It’s 1973, and David Leveraux has landed his dream job as a
Flavorist-in-Training, working in the secretive industry where chemists create
the flavors for everything from the cherry in your can of soda to the butter on
While testing a new artificial sweetener—“Sweetness #9”—he
notices unusual side-effects in the laboratory rats and monkeys: anxiety,
obesity, mutism, and a generalized dissatisfaction with life. David tries to
blow the whistle, but he swallows it instead.
Years later, Sweetness #9 is America’s most popular sweetener—and
David’s family is changing. His wife is gaining weight, his son has stopped
using verbs, and his daughter suffers from a generalized dissatisfaction with
life. Is Sweetness #9 to blame, along with David’s failure to stop it? Or are
these just symptoms of the American condition?
David’s search for an answer unfolds in this expansive novel
that is at once a comic satire, a family story, and a profound exploration of
our deepest cultural anxieties. Wickedly funny and wildly imaginative, Sweetness #9 questions whether what we
eat truly makes us who we are. Download and start listening now!