>Review and Praise

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Review and Praise of Immortality News: A Novel


"Mariann Sanders Regan tackles, with inventive humor, the monstrous complexities, hypocrisies, and horrors of America's health care systems in her debut novel, Immortality News. A recipe for a miraculous youth serum is sent by e-mail to a certain few people; before long, the spreading news causes a national emergency: doctors, hospitals, politicians, insurance companies and regular everyday people must re-envision what health, youth, life and death really mean. Issues of race and class, religion and the power imbalance between the rich and the poor are incorporated into this spirited tale of HMO injustices, political machinations and the all-too-human dream of eternal youth."
   Publishers Weekly, March 13, 2000

"In the best tradition of the social protest novels of both the thirties and the sixties comes Mariann Sanders Regan's Immortality News. Cutting through hypocrisy like a surgeon’s scalpel, Regan offers us a dissected world—Medeopolis—that is at once frighteningly close and comically otherworldly. Among the objects of her wickedly sharp criticism are bottom-line HMO administrators, self-serving medical researchers, sound-bite politicians, the religious right . . . and above all, the ubiquitous modern media. In a world that depends for its economic, social, and even cultural survival on illness and death, the mysterious drug E-Moon, which should be the panacea of the ages, becomes instead its greatest threat. This novel eerily echoes several recent stories concerning American health care fraud. With compliments to both Pynchon and Vonnegut, Immortality News is a biting but humorous satire of our contemporary health system—and more. It shines a harsh but much-needed light into the darker workings of our society."
   Michael C. White, author of Beautiful Assassin and Soul Catcher

"The truth is that I enjoyed it immensely! I took it with me on a business trip and felt like I couldn't put it down; in fact, the topics the book raises prompted a number of dinner table conversations during that trip, as well as long after my return home.... Regan's parable asks the one ethics question that's left if we have all the answers—if we can do something, does that mean that we should...? Her tale challenges even the most thoughtful among us as it pits political correctness against selfishness against moral righteousness…. Read and think about this story. The time to address critical issues such as those posed by Regan's parable is not once they have emerged but instead long before, when we all have the luxury of time to sort through their complicated implications.... The story is one that is provocative, not only for those of us involved in ethics or health care, but for everyone who wants a stimulating read. It's a story that affects everyone!"
   Laura P. Hartman, Grainger Chair of Business Ethics at the University of Wisconsin-Madison

"Immortality News is a newly published novel that is an engaging and humorous satire of managed health care. What if there was a liquid mixture that could fend off disease and death? This captivating account examines moral righteousness and in a timely manner questions the controversial role of managed care. Incidentally, as the author of the book readily proclaims, the physicians are the 'good guys.' And why not, when her two medical consultants were her sister physicians?"
   John Berglund, Executive Director, Georgia Academy of Family Physicians

"As HMOs proliferate and medical science advances, health care has become a hot topic for pundits and scholars alike. To this social discussion, Regan adds a satirical novel, depicting a large American city where a formula for warding off disease and extending life is passed anonymously to certain people by way of the Internet. When this formula comes under clinical scrutiny, the result is a series of health-cost debates, Congressional hearings, a presidential commission, and a mysterious 'clinical' trial whose results may or may not be fully revealed."
   Duke Magazine, March-April 2000

"Immortality News is a compelling read and a thought-provoking novel that focuses on the central most important issue of our time, personal freedom of choice in health care. Without this, few other freedoms are necessary, as the greatest freedom is control over our own bodies and our own personal health destiny. On this brink of the year 2001 and the impending biotech revolution which almost certainly will bring along with it life spans of 120 years and beyond, we must make important decisions for ourselves today, lest we allow the government-insurance HMO bureaucracy to choose for us tomorrow."
   Dr. Ronald Klatz, President and Founder, American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine