Saturday, April 14, 2018

"The Lemon Jell-O Syndrome"

Man Martin writes and teaches in Atlanta, Georgia. He has been twice named Georgia Author of the Year.

Martin applied the Page 69 Test to his latest novel, The Lemon Jell-O Syndrome, and reported the following:
From page 69:
“For obvious reasons, I can’t divulge the actual names of my patients. Suffice to say, Y’s problem is very real, and by no means untypical. Y was a successful car salesman, a decent person. Wife and family. Deacon at the Baptist Church. Whole nine yards. Got it?” Bone said he got it. “So anyway, one day Y disappears. Vanishes. They put in a missing-person report, checked the morgue, the hospitals, the works. Nada. No one knows what happened. But then one day, what do you think?” Bone did not know what to think. “Someone recognizes him! He’s living in a different town! He has a different name, a new job, he’s even got himself a girlfriend. So anyway, they tried reuniting him with his family. Y tried. He moved back in with his wife. He slept with her. Helped with the dishes. Called her “Sugar Boo.” But it didn’t come back; he never remembered his old life. His wife says he was like a whole ‘nother person after he returned. It’s like he never really came back at all. The fact is, Y no longer exists. His body is still there, nothing wrong with the body, only now there’s a whole ‘nother person inside it. As far as Y himself is concerned, or the man who used to be Y, there’s no such person as Y. To this day, Y has not come back, and the man who used to be Y will swear on a stack of Bibles he doesn’t know him.”
This passage not only represents the rest of the the book; in a way, it is the book, for it describes the syndrome which gives the book its title. Dr. Limongello, pronounced Lemon Jell-O, tells his patient, Bone King, of a mysterious syndrome which has become increasingly, alarmingly, common, threatening to become an epidemic - a terrifying condition in which the “self,” the soul if you will, dislodges from the reticular formation in the brain and floats away forever.

At this juncture, an eerie “moo-ha-ha” seems called for, so I shall provide one.

Visit Man Martin's website and blog.

Coffee with a Canine: Man Martin and Zoe.

--Marshal Zeringue