Keith Staskiewicz
August 28, 2014 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Sweetness #9

type
Book
Current Status
In Season
author
Stephan Eirik Clark
publisher
Little, Brown and Company
genre
Fiction

We gave it an B-

Warning: The American flag may contain Red 40 and Blue 1. In Clark’s hit-and-miss satire, a chemist discovers that a popular sweetener may cause lethargy, obesity, ennui, and other afflictions. When his family starts exhibiting symptoms, he must decide whether their illnesses are related or just a by-product of American middle-class life. The commentary is as subtle as fake grape flavoring, but the subject matter won’t leave a bad taste in your mouth. B-

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