Fast Food Nation meets The Corrections in the brilliant literary debut T.C. Boyle calls 'funny and moving.'
David Leveraux is an Apprentice Flavour Chemist at one of the world's leading production houses. While testing Sweetness #9, he notices that the artificial sweetener causes unsettling side-effects in laboratory rats and monkeys. But with his career and family at risk, David keeps his suspicions to himself.
Year later, Sweetness #9 is America's most popular sweetener - and David's family is changing. His wife is gaining weight, his daughter is depressed, and his son has stopped using verbs. Is Sweetness #9 to blame, along with David's failure to stop it? Or are these just symptoms of the American condition?
An exciting literary debut, SWEETNESS #9 is a darkly comic, wildly imaginative investigation of whether what we eat makes us who we are.
Funny and moving. After this, nothing will ever taste the same again. - T.C Boyle
Stephan Clark's very fine story collection is a tour de force of historical imagination. Clark clearly knows the territory, and he brings it to life with an inventiveness and artistry that few writers can match. These wry, wonderful, often revelatory stories mark the debut of a truly gifted writer, and I look forward to reading more books by Stephan Clark. - Ben Fountain on Vladimir's Moustache