Political backstabbing, rank hypocrisy, and dastardly deception reign in this delightfully entertaining political satire, sure to lift one’s spirits far above the national stage.
America is in trouble—at the mercy of a puzzling pathogen. That ordinarily wouldn’t lead to catastrophe, thanks to modern medicine, but there’s just one problem: the government supply of Dormigen, the silver bullet of pharmaceuticals, has been depleted just as demand begins to spike.
Set in the near future, The Rationing centers around a White House struggling to quell the crisis—and control the narrative. Working together, just barely, are a savvy but preoccupied president; a Speaker more interested in jockeying for position—and a potential presidential bid—than attending to the minutiae of disease control; a patriotic majority leader unable to differentiate a virus from a bacterium; a strategist with brilliant analytical abilities but abominable people skills; and, improbably, our narrator, a low-level scientist with the National Institutes of Health who happens to be the world’s leading expert in lurking viruses.
Little goes according to plan during the three weeks necessary to replenish the stocks of Dormigen. Some Americans will get the life-saving drug and others will not, and nations with their own supply soon offer aid—but for a price. China senses blood and a geopolitical victory, presenting a laundry list of demands that ranges from complete domination of the South China Sea to additional parking spaces at the UN, while India claims it can save the day for the U.S.
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
A flulike epidemic, a dried-up medication supply, fumbling government departments, and international powers jockeying for political gain: The Rationing may be satire, but it could also be a glimpse into a crystal ball. The first novel by journalist, lecturer, and political insider Charles Wheelan eyes the fallout around a viral outbreak in a near-future U.S. It’s as engrossing as it is alarming, and features memorable characters—especially the narrator, an epidemiologist with an insider’s perspective and a dry comic wit. Wheelan’s talent for punchy dialogue made us feel like we were watching a darkly funny sci-fi thriller.
Prescient, to say the least! And a great read.
I found this book accidentally, in the “under $5” section of iBooks. The cover drew me in and I purchased it and started reading.
In this past year of the pandemic, it is breathtakingly prescient. There are only 12 reviews. How this has not made best sellers list, I’m at a loss!
Well worth your time. Well done Professor Wheelan!
Larry in Scottsdale, AZ
Could have been a great book if it was 1/2 as long
Good story at this time of the corona virus