. Pharmacology is set in the San Francisco of 1993, where the world is about to change. Herz writes a powerful character who’s trying to find her way, away from home, in a world that’s changing about as fast as she is. The book is written in a diary-like first person, that actually was a bit off-putting to me at first. As I got into it a bit more, it felt much more natural for the story. We follow Sarah, the POV character, through her life in the city as she finds herself, and finds out how much she can go through.
The writing is well done, with only a few minor things that made me pause. The language that Sarah uses is very difficult to get the hang of, but with the diary style, I think it was pretty necessary. Not many of us would write with perfect English in a diary. We’d do just as Sarah does and stick to the hipsterish jargon that’s peppered throughout. It’s an interesting story, delving into the pharmaceutical industry, and life as a young adult. On thing’s for sure, it’ll make you think a bit about some of the things that you do.
Herz, himself, is a bit of a indie-author success story. He self-published his first book, and hand-sells the copies of it as he walks about New York City. At some point, he caught the eye of an editor ad Amazon Encore and they picked him up for Pharmacology. He’s a big advocate of storytelling as well, holding a weekly skype meeting with a class of school children where they create ideas and tell stories based on the ideas of their classmates.
Pharmacology reminds me a bit of a Max Barry book, full of discontent and, in the end, a bit of eye-opening. I wasn’t sure what to think of the book when I started, but found that I couldn’t put it down after a while. A good read, especially if you like your stories with a side of distopian paranoia.
disclaimer: I was sent an ARC copy of this from the PR agency. As is my policy, review copies only get reviews if I liked the book enough to find something good to say about it. If I don’t like review copies, I don’t review them. Simple as that.