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Book Review: Gross Domestic Product

By Brianna HolcombColumnist

Imagine going from weighing fourteen hundred pounds to about two hundred pounds in two months. The idea seems physically impossible but in Pamela Corkey’s novel, Gross Domestic Product, she introduces the reader to a world where that idea is extremely possible. This great phenomenon of eliminating fat is not achieved through diets or exercise but surgery. In her novel she takes the reader through a present day world where a person can take the fat from their bodies and use it as oil.

The journey of this new discovery is experienced through three different characters: Franny, a guidance counselor who craves the world of fantasy over the reality she is subjected to, Treyshawn a poor boy from a Boston ghetto whose business smarts exceed what his teachers feel he is capable of, and Derek whose life goal has been centered around becoming the world’s largest man. Each character is affected by the new scientific breakthrough in a different way. The idea behind each of these three characters was incorporated in order to have the audience  go through three different concepts.

Corkey says the concepts involved “ [the] media concept, [a look at] middle class families and  the effect on education as well as the change from the model of needing an education to not needing one, and finally one of the earliest ideas of having underprivileged groups become rich due to most of their obesity issues be[ing] solved.”

Throughout the novel Corkey goes between each of the characters lives looking into these concepts and playing them out accordingly. She allows the reader to bounce between emotions and scenarios leaving them with unexpected twist throughout.

With each turn of the page the reader is hit with a wow factor or  “candy surprise” as she likes to call them. These surprises are meant to shock, excite, or even gross out the reader as they continue through the story. However, no matter the reaction you will want to turn the page.

Her unique take on this scenario stemmed from the oil crisis that took place a few years ago. She said, “There was a lot going on in the media about alternate fuel and I don’t know when it happened, but I was probably on a plane and it struck me as a hilarious scenario that was also elegant and twisted.”

After 4 years of writing she transformed what started as a screenplay into this novel and true to her word it is elegant and twisted.

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