Morphed by Harvey Shapiro

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An exacting doctor loses his teen-aged son to body-building steroids and his wife walks out. Serving as a doping control officer in the 2012 Olympics, Dr. Speak Singleton’s begins a precarious redemptive journey as he discovers the first genetically engineered super-human athlete. The cyclist’s coach, Dr. Simon Whitford, has come up with an undetectable muscle-DNA altering substance he hopes to market to all of us for its youth restorative properties. He’s morphed his record-shattering athlete into a baby-boomer poster boy. Speak recruits a beautiful paramedic, a reluctant professional cyclist, and an aging pharmacologist in his struggle to expose this dangerous performance enhancement technology. The dichotomy between Speak and Whitford is astonishing—with one willing to risk everything to protect young athletes, and the other allowing nothing to block his climb to riches and power.

This story’s underlying theme is our innate drive to perform at the highest level—even if it means altering our own DNA. Do athletes set the tone for society or is it the other way around? To a varying degree we are hooked on human performance enhancement technology (socially acceptable doping). Acquiescence to drugs or other artificial means boosting success is based on our own desire to prevail. Who would not consider a low risk way to stay young, boost sexual function, or appearance? Viagra, cosmetic surgery, hormones, or using the ultimate piece of sports equipment like the lightest bike, fancy golf clubs, or most slippery swimsuit are all examples used every day to enhance achievement. Morphed mirrors our innate drive to win at any cost.

“Speak and Whitford, two characters who have a scarred past and are searching for redemption—or revenge—are, on their own, enough to make this narrative a worthwhile read. The element of the 2012 Summer Olympics, educational information on steroids, fast-paced dialogue and the relationships between Troy and Speak and Speak and Julia are simply icing on the cake. A thrilling, nuanced drama that packs an informational and emotional punch."

“Morphed tells how a physician-scientist exploits an aging athlete to sell his gene doping method to pharmaceutical firms. DNA manipulation—a likely next step in performance enhancement—amps up the health issues for all of us. It pits parents against their kids who emulate their idol athletes and tempts us with prospects of its fountain of youth effects. Shapiro opens the doors on the locker room’s inner sanctum where sports intermingle with big business and science. His clearheaded page-turner will resonate with readers in all walks of life.”
(ERIC HEIDEN, MD, winner of five Olympic gold medals in speed skating, Tour De France competitor and sports-medicine specialist.)

“Morphed tells a riveting story of the doping dilemma in professional sports. It renders an accurate portrayal of the questions those of us guiding major leaguers ask every day. Where is the next frontier, how do we know whether our athletes are competing on an even playing field —and do our fans really want to see what competition looks like without artificial performance enhancement in the equation? This novel leads to a closer look at our obsession with winning in every facet of our lives. You will finish this book more informed, entertained and asking questions that need to be examined.”
(MARK SHAPIRO, President, Cleveland Indians)

About Harvey Shapiro

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Harvey Shapiro's many books include National Cold Storage Company (Wesleyan, 1988), The Light Holds (Wesleyan, 1984), and Battle Report (Wesleyan, 1966). In 1997, Wesleyan and Carcanet co-published his Selected Poems. Shapiro published his first book in 1953, shortly before joining the editorial staff of the New Yorker magazine, where he was fiction editor from 1956 - 57. He was editor of the New York Time Book Review from 1975 until 1983. He is now senior editor of the New York Times Magazine.
Published January 25, 2012 by CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform. 335 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Fiction

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Holding himself responsible for his son’s death, Dr. Speak Singleton relocates to Park City, Utah, where his role as the doping control officer (DCO) in the cycling events of the 2012 Olympics presents him with an opportunity for atonement.

Oct 10 2011 | Read Full Review of Morphed

City Book Review

Save lives – save hearts – save love.

Jun 21 2012 | Read Full Review of Morphed

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