Pharmakon ...or the Story of a Happy Family

Pharmakon ...or the Story of a Happy Family

3.53 (739 ratings by Goodreads)
By (author) 

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An honest, insightful, and ruefully funny look at the fate of one American family vis-a-vis the rise of modern psychopharmacology, "Pharmakon, or The Story of a Happy Family" is nothing less than a contemporary epic. The novel follows William Friedrich, an ambitious professor of psychology at Yale in the early 1950s, who has stumbled upon a drug that promises happiness to those who ingest it and fame and fortune to the man who can synthesize it. But when a brilliant and troubled research subject commits murder, the consequences will haunt Friedrich and his family for years to come.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 406 pages
  • 134.62 x 200.66 x 22.86mm | 340.19g
  • Penguin Books
  • United States
  • English
  • Reprint
  • 0143115677
  • 9780143115670
  • 2,093,264

Review quote

"A smart, eccentric coming-of-age story about an entire culture's maturation process."
-Janet Maslin, "The New York Times"
" A rattling good tale . . . Wittenborn describes the mind of a cracked genius with great gusto and inventiveness . . . ["Pharmakon"'s] pleasures are many."
-"The New York Times Book Review"
"Epically entertaining."
" John Irving is a benevolent influence on Wittenborn's work."
-"The Times Literary Supplement"
"No one who has ever been part of a family can fail to feel pangs of recognition."
-Jay McInerney
"A fascinating portrait of a family living on the edge."
-Richard Price
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About Dirk Wittenborn

Dirk Wittenborn is a novelist and screenwriter whose books have been published in more than a dozen countries. He is the Emmy-nominated producer of the HBO documentary "Born Rich" and the coauthor and coproducer of "The Lucky Ones," a feature film about American soldiers returning from Iraq. He lives in New York City.
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Rating details

739 ratings
3.53 out of 5 stars
5 16% (118)
4 37% (274)
3 34% (251)
2 11% (78)
1 2% (18)
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