Book Rating: ★★★ ☆ ☆ (3 / 5 stars)
Some people go through life in pain, wandering in a haze wonder whether their own lives are worth it. This is the case for Derrick. When given the opportunity to cure himself, after years of false hope, he hops on it, brought into Dr. Lang’s strange new methods. As the weight on his heart begins to rise, Derrick believes an end is finally in sight…even if it is not the one he intended.
I had to think about this story for a bit. At first glance, I enjoyed it; it’s shock ending left me surprised, but strangely satisfied.
But as I thought more about the story, I realized just how terrible the ending really is for Derrick. This is a dark story; not necessarily one of horror, but one that hits close to home for many individuals in the world. And, that being said, I think a heavy content warning should be placed at the start of this story.
For the purpose of this review, I would also like to place a content warning for discussing suicide.
There are two sides to this story: a story of a man finally coming to peace with taking his own life, and a story of assisted suicide. In some aspects, an individual should be given a chance to choose their fate. That is the case with Derrick; he sought out a remedy to his problems, and openly welcomed death at the end.
But, the story also gives the wrong message: death is the remedy for all these problems. This is a dangerous message to deploy, especially without the proper content warnings. Suicide is a taboo subject as it is, and to write a “horror/suspense” story about it needs to be done with care.
That being said, since the story did make me think, I am willing to give it 3 stars. While some elements were vague, and others made me uncomfortable, it still got my gears working.
And as I said, at the start, I really enjoyed the story. It just didn’t handle the overall message properly.
What’s it about?
He’s a man with a body under siege—and the willingness to proceed with a cure so miraculous all one can do is gasp—in this chilling story by New York Times bestselling author Adam Haslett.
After years of traditional treatments and therapies, Derrick still suffers from pain ineluctable enough that it has become his identity. Then he hears of an exclusive, very private New York clinic that promises relief. It comes highly recommended by a friend. The multisession remedy unfolds as a sensorial wonder that’s so illuminating it’s enough to bring tears to Derrick’s eyes. It’s all working so well. So unexpectedly well.
Adam Haslett’s The Remedy is part of Dark Corners, a collection of seven heart-stopping short stories by bestselling authors who give you so many new reasons to be afraid. Each story can be read in a single sitting. Or, if you have the nerve, you can listen all by yourself in the dark.