This is historical fiction about Kellogg's infamous health spa, the San, in Battle Creek, Michigan at the turn of the twentieth century. I have no idea how Boyle did his research, but the little bits of details about the time period that he intersperses in the narrative really made it an interactive experience for me as I kept having to stop and look things up. Most of what I looked up was about the medical diagnoses (what is greensickness? Bright's disease?), but I was also really curious about the entertainment at the San. Who were these vaudeville performers? Was there really a wolf that Kellogg would trot out to show how great eating only vegetables was?
|Each of those flags is something I looked up!|
Anyway, it's rare that I enjoy a historical fiction book as much as I did this one, so I highly recommend it. I also immediately put a copy of Drop City on hold at the local library. It may very well turn into the summer of T.C. Boyle.