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Book By Author:  J.C. Mercer

Mays Landing
 Mays Landing
 0997453001 9780997453003

 Parkhill Mays is a third-year medical school dropout from a prestigious university who wakes up from a failed suicide attempt in Bellevue Hospital in New York City.  There he meets T-Bone, a self-described "human lab rat" who takes the vulnerable Mays under his wing.  Living beneath the streets of the city they make ends meet selling sperm and other body parts and as paid participants for product and pharmaceutical trials, culminating with an extended Phase III clinical trial for a new anti-depressant wonder drug. We gradually learn more about Mays' mental illness and the reasons behind his suicide attempt as he struggles to find a place between his new underground existence and the "topside" world he left, finding love and fighting his own inner demons in his quest for peace and meaning in his life.

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A unique story about surviving any way you can and finding love and happiness - not the world’s definition but your own.


Mays Landing begins with a clinical description of what happens to your body when you die because Parkhill Mays has just lived it.  A former medical student whose life went into a downward spiral, he decided to commit suicide and end it all.  J.C. Mercer grabs our attention right from the beginning and leads us from the hospital to an underground world where a raw side of survival and human nature exists that Mays explores because he isn’t going back to his old life.  Mercer introduces T-Bone who becomes Mays guide through this dark world and shows him that there is freedom in just existing with no responsibilities.  T-Bone shows Mays how to survive by participating in clinical trials, experiments and selling whatever you can get for money from your body.  Who knew toenail clippings could be worth money?  T-Bone’s sense of humour throughout it all makes the subject of mental illness a bit lighter. 

Mays is on a high exploring this new life and has fun for a while, but then the darkness descends again and he hits rock bottom.  At the low point, he meets Audrey who changes his life.  This is not your typical boy meets girl and all is well story and that is one of the things I liked about it.  The whole storyline kept me engaged and shocked at times. 

Mercer develops his characters using a depth of emotion that can be hard for an author to communicate on paper but Mercer pulls it off with ease.  He provides the reader with everything you need in a good story: the hook; challenges and obstacles; desire; the climax and resolution.  Having the recipe is one thing, but bringing a story to life and drawing the reader in is a gift.  I had to double check and see if this was the author’s first novel.  It is, but it certainly won’t be his last I hope.

This is ultimately a story about surviving any way you can and finding love and happiness - not the world’s definition but your own.  You will have to read the book to find out where Mays, Audrey and T-Bone end up at the end.  It is definitely worth the read!


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Author:  J.C. Mercer