The Random Fraudulent Nature of Genes
After reading this intriguing novel by Acadiana implant, Charlie Elliott, I felt compelled to give this novel the exposure it deserves.
The book starts out telling part of the life story of Wade Campbell, who in his early twenties, had been diagnosed with anxiety during his college years. This anxiety diagnosis was characterized by panic attacks, which made everyday life harder and harder for him to endure. Wade’s affliction grows over time into an agoraphobic fear of travel as well as other phobias. With a broken-off engagement from a high maintenance fiancée two weeks before the wedding, Wade feels obligated to wed as a concession of his burgeoning mental instability. This causes him to acquiesce to her insistent marriage demands. As a post-engagement intensification of Wade’s phobias leave him housebound, he decides to move from Phoenix, Arizona to a Southern California suburb near his hometown. Wade finds a shady unlicensed doctor to prescribe a concoction of medicine to assist him on the isolated drive across the desert.
While residing in California, Wade meets Sophia Syros, an unrefined raven-haired beauty who was from a different upbringing, socially and economically. He is immediately attracted to her, but a severe panic attack on their first date almost does Wade in. Her calmness and understated reaction to the attack soothes him in a way he had never experienced. He finds he can reveal his problems to her and not feel ashamed. A relationship forms between the two as Sophia agrees to help him by taking short trips every weekend. The small journeys prove to be huge victories for Wade as his boundaries expand farther from his home. Their unlikely bond transforms abruptly to a future in doubt when Sophia encounters a personal health crisis. With little support from her divided family, Wade has no choice but to tend to her. The struggle of coping with Sophia’s condition unintentionally helps Wade handle the psychological battles plaguing him.
The narrative, which combines some dry humor sprinkled in amongst heartbreak, captures the reader’s attention as Wade progresses from a rather pathetic character to a person of empathetic stature.
As a past sufferer of panic attacks myself, Elliott captures the real and emotional complexities behind panic disorder along with the tragedies of both mental and physical illnesses. This story had me riveted from the beginning with the fluctuating emotions that ran through the chapters, some evoking a chuckle, while others had flowing tears!
Charlie Elliott is the author of the novel The Random Fraudulent Nature of Genes. He grew up in the South Bay area of Los Angeles and attnded the University of Arizona where he received a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with a degree in Marketing. As the founder of successful online business portals such as bison.com, Charlie is best known as an entrepreneur and businessperson, but his passion has always been writing.
The Random Fraudulent Nature of Genes was twice named a Finalist in the 2007 and 2009 William Faulkner-William Wisdom Creative Writing competition (2009 was under the title Life Unbothered). In addition, an adapted passage converted to a short story received an Honorable Mention in the Writer’s Digest Writing Competition.
Charlie resides in Lafayette, Louisiana. Visit www.randomgenes.com and follow the book on Twitter @randomgenes.
Michelle Fonseca, is a native New Orleanian, who moved with her husband, John, and two children, Cullen and Riley, after Hurricane Katrina. She loves living in Acadiana mainly because of the people and culture and calls it her new home. She enjoys reading, traveling and spending time with family and friends.