Spence Tailor, a lawyer with an actual set of principles, loves his mama, Rose. Rose – with advanced cardiomyopathy and a rare blood type – is scheduled for a heart transplant.
But when the president’s heart craps out during a photo op three months before the national election, the White House chief of staff orders the FBI to seize the heart that was going to Rose – all in the name of democracy. But Spence isn’t about to let anybody steal what rightfully belongs to his mom.
So with the help of his reluctant older brother, they hijack the heart, inadvertently kidnap a beautiful cardiac surgery resident, and take to the road in a ‘65 Mustang – with all the president’s men in potentially murderous pursuit.
Reviews of 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
It seems an unlikely setup for a laugh riot, but this satirical novel by Fitzhugh (Pest Control) kicks off with hero Spence Tailor's mother, Rose, on her deathbed in Los Angeles, at the top of the list for a heart transplant. Just when a heart finally comes in, it turns out that the president needs it, too, and the FBI prepares to whisk the organ to Washington, D.C. But Spence has had it with endless delays. The scruffy 39-year-old is an embattled do-gooder lawyer who's just been dumped by his girlfriend; his nerves are already frayed, and he's not about to let anyone get away with the heart especially not the president. So he and his stodgy banker brother, Boyd, don ski masks, evade FBI agents, distract the surgical resident (by pulling her scrubs down) and steal the heart. Thus begins a zany cross-country chase whose L.A.-Washington axis allows Fitzhugh to skewer both politicians and celebrities, not to mention TV newshounds, HMOs, soccer moms and other features of contemporary life. He builds a complex plot with dozens of believable if broadly drawn characters, most of whom share the same two traits: deep political or family commitments contradicted by self-serving impulses. The humor occasionally devolves into slapstick and corny jokes (a drug designed to treat erectile dysfunction is called Mycoxaflopin), yet much of the novel is genuinely funny (especially a memorable description of political jockeying at a suburban parents' association meeting). While Fitzhugh's perspective is definitely left of center, his satiric eye spares no one. FYI:Film rights to Fitzhugh's earlier novelsCross Dressing andPest Control have been sold to Universal Pictures and Warner Brothers, respectively.