4 out of 4 stars
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Anton Thresher is a young and brilliant resident doctor who makes a breakthrough in his research for a permanent cure for cancer. Inducted by the architect of the research, Professor V. T. Roberti, Anton discovers the orange fern responsible for the miracle and creates the formula for the treatment. During his residency at Maine Medical Center, Anton, aided by his trusted friends, takes advantage of a failing cancer research program chaired by Dr. Walter Proctor to administer his antidote to patients in the research program. His unorthodox and unconventional methods were discovered by a multi-billion dollar pharmaceutical company, OncogenX, affiliated to the research.
Anton and V.T's disregard for ethics and legality in their scientific expedition results from their distrust in the cancer research and health industry. The fear of the exploitation of his drug and research to maximize profit is validated by OncogenX's desperation to obtain the formula by all means possible and discredit Anton and his crew. His intentions to make it a cheap over-the-counter drug available to everyone clashes with OncogenX's potential billion-dollar profit off the antidote. It also puts his life and those of his loved ones at great risk.
The Cancer Machine by Dr. Stephen Petteruti is a medical fiction novel depicting an all too real scenario in today's health industry. The book portrayed egoism and bureaucracy in an establishment sworn to the task of saving lives as a priority. The author paints a picture of the battle for name, status, and wealth. The novel highlights all the aspects of a medical doctor's life and doesn't make it look like a boring sequence of monotonous medical activities. For instance, Professor V.T is a trombonist who owns and tends to his beautiful garden, Anton is an excellent sportsman, Freeze is a wanton playboy, while Scott is a husband and father.
A remarkable part of the book was the description of Professor V.T's death. Although Ben Able's death saddened me, I thought the story of V.T's demise was a very beautiful one (sounds sadistic, I know). How the author was able to turn a murder to a peaceful death was beyond me. If I cried, they were tears of joy. Again, I loved that the entire story was deeply rooted in a relationship with God and fulfilling His will for one's life. It spoke a lot about morals and integrity. This book inspires the desire to do good and to live right. This was what I appreciated most about this tale. For me, no message could be better.
I felt that the subplot about Anton's overweight sister, Polly, was underdeveloped. The author wrote about the emotional abuse and weight struggle of the teenager, but that was it. I also felt the same about the relationship between Anton's parents; I think it could have been fleshed out more. This was the only thing I disliked in the story.
Needless to say, this book was a fantastic read. It was professionally edited as I could only find two typographical errors in the entire book. Owing to the story's error-free nature and the beautiful writing, I rate The Cancer Machine 4 out of 4 stars. I would have loved to give it a higher rating if it were possible. If this story has a sequel, I'd love to read it! I would recommend it to readers who enjoy medical stories, thrillers, and romance.
The Cancer Machine
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