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THE ORGAN GRINDERS
By Bill Fitzhugh

Avon, 1999 (pbk. 368 pp.) $6.50

Reviewed by Shirley H. Wetzel

Paul Symon was humiliated as a child by his father's employer, megabucks venture capitalist Jerry Landis, and he makes it his life's mission to get revenge.

Paul becomes an environmentalist, working quietly and ineffectively to make the world a better place. His path crosses Landis's again when the man contracts a fatal disease and turns to bioengineering to find a cure.

There are several subplots in this black comedy/mystery: at a secret site in Mississippi, baboons are genetically altered to furnish organs suitable for cross-species transplantation; a cheerful young man who supports himself by selling off various body parts; an eco-terrorist who makes violators of the earth and its creatures pay in horrible ways; and Paul and his basketball star/scientist wife Georgette want to have a baby.

The author includes interesting tidbits of information on the history of organ transplantation and environmentalism. The characters are vivid, sometimes over the top, but always entertaining. I found the eco-terrorist's actions disturbing, but in general this is a funny and enlightening book.

Other books by this author include: PEST CONTROL (1997).


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