About the Book
"Funny and moving. After this, nothing will ever taste the same again."--T. C. Boyle
It's 1973, and David Leveraux is a young and ambitious flavor chemist working at a world-renowned flavor-production house. While testing a new artificial sweetener--Sweetness #9--he notices some unsettling side effects in the laboratory rats and monkeys: anxiety, obesity, mutism, and a general dissatisfaction with life.
Years later, Sweetness #9 is America's most popular sweetener--and David's family is changing. His wife is gaining weight, his son has stopped using verbs, and his daughter is generally dissatsified with her life. Is Sweetness #9 to blame, along with David's failure to stop it? Or are these just symptoms of the human condition?
David's search for an answer unfolds in this expansive novel that is at once a comic satire, a family story, and an exploration of our deepest cultural anxieties. Wickedly funny and wildly imaginative, Sweetness #9 questions whether what we eat makes us truly who we are.