The Man Who Can’t Die

By Jon Frankel

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New York, 2180. Manhattan is cut with sewage-filled canals and walled in by levees. The world has been suffering from epidemic despair and apathy, when Dr. Ruth Bryson invents Paragane, a Euphoric drug that cures ennui and depression. Monozone Inc, the monopolistic pharmaceutical who employs her, is thrilled.

There is only one problem: the drug kills 10% of everyone who takes it. Monozone decides to market it anyway, despite Bryson’s objections, and puts her former lover Owen Bradlee in charge. Bryson knows she must either fix Paregane or stop it, but if she is caught she will certainly be killed.

Meanwhile, Felix and Veronica Clay are typical pod-dwelling office workers, whose lives seem like an endless extenuation of meaningless circumstance. When Veronica plunges into psychosis and tries to kill herself, her doctor prescribes the new drug Paragane, and everything changes. Soon Felix is also taking the drug, and they spend their nights under its influence, roaming Paradise and conversing with Angels. One day Felix returns from work to discover her dead, of no apparent cause. In short order, he loses his job and apartment and soon finds himself living in the wilds of upper Manhattan, addicted to Paregane, unable to find Veronica in Paradise, unable to die. Meanwhile, Dr. Bryson searches for a test subject. When she discovers Felix they are set on a course that will lead them deep into the Iroquois territories of upstate New York and a bloody struggle for survival.


ISBN: 978-0996764636

Publication date: 13 September 2016


Finally! A sexy, pharma-centric, sci-fi thriller that is both a novel of ideas and a really good read.

Judy Swann, in The Compulsive Reader

A thrilling philosophical science fiction novel that may well be describing our near future. An all-too-real climate change scenario, reality-bending drugs and corporate suspense, all packed in a fast-paced, engrossing narrative. I couldn't stop reading, even though it's a big book loaded with ideas and action. Any fan of Philip K. Dick will love this book...and even if you're not a big science fiction fan, just the way the author deals with climate change is very impressive, bringing the reality of our near future much closer to home. Scary, but necessary to consider what our kids and grandkids will be facing--perhaps even us, if we live long enough. And the central love story in the book is very, very touching and psychologically spot-on.
I can't recommend this book highly enough.

– Rebecca Tsivkin

Buzz Callaway* writes like he's running out of time, with an electricity and energy that leaps off the page. There's no one quite like him, although one can hear echoes of Philip K Dick, Raymond Chandler and every pulp writer whose fevered vision of the world burned through popular forms towards their own scarred beauty. This is a wonderful read, a wonderful novel, and firm proof that erudition and popular entertainment can be friends.

* (Jon Frankel's occasional pen name)

– Oskar Eustis, Artistic Director, The Public Theater

Frankel is truly an outsider intellectual whose ideas are as wonderfully engrossing as they are apocalyptic. To enter his world is a raucous pleasure.

– Cara Hoffman, author of the critically acclaimed novels So Much Pretty and Be Safe I Love You

The best type of science fiction...can't recommend it highly enough.

– Roman Tsivkin, reader of everything