This is Jessi Wakefield with the Sioux City Public Library and you’re listening to Check It Out. Do you like science fiction? Do you like weird science fiction? Do you like the kind of science fiction that isn’t space operas or aliens, but plausible present times kind of science fiction? The kind of science fiction that you might read about from, say Michael Crichton with reminiscence of Kurt Vonnegut? If you said yes to any or all of these questions, then I want to recommend to you the deliciously and terrifyingly weird novel, Extreme Makeover by Dan Wells. Lyle Fontanelle is the chief scientist for NewYew, a health and beauty company. Although Lyle might be a bit meek, and average in his visage, he is utterly brilliant, and has created a new face lotion that is the greatest anti-aging formula ever invented. As Lyle and his assistant (with whom he also happens to be in love) continue to test the product on people, they’re beginning to notice anomalies and strange side effects. Before too long, Lyle figures out that he has somehow created a lotion that overwrites the user’s DNA, turning them into physical clones of someone else. Lyle wants to destroy the formula, but NewYew thinks it might be the greatest beauty product ever designed. Want to look like your favorite celebrity, now’s your chance! Very quickly, and very violently, this product, called ReBirth, changes the world as we know it. The product is used sneakily by petty criminals and used unethically and cruelly by the government who almost immediately uses it as a bioweapon. We follow Lyle as he navigates through this new reality that he unintentionally created, and tries to find a way to make sure he isn’t the reason for the end of the world. Wells has managed to create a pitch perfect satire of corporate greed, human vanity, and the philosophical ridiculousness of beauty and those who will go at any length to find it. Visit the Sioux City Public Library and check out Extreme Makeover by Dan Wells, as well as his other wonderfully twisted novels.
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