A comic satire of the influence of the psychopharmaceutical industry on American life, Head Case takes aspiring neurochemist Olivia Zack and her estranged friend and roommate Polly Warner on a collision course involving ethically challenged executives, spotlight-hungry celebrities, third-rate mobsters and drug-dealing babushkas.
It's like Alice Sebold's The Lovely Bones meets Carl Hiaasen's Nature Girl as Olivia embarks on a postmortem quest to deconstruct the remarkable events that lead up to her mind-altering death.
A smart and savvy page-turner, Head Case explores the meaning of personal relationships, emotional intelligence, and mental health while taking the reader on a synapse-stirring, neurotransmitting rollicking ride.
"Head Case is an enjoyable gem of a mystery, and more... There are drug-dealing grannies, pill-popping celebrities, Russian mob bosses, eccentric ex-Soviet chemists, feuding roommates, faltering friendships, bad bosses and a rat named Raskolnikov-how can you not have fun?" - Amazon.com Review
|Product dimensions:||6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.49(d)|
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
What I love about this book—and Jen Oko's writing in general—is that it's fun and playful AND it's smart and witty. You're in the hands of a good writer, so the plot can get as gloriously outlandish as possible and it works because she's got it all under control. Her characters are retable while at the same time being fresh, and the story is so entertaining (and unpredictable) that you'll be thinking about when you'll have another chance to devour another chapter. HIghly recommend, especially for a juicy beach read.
This review is for the book Head Case by Jennifer Oko. We are introduced to Olivia Zack right after her death. And in a series of flashbacks and current scenes she explains the events, decisions and reasons that lead up to her death. It is an unlikely tale, dealing with superstars, Russian Mobsters, and pharmaceutical companies. Olivia sets up each scene and provides a running commentary on where things went right or wrong and why things happened the way they did. I went into this book wanting to like it. After all, a ghost is basically solving her own murder. Perfect mix of paranormal and mystery, right? Eh, not so much. The story is told mostly from Olivia and her best-friend/roommate Polly, who is a celebrity publicist. While Olivia flips back and forth between current events and the events that led up to her death, she gives us a running commentary on what and why stuff is happening. I was not a big fan of this. But then, I can not stand the commentary on a DVD either. Who in their right mind could enjoy a movie (or in this case book) with someone talking over all the action and dialogue and basically ruining the feeling of immersing yourself in the story. Not me anyway. I have never really understood the concept of "telling" a story versus "showing" a story, but this one felt very "tell"-y. Another problem I had was connecting with the characters. I never felt any real connection with them. To be quite honest, I really didn't care that she was dead. Awful, right? I can't quite put my finger on why I didn't like them, but there it is. They just seemed like spoiled, little rich girls who were so used to doing what they wanted and disregarding the consequences. In a lot of instances, I felt they really deserved what happened to them. Overall, I just couldn't get into the book and lose myself in the story. It felt too much like a Brussels sprouts story, you know, one that is good for you, but just doesn't taste all that great. But that could just be me, after all, some people actually like Brussels sprouts. Anyway, I only gave it 2 stars on Goodreads.