Know Smoking:
The Whole Truth about Smoking & Quitting, an Illustrated Info-Novel

by Simon T. Bryant, Vance Rodewalt,
224 pages,
ISBN: 0968145604

Post Your Opinion
First Novels - Mid-lives, MS, & an Info-Novel
by Eva Tihanyi

Know Smoking (Middleway Publishing, 224 pages, $16.95 paper), by Dr. Simon T. Bryant, is definitely an info-novel and proud of it. Like David Chilton's The Wealthy Barber, this book is designed to inform, educate, and persuade while entertaining at the same time.

Info-novels are a way to get people to read material they might otherwise find too boring or complex to bother with. The characters are little more than mouthpieces through which the information is tabled, discussed, questioned, and evaluated. In Know Smoking, there are three: Dr. Robert Borenot, who specializes in helping people quit smoking; Joe K. Hamel, his patient, a tobacco company executive who has been diagnosed with cancer; and Robin, Joe's wife, an ex-smoker herself, assigned the role of supportive spouse.

Each chapter documents one of Dr. Borenot's sessions with Joe, thereby tracking his journey from committed smoker to committed non-smoker. The most notable aspect of these sessions is Joe's grappling with the contradictions inherent in his role as a tobacco company employee now trying to quit using the product that he has spent his life promoting.

Bryant's condemnation of tobacco manufacturers and their manipulation of the public is justifiable and absolute. However, his understanding of the difficulties of involved in ending the smoking addiction is just as firm-which, at a time when smoking has become a legal issue, would make this a book for smokers and non-smokers alike to consider.


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