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Doctor Salt by Gerard Donovan
Doctor Salt is set in Salt Lake City and is narrated by two characters, Sunless and Salt. Sunless is a paranoid schizophrenic who recounts his days in the first half of the novel. At times darkly comic, he rails against the conspiracies which he's sure track his every move, the drugs that his psychiatrists dole out, and the barrage of drug advertising for pills that fit every mood or supposed mental imbalance. The second half of the novel is told by Salt, telling of his family's tragic story. His father is dying of cancer without health insurance and his newborn brother has died. The continuous onslaught of misfortune that affects Salt and his family is aided and abetted by a health system and drug companies that place profits ahead of moralistic treatment. Gerard Donovan's novel has received mostly positive reviews with the Independent saying, "There are times when Doctor Salt burns with an almost old-fashioned sense of outrage at the everyday injustice experienced by its characters, but in the intelligence of its perceptions, the precision of its insights and the subtlety of its realisation, it proves itself to be wholly contemporary in its critique of Bush's America."