Moody captures the easy back-and-forth of seemingly innocuous office banter and keeps things moving with a fluctuating plot that makes for a surprisingly addictive...read.
Moody (Best Friends) stages this sharply observed tale of office relationships gone very wrong at a small Ohio medical practice. When Dr. Will Strub marries office nurse Alicia, he becomes increasingly involved in the local fundamentalist church. That puts him somewhat at odds with his fellow doctor and business partner, Dr. Hap Markowitz, who defines himself "as a non-observant, God-fearing Jew." Meanwhile, middle aged office receptionist Caroline begins her own new relationship with a 72-year-old patient named Fred, while Hap devotes his spare time to his seriously ill wife, making office manager Brice literally the odd man out. The slow descent into insanity by one of the characters leads to a tragedy that affects all involved; gay relationships, evangelical fervor, amputation and infidelity all play in. "There is a point where loyalty became a sickness, where faithfulness to someone else became a way to destroy yourself," Hap observes, and each of Moody's well-drawn characters embodies that statement in his or her own way. Hap and Caroline alternate with first person narration, which lends Upstairs Downstairs -like shifts in perspective, which can be distracting. Moody keeps things moving, though, and gets the details right, whether adding up emotional balances, Prozac samples or a patient's bill. (Aug.) Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
A bracingly dark comedy from physician Moody (Best Friends, 2001) about the unraveling of an Ohio medical office that seems a haven for its employees until sex and religion infect the practice. Hap Markowitz, the brains, and William Strub, the personality, carry on a successful internal medicine partnership supported by a small staff of three. Caroline the receptionist, who narrates the story along with Hap, doesn't let her prosthetic leg keep her from a string of lusty lovers drawn to her sunny warmth. Alice the nurse is younger than Caroline, an ambitious single mother who dotes over her brilliant teenage son. Brice the money manager lives with his overbearing mother. The three familiar if dissimilar workplace "types" have built a three-way friendship that keeps the office running smoothly and happily until William, recently divorced, finds himself drawn to Alice. Their ensuing affair and marriage disrupt the office balance. Alice stops hanging out with Caroline and Brice. Caroline and Brice's friendship is ruined after she sleeps with him out of misguided sympathy, although she knows he is not attracted to women. As marital bliss with Alice sours, William turns to internet pornography, then becomes a Christian zealot. At first, Alice resists but soon she is at least as fervent as William. Preoccupied by his wife's sudden, fast spreading cancer and subsequent death, Hap is too distracted to resist when William and Alice start selling Christian vitamins in the front office. And only Caroline notices when Brice becomes dangerously obsessed with Alice's son Jesse, who bravely acknowledges that he is gay to his newly fundamentalist parents. Long before the inevitable malpractice caseconnected to the vitamins, what began as light satire has turned into genuine tragedy. Even as her characters make disastrous mistakes, Moody, a genuinely original voice, takes an unsentimental approach that never denies life's possibilities. A provocative, intensely moving novel of ideas and opposing philosophies presented by deeply flawed, deeply human characters.
From the Publisher
"Played to the hilt by Renée Raudman and Todd McLaren." AudioFile