Joseph Levy leads a quiet life in rural Wheaton Arizona. Retired from a long career in psychiatric research and practice, he reads, writes, and walks in the mountains and hills near the Native reservation. His quiet life ends, however, when a dental crown replacement causes trouble just before meeting an internet date in California. Thus begins a year of back-to-back nightmare infections, a drug overdose, and two failed relationships. At every step, Levy is confronted by matters of life and death, love and hate, faith and doubt, trust and betrayal. Most of all, he faces what it means to be sick and to be healthy. He prays to his God, relies on his friends, examines his dreams, and entrusts his psyche to a new therapist.
Joseph Levy Escapes Death is a tale of perseverance in the face of adversity. Strassman uses several lenses to view Levy's life: medical, psychoanalytic, and religious--both Buddhist and Jewish. Pathos and humor fill the tale, while enlightening detours examine the Holocaust, cardiovascular physiology and microbiology, and Jewish-Christian relations.
Rick Strassman MD is the author of the best-selling DMT: The Spirit Molecule and co-produced the highly-acclaimed documentary by the same name. These describe the first new American research with psychedelic drugs in a generation. He is also the author of DMT and The Soul of Prophecy, and co-author of Inner Paths to Outer Space. He has degrees from Stanford University, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, and the University of California-Davis and San Diego. He is currently Clinical Associate Professor of Psychiatry at the University of New Mexico School of Medicine. This is his first work of fiction.