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(Critical Survey of Contemporary Fiction)

David Stonetree and his girlfriend Sharon have just returned from what was intended to be a romantic trip to London. David senses, however, that Sharon did not enjoy the trip as much as he would have liked her to. She had something to tell him, and though he already knew what Sharon was going to say, he was not ready to face it: She had contracted Camden-Young’s Disease (CYD).

Although the government and private industry have joined forces to find a cure for CYD, no cure has yet been found. One of the largest research corporations, Southern United Enterprises (SUE), has, however, discovered a series of anesthetic-like drugs called Febrifuge Blue, which help stave off the pain of the dying CYD victims. These drugs, promoted primarily by SUE’s group vice president, Trisha Lane, have been abused by CYD sufferers and sixers (nonsufferers) alike--and Lane had the wealth and power to prove it.

Not surprisingly, the world of this novel is a very sad one, marked in large part by the suicides and drug abuse for which the CYD sufferers are known. All but a select few of the characters of the novel have been jaded by the world as they have come to know it, as is reflected in their greed and lust to get ahead in what all assume to be the short lives which they will lead. The novel’s protagonist, Stonetree, however, is different, and through a fairly captivating turn of events bands together with Dr. Camden himself (the researcher responsible for the initial discovery of CYD) to help expose the greed and corruption of SUE and ultimately find a cure for CYD.