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New Orleans's idiosyncrasies have been embraced by the world; Patty Friedmann gives us a tender, hilarious portrait of them in her new novel Side Effects. Set in N.O. Drugstore where hardscrabble black Pigeontown meets stuffy white Tulane, Side Effects is peopled with the true New Orleans oddballs who scuffle between the Seasonal Specials and Depends aisles -- all in full view of the pharmacy staff. Proudly plump blonde Luciana Jambon, dreadlocked and neatly compulsive Lennon Israel, and up-from-the-'hood Vendetta Greene have their own dramas of romance and friendship.
A wacky and suspenseful story of family conflict and a death under suspicious circumstances, Side Effects serves most as a comical reminder that New Orleans loves nothing more than to laugh at itself.