Customer Reviews for

The Cure for Modern Life: A Novel

Average Rating 3.5
( 10 )
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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 6, 2008

    True to its title

    I like it so much that I am reviewing it before I even finished it. It puts Lisa Tucker in my top 3 favorite authors along with Tom Robbins and Nick Hornby. It is well-written: concise and attention grabbing. It really goes into the depths of several complex characters and all the shades of gray in ethics.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 15, 2008

    Good, but not great.

    I felt this book started out better than it ended. The moral of the story was a good one, but nothing anyone hasn't heard before. Some parts were just not believable and that made me less interested in wanting to find out what happens next.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 21, 2008

    What is 'the cure for modern life'?

    This is one of those tales where the reader feels that he or she may identify with the characters but only infrequently. Amelia, a hard headed and self-righteous woman, is a character with whom many women can or would like to identify. That is until she becomes pregnant. She walks the proverbial line between love and hate with Matthew so much that the audience isn't sure if she's not one character but possibly two. While it is common for people to be of two minds, do we really stay in limbo for such an extended period of time? Amelia had to choose between love and morals, the latter won. Matthew is painted to be a superficial brute with warm and fuzzy undertones. What was Matthew's major flaw? He chose to be successful and loyal to a company and boss that showed him wealth and gratitude. He didn't choose these things over Amelia. He wanted to have both. What we do for our jobs isn't ultimately who we are. No job is completely devoid of moralistic conundrums. After all, both Amelia and Ben risked their moral credo when it came to Matthew at one point or another. Speaking of Ben, he's portrayed as a wonderful scientist, who apparently, in the end, chose his job and himself over what a moral person should have done. What does this really say about morality? Thankfully, the children, Danny and Isabelle, add humanity to the story. Their characters allow Matthew's goodness to be seen and Amelia's softer side to appear. It's quite unrealistic that the circumstances by which they came under Matthew's care would occur, but it made the story a bit more eventful. However, even a crack head, heroin addict knows better than to leave children with a strange man, or at least she should. The ending is just as one would expect and hope. If this was truly modern life, it just wouldn't happen that way. Which brings me to my original question, what is the cure for modern life? Is it adopting some homeless, undernourished, and under- loved children, or is it just a catchy title?

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 7, 2008

    very disappointing

    I felt none of the characters were believable or consistent. I couldn't wait to finish the book to be done with these people.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 12, 2008

    Impressively ambitious in scope and startlingly intimate in its explorations

    Ten-year-old Danny's mother has a drug problem. He only vaguely remembers when she was able to hold down a job and really take care of him and his three-year-old sister Isabelle, when they had a real home. Now, the family lives in a Philadelphia crack house 'a dubious step up from the abandoned car they occupied previously', and Danny's mom is always either high or sick from withdrawal symptoms when she is unable to score a hit. As for Danny, he spends his days begging for money to buy Isabelle's necessities and worrying about his mother's addiction and his sister's developmental delays. Forty-year-old Matthew Connelly also has a drug problem, although his is both more subtle and more insidious than Danny's mom's. Matthew is an executive at a major Philadelphia-based pharmaceutical company. He has worked his way to the top, starting at the company in his 20s after leaving medical school, basing much of his professional achievements on the success of one particular pain-killing drug --- a medication he has overseen since its R&D phase, one that is now the most commonly prescribed medication for chronic pain. With his high-powered job, chic urban loft, high-end electronics and a series of beautiful but shallow girlfriends, Matthew seems like the last person in the world to want a family. But when his path crosses those of Danny and Isabelle, he takes them in on a whim. He may regret his decision the next morning, but not before the two children have enmeshed themselves in his life and in the lives of his closest friends. These include Ben, Matthew's unlikely best friend and an award-winning medical researcher who has devoted his life to solving diseases that strike the world's poor, and Ben's girlfriend, Amelia. Amelia used to be Matthew's girlfriend, even 'if he had to grudgingly admit it' the love of his life. But Amelia, a bioethicist who became disillusioned by Matthew's professional activities, has now devoted her life to exposing the injustices and immoral practices of big pharmaceutical companies 'including Matthew's' and to Ben, a morally upstanding man who couldn't be less like Matthew. Lisa Tucker's fourth novel is both impressively ambitious in scope and startlingly intimate in its explorations. She delves into big social issues, including the corruption of the health care field, the questionable practices of large corporations, and the relationship between the press and business. But she also explores, in a particularly insightful approach, the questions of why we love the people we do, even when that love seems to make no sense. In doing so, she writes from the point of view not only of Amelia but also of Matthew and Danny. For the most part, she credibly and convincingly offers insights into the emotional lives of an anti-emotional man and a boy who is as innocent as he is world-weary. THE CURE FOR MODERN LIFE, with its numerous plot twists and steady pacing, is simultaneously a compelling page-turner and a provocative examination of how a small, diverse group of characters is doing their best to navigate the unfamiliar, treacherous moral landscape of modern life. Frequent flashbacks and a strong sense of place add to the novel's cinematic feeling. Readers will find themselves hoping that it will make its way to the big screen in the meantime, they can content themselves with the many fruitful discussions that Tucker's latest work will bring to book clubs around the country. --- Reviewed by Norah Piehl

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 9, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    terrific character driven morality tale

    In Philadelphia they were young and in love with plans. Now they have become enemy combatants. Amelia Johannsen has devoted her life to helping the poor while business executive Matthew Connelly has devoted his life to making money. On a freezing night, Matthew walks to his loft across a bridge only to be accosted by a desperate ten year old child. Danny ¿the knight¿ as he calls himself that night pleads with Matthew to help his three years old sister Isabelle as both are homeless. Matthew wants to rid himself of the pest, but Danny refuses because he knows what will happen to his sibling. One thing leads to another with Danny involving Matthew who involves Amelia who involves their old college friend Ben. --- This is a terrific character driven morality tale in which Lisa Tucker makes the case that it takes people caring about the welfare of others to make an ethical society. Danny is a fascinating character as he uses several names depending on who he hits upon and classifies his marks for instance he assumes on first impression that Matthew is a selfish Republican SOB. Amelia is the bleeding heart liberal while Matthew is the cold hearted conservative and Ben is the pragmatic middle that the two extreme sides assume lacks passion. THE CURE FOR MODERN LIFE is truly to care and help other people. --- Harriet Klausner

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 21, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted September 6, 2010

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 3, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted May 23, 2012

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