by Gary Braver
4.8 11


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Elixer by Gary Braver

When biologist Chris Bacon headed for the unspoiled rainforests of Papua New Guinea in search of medicinal plants, he had no idea that he would bring home a rare flower rumored by a tribal shaman to prevent human aging. Driven by fountain-of-youth dreams, he plans to turn the flower into an elixir of youth and health.

But as Chris begins tampering with the ultimate secret of nature, he unleashes forces that not only threaten his own family, but expose the world to unimaginably horrific consequences.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780312873080
Publisher: Doherty, Tom Associates, LLC
Publication date: 04/01/2000
Edition description: REV
Pages: 352
Product dimensions: 6.45(w) x 9.56(h) x 1.32(d)

About the Author

Gary Braver is the award-winning author of six critically acclaimed thrillers including Elixir, Gray Matter, and Flashback, which was recipient of the 2006 Massachusetts Honor Book Award for Fiction--a first for a thriller--and which in a starred review Publishers Weekly called “an exceptional medical thriller.” His novels have been translated into five languages, and three have been optioned for movies.

Under his own name, Gary Goshgarian, he is an award-winning professor of English at Northeastern University where he teaches courses in Modern Bestsellers, Science Fiction, Horror Fiction, and Fiction Writing. He has taught fiction-writing workshops through out the United States and Europe for over twenty years. He is the author of five college writing textbooks.

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Elixer 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 11 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Gary Braver's book, Elixir, grabs you fast and creates and early page turner that is hard to put down. Through logical scientific description he makes a reasonable case for an exotic compound that extends life forever. Of course there are the usual suspects trying to get the 'elixir' for greed, prersonal power, and, of course eternal youth. As the story continues there are gaps and inconsistencies which make it hard to swallow. The reader wants things to work because the basic story is exciting and tense. But we have real presidents (Reagan) followed by fictional presidents (why not just have all fiction here. It doesn't add to the story and it is distracting to change horses). Contrived 'lucky' events which prevent Chris/Roger from getting caught. Chance meetings with college roomates in different towns. A return visit to the FBI by Wally to 'call them off' which is totally unnecessary and which leads to the 'awful-awful'. As the story lines multiply geometrically, one becomes a little confused and lost. When we finally reach our denoument we are relieved there are no new plot twists to deal with. In general, the story is gripping and hard to put down. There could have been better solutions to some of the dilemmas but it was an enjoyable read.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Gary Braver's book Elixir is worth the price for such a compelling, thought provoking piece of reading material. The idea of eternal life is at the center of the story, and what unfolds is a tale so interesting you will not be able to put the book down. I purchased it while on vacation, and spent the first three days pouring over each page with unbridled anticipation. The imagery that one experiences from the written words by Braver is nearly lifelike in itself. You can't go wrong. When is the next book due out!!! FIVE STARS.
Guest More than 1 year ago
ELIXIR is a biomedical thriller that can't be put down. It offers readers everything from great storylines, interesting characters of every moral persuasion, biology lessons that are actually enjoyable, points to ponder about the 'joys' of eternal youth, decisions to make about good guys and bad guys and how perhaps we are all a little of each. ELIXIR left me with a thirst for Gary Braver's next book!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book takes a interesting look into the the subject of eternal life. I sincerly enjoyed reading it. (So much infact, that I think I stayed up too late at night to read it.) I couldn't put it down.
Guest More than 1 year ago
If you could prolong your life indefinitely would you? The idea of a fountain of youth has intrigued human beings for centuries. Being able to live longer, better lives is an enticing idea that we've all considered. Hell, 90% of the 'health & beauty' market is based on the desire to stay young. So what if there actually was something we could take. What would happen to us and to our world? Elixir is quite the page turning thriller. I loved never knowing what was going to happen next. I'm not going to give anything away but here's the basic idea. Dr. Christopher Bacon (great name!) is a medicinal chemist working for Darby Pharmaceuticals, 'a Boston laboratory pioneering the synthesis of folk medicines'. They send him off to the jungles of New Guinea in search of plant steroids which could be used to create the world's first male birth-control pill - thus sending their stock price through the roof. Deep in the jungle, an old school friend introduces him to Tabukari, a flower with incredible anti-aging properties. Chris then brings the flower back to the lab in the States to attempt to create a synthetic variety. Things unfold from there. The premise brings up a lot of questions. Should we live forever? If there were such a drug - who would get to take it? How much would it cost? What would happen to the population? What if you took the drug but your children didn't? All these questions are explored throughout the book. Another really interesting facet of the story is the drug/pharmaceutical industry. Does our desire (or need) for drugs put us in a dangerous position? Is enough time being given towards ensuring that there are no side effects or is money the true bottom line? As Chris is working on different projects and researching aging there is a lot of scientific jargon used but it never seemed to get in the way. (Braver's past life as a physicist explains his 'vast knowledge of DNA and the mechanisms of aging'.) Everything is explained in a very conversational manner that allows us to have the information we need without completely confusing us. Put it this way, I dropped out of Chemistry in the tenth grade and I understood what he was talking about. Elixir is wonderfully written. Most of the characters are beautifully realized and are intrinsically real. The relationship between Chris and his wife, Wendy, is a wonderful example. They are both complex individuals with deeply rooted needs and desires, all of which Braver allows us to be privy to. As time passes and the story changes, so do their relationship and their needs. My only problem was with the bad guys. I felt like I was expected to hate one of the bad guys just because he was a drug dealer (great irony) and the other baddie was pathetic and I wasn't entirely convinced he was capable of murder. I like my bad guys to be really BAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAD and these ones were just kinda bad. Even though this book was just released, Ridley Scott Productions (Gladiator, Blade Runner, Alien) has already optioned it! I think it'll make a great film. Lots of drama; lots of suspense. This is a great thriller. I had trouble putting it down and stayed up until the wee hours of the morn in order to finish it. Gary Braver is a great new voice in the thriller market (especially if you're tired of the Grisham legal drama and the Clancy spy novel) and if you're looking for an exciting, fun read try picking up Elixir. I can't wait for Braver's next book - I hope he doesn't wait too long to write it - none of us are getting any younger!!! Review Originally Posted on Http://www.entom.com
Guest More than 1 year ago
Summer affords that precious time to stretch out at the beach or vacation spot and to read for pure pleasure. If your looking for a novel that is gripping, informative (full of carefully researched information about the aging process), and suspenseful Gary Braver's Elixir is a great choice. An engaging and very likable couple, Chris and Wendy Bacon live a comfortable suburban life overshadowed by the cruel early death of an young son. A research scientist, Chris Bacon, discovers a plant extract that can stop the aging process and indefinitely prolong life. The discovery of this drug and its impact on the lives of Chris and his wife Wendy and everyone the drug touches drives the book. This fast paced book takes the reader on a harrowing journey in which the attempt to prolong life indefinitely imperils everything and everyone Chris Bacon cherishes: his family, his profession, his life. The settings of the novel, vividly and richly presented, add to its appeal. Scenes are set on Carribean islands, in flossy Boston suburbs, biotech research laboratories and the remote woods of Western New York. The book is full of suspense. At the same time it has substance. Questions about the nature of time and the value of prolonged life are raised. And best of all, Gary Braver really can write. His prose is carefully crafted, and has an elegance and precision far beyond the average thriller. Take it to the beach or pool. You won't regret it!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Gary Braver is not ahead of his time and neither is Elixir. Greed associated with immortality is alive and well. Elixir grasps the reader from page one and never lets go, even after the book ends. Braver takes the reader on a journey that is easily understood and makes sense out of genetic jargon without loosing the reader's interest. A thriller that makes you want to think about living forever.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Gary Braver gives us some really bad guys and some really good guys in a highly readable, fast paced book. But just as you get into the plot you realize that at least one of these good guys isn't really so good after all, but he sure is likable. The different story lines that bump into each other keep you guessing right to the end, and let me assure you that this book ends well. While the main idea of eternal youth is as ancient as mythology, it is timely both for the aging 'boomers' and the advances in research labs. This beautifully written novel should appeal to all audiences except, perhaps, the young, upon whom youth is wasted (you have to read the story!).
Guest More than 1 year ago
I thought this book was exciting and interesting from beginning to end. I don't know when I've read a book quite like this before. What I like about it is that, in addition to keeping the suspense going throughout, the author still manages to really build deep, well - thought out characters. I found the characters as interesting and entertaining as the story itself. I read the whole thing in a little over two days, it was that absorbing. I highly recommend this book, even if, like me, you don't normally read 'thrillers'.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Gary Braver is both a good literary journalist, making modern biotechnology very real to general readers, and a terrific thriller writer. Braver poses a thoughtful question: what if you could live forever- would it be as great as you think ? Around this issue the author spins a tense tale of a family on the run, a clever plot that zags when you expect a zig, and colorful characters that you can root for or hiss. Throw in international organizede crime, the FBI, and some incredible 'laboratory-run-amok' scenes, and the frenetic pace never slows. I can't wait for the movie !
harstan More than 1 year ago
Darby Pharms medicinal research chemist Christopher Bacon returns from a field trip to New Guinea with a flower never seen in the West before. The natives believe the flower is a miniature fountain of youth. In their Boston lab, scientists test the extract on animals with startling results that the aging process was not just stopped but its physical impact reversed.

Darby Pharms CEO Quentin Cross tenders the elixir to reduce mob pressure to pay back a debt. However, the mob demands full control of the sales of the drug, seeing it as a better seller than cocaine and its derivatives. Chris uses the drug on himself. Accompanied by his family he flees for safety as the government, the mob, and Darby Pharms pursues.

Fans of biotech thrillers will find this novel to be the right ELIXIR for their needs. The story line is fats-paced, filled with action, and numerous twists and turns. The characters seem genuine and, in turn, make the plot believable to include the fountain of youth drug. Gary Braver provides a terrifying novel that will grip the audience with its insightful look at the aftermath of discovering the magical ELIXIR that reverses aging.

Harriet Klausner