Joshua Kanye is a six-year-old boy who was born with severe birth defects, allegedly a result of hormones given to his mother during early pregnancy. Author Russell S. Kussman needs to prove that the doctor knew it was dangerous to give Joshua’s mother the drugs while pregnant. As the months of the trial progress, Kussman is faced with the likelihood of losing the case… and his fledgling career.
ABOVE ALL THINGS is a blend of personal memoir and gripping legal drama. Much more than that, the books lets the reader inside the minds of an attorney as he battles Big Pharma with passages of dialogue that are so vivid, one can almost hear them being said. Although classified as “non-fiction,” the twists and turns in the story prove the adage that ‘’truth is often stranger than fiction.” Just when the reader thinks she knows what’s going to happen, something changes.
The drama is ironically presented within the context of the author’s own life threatening illness, as he races the clock to write the story of a lifetime “to tell his grandchildren.” The author openly admits that the very pharmaceutical industry he fought are the ones who make the medicines that kept him alive long enough to finish the book.
The book itself is very long. While this will be a plus for many readers who wish to settle in with a complex legal novel, other readers might find the story not as tight as it could be. There are some instances of repetition, such as the description of Joshua Kanye’s physical condition, as well as a few word choice errors, such as “clicking glasses” instead of “clinking glasses.” But, overall, the dialogue and narrative flow keep the reader interested throughout.
At the end of the book, the author goes on to comment on more current medical/legal issues, such as the Valeant scandal of 2015. Throughout, he maintains the fair and balanced stance that one would expect of a judge. It’s intriguing to get such an inside view of the legal system/
ABOVE ALL THINGS, a vividly written blend of personal memoir and gripping legal drama, is a strong entry for readers who enjoy detailed medical/legal books based on true stories.
~Leigh Rogers for IndieReader