A Perfect Harvest
The Transplant Tetralogy, New Book
by Bill Fitzhugh
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Pub Date 12 Aug 2021 | Archive Date 11 Aug 2021
Given a terminal diagnosis (actually two of them) thirty-five year old Miguel Padilla decides he must accomplish something meaningful before death. He seizes on the idea of donating a kidney to save someone’s life.
Then he decides: why stop there? Why not donate… everything?
Why not indeed?
*PRAISE FOR THE TRANSPLANT TETRALOGY*
‘One of the funniest, most off-beat thrillers in years.’ THE TIMES
‘His wit and style are as compelling as his tightly wound thriller plots, and his thoughts on the world we live in are fascinating and, often, spot on… An awe-inspiring feat.’ WASHINGTON POST
‘Bill Fitzhugh just gets better and better.’ CHRISTOPHER MOORE
‘A thrilling tale of science run amok… laugh-out-loud send-ups of the madness of modern life.’ BOOKLIST
Average rating from 43 members
I enjoyed A Perfect Harvest, but I didn’t think it was quite as good as Heart Seizure, the first in this tetralogy.
It’s a good set-up: Miguel has a terminal diagnosis and decides that he wants to die by allowing a harvest of all his transplantable organs to allow others to live. This kicks off a colossal legal debate, plus all the usual irrational nonsense on social media...and the making of Miguel’s story into a musical.
Bill Fitzhugh is very good at satirizing all these things and he does it well here, with a good deal of wit and a very sharp eye for the hypocrisies and ethical evasiveness which surround the issue. I did, however have a problem with the narrative voice, that of a character whose involvement in the story doesn’t become clear for quite a while and which didn’t quite ring true to me. He addresses the reader directly quite often which can be effective, but this time I found it intrusive rather than adding to the story. The songs for the musical, while suitably tasteless, weren’t really quite as funny as they might have been, and some of the banter between Miguel and his friends didn’t work for me (although some of it was genuinely funny, to be fair).
I certainly wanted to read to the end of the book and there was enough here to round a 3.5-star rating up to 4, but I can’t recommend it unreservedly.
(My thanks to Farrago for an ARC via NetGalley.)
The premise is great, the characters good, but the plot became too much for me and I started skipping pages to finish it. I kept thinking this was inspired by Springtime for Hitler in the Producers.
The story was interesting, funny, compelling, informative, and unique. It was well-written and a delight to read. The characters are amusing and adorable. Some pertinent social and cultural issues surrounding organ transplants and the processes involved were added to spice up the story and I guess it did help to keep the reader's attention.
The story follows Miguel Padilla, a psychologist, who was diagnosed with two terminal diseases. Trying to avoid the sufferings of his terminal diseases and finding a way to leave a legacy, Miguel, with the help of his friends, filed a lawsuit of exemption against two laws implemented in the State of California, namely, the Uniform Anatomical Gift Act and the Physician-Assisted Dying Law.
The premise of the story was appealing but then it just became a mediocre read for me when a theatre producer joined the story. Turning Miguel's story into a musical stage play adds up to the uniqueness of the narrative but I was expecting a more relevant, happy ending for the main character, and sadly it never happened.
This is my first read from the author and I would surely check out his other works. I'm thankful to the author, the publisher, and Netgalley for allowing me to read and review an eARC of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
Perfect! A hilarious trip into the twisted and unhinged world of the one and only Bill Fitzhugh where human organs, harvesting organs and selling organs right and left become a reason to keep you in stitches for hours. Devioulsy good and uproariously entertaining, this latest installment left me totally gobsmacked by the egregious adventures and misadventures of Miguel Padilla, a really endearing moron and his unbelievable journey into Absurdistan.
Spechless I was left at the end of this unforgettable romp. Go ahead, dive into it because its priceless fun, the type of fun that must be enjoyed without any moderation!!
Many thanks to Netgalley for Farrago for this terrific ARC
A Perfect Harvest by Bill Fitzhugh continues what the author refers to as his transplant tetralogy. This is the latest (fourth) in a series that features independent characters and plot lines around organ transplantation, and through the writer's adept creation of humorous situations, helps the reader to consider issues that surround these procedures while enjoying laugh out loud fiction.
In this offering the protagonist receives bad news of two simultaneous life ending diagnosis. Through the friendship of his contemporaries (a male doctor, a female lawyer) he begins to look at the possibility of his life ending during a multi-organ donation. The author wryly goes right to how society might react; accolades from some, and hatred from others. Soon, the idea that for me brought the heartiest laughs was the introduction of a Broadway (or off-off-off) producer who wants to make a musical of the protagonists life and conclusions what that begins to be written as events in the book transpire.
What is especially wonderful about Fitzhugh's work is that it exposes the reader to the very issues and situations that will arise around it. The reader has the choice to consider and ponder deeply these realities. However, they are couched in page turning, laugh evoking fiction, so even if the reader does not want to engage in the seriousness of the topic, they can be assured that it only presents the stage for an enjoyable literary romp.
Three doctors are beginning there careers when one is terminally diagnosed with a few years left to live. When they decide rather quickly to donate as many organs possible and legally. What could go wrong. Satirical and sometime funny this is a fun book to sit back and smile with. It reads fast and is perfect to wrap summer up with.
Miguel Padilla has received the worst news you can receive. His doctor has diagnosed him with not one, but two terminal illnesses. The odds of one terminal illness are low, but two? But Miguel wants his life to mean something, and has a desire to help others. He’s decided that he would exercise his right as an organ donor and donate his organs—all of them.
This is the beginning of a legal debate—based loosely on a situation that happened previously in Georgia. The case of donation laid out various issues surrounding donation, the ethics, and the business of organ donation. The black market for donations was also explored.
I didn’t realize when I picked up A Perfect Harvest, that it was the fourth in a series. Being late to the party didn’t seem to matter, as the book can also be read as a single book and didn’t seem to be reliant on the previous book. The writing was smart and the issues were interesting, presented well and told with humor—a donor musical anyone? Overall it was an interesting, educational and fun read.
This was a weird book.
This is about a man, Miguel Padilla, who is diagnosed with not one, but two terminal illnesses. He takes stock of his life and realizes that he has not left anything behind to say "I was here." He decides to be an organ donor, preferably now while everything is still functioning and decides to challenge the law to be "harvested to death." The Perfect Harvest alluded to in the title refers to the maximum number of viable organs that can be harvested from a donor, which is 8. Miguel wants to exercise his right to die and also his right to donate organs except they are not mutually exclusive.
Throw in a con-man theatrical producer who wants to turn Miguel's story into a musical, something akin to Repo - the genetic opera or Sweeny Todd, except Miguel's intentions are more honorable and there is no revenge to be had...
The book borders slightly on the absurd in terms of the fast track in front of the courts and the physician-assisted suicide law. This book will certainly raise a lot of hackles, as mentioned in the story itself, with varying opinions on Miguel's motive for doing this and all the political accompaniment to the right to die movement.
Overall, I found the book to be funny at times, poignant when it needs to be and honestly I thought it made good social and economic arguments for its causes.
A comical read. Kristine, Javeed, and Miguel are lifelong friends. Miguel is told he is dying and he and his friends set out to make the most of the life he has left. This brings a host of characters into his life that exposes the good and bad of the organ transplant world. It is told in a cynical and comical way but is yet informative.
A Perfect Harvest is a very funny book about a dying man who's searching for meaning in his life. And he does find meaning: donating his organs, thereby saving the lives of eight people. But his admirable decision ends up getting him involved in legal controversy and a musical based on his life. I've been a fan of Bill Fitzhugh's unique comedic style since I first read Pest Control twenty years ago, and this novel does not disappoint.
I only have time for audio lately but when I read the summary that NetGalley suggested to me, I chose it without noticing it was the Kindle version. Or the 4th in the series. lol
So I needed to read the first three books first.
That said, I really enjoyed the book & series. I don’t think you need to read the first three to enjoy this book but why not!!
The story is about Miguel & his 2 friends after learning he has 2 serious life-ending illnesses. The meaning of life, friendship, what would you do after getting this news?
Who knew there was a limit on human organ donation. The story is funny & informative while dealing with an interesting dark subject. My favorite kind of book!! I recommend all 4 books. Extra star power for the series in its entirety, I’d like to get it in a nice hardcover bind up,
This was fun! Thank you NetGalley & Duckworth Books!
I apologize for not getting to this sooner, right now life is too busy not to at least have access to whispersync 😢
Bill Fitzhugh is a wonderful author that peaks your attention and keeps you enthralled until the end. The originality and entrapping storylines make you fear having to put the book down. The unexpected ending makes the seriousness of the plot stand out, recommend this book to everyone!
This book was so much fun--hilarious, intelligent, and always surprising me around every corner. Read it, and you won't be sorry.
Once again Bill Fitzhugh gives us a story that is improbable yet enjoyable. Told from the perspective of a dubious theater producer, this story deals with a man who has been diagnosed with a life-ending malady for which there is no hope of a cure. Not wanting to end his existence with no remembrance that he was ever alive, he determines to make as many of his organs as possible for donation. The problem is that if he waits until he dies, the organs will be unusable. So, he purposes to hasten his demise by providing his organs for transplant while they are still viable. Unfortunately for him, there is no legal way to accomplish this. With the help of friends he engages in a public effort, involving the acting and theater community, to gain public support. The zany antics and precise attention to detail in this story are typical Fitzhugh. My only criticism is the suggestion of the law regarding possession of a certain weapon, and the actions of the police subsequent to its use, are wholly inaccurate according to California statutes and police procedure. But then, Fitzhugh writes something about a trope…
I love Bill Fitzhurgh and his writing style. Who would have ever thought that reading about organs would be so entertaining! The premise for the book is a bit on the sad side with our main character deciding to make what is left of his life "meaningful" by donating organs (not a spoiler, you find this out on the book jacket). However, the journey you go through with Migel gives you some laughs, some tears, and a lot to think about as far as how we all leave our marks on the world.
I really enjoyed the way that this book played on the thriller theme by adding elements of comedy into the story. Thoroughly entertaining and enjoyable
It is amazing that a book and story can be both creepy and beautiful. This book makes you cringe and cheer at the same time. Very well done.
A big thank you to the author Bill Fitzhugh the publisher Farrago and NetGalley for giving me an ARC in exchange for my candid review.
I HATE, HATE, HATED this book at first. How does a man who is given the prognosis for one fatal disease, but two, go through all of the phases of grief in a matter of a couple of hours? I hated all of the characters....and did not think that I could even finish reading it. And then I realized that it was a twisted, black humor, allegorical tale about a very serious subject: organ donation. And the rules, regulations, laws, and contradictory and hypocritical facets about it. That is when I got religion and embraced it in its total black humor, bad songs and all.
Having said that, I found this a very entertaining and fascinating way to talk about a very, very emotionally fraught and controversial subject.
I now will look forward to reading other titles by Bill Fitzhugh.
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