Intended for healthcare professionals

Views & Reviews Medical Classics

Purple America

BMJ 2010; 341 doi: (Published 16 November 2010) Cite this as: BMJ 2010;341:c6476
  1. Lloyd Bradley, consultant in rehabilitation medicine, Western Sussex Hospitals NHS Trust
  1. lbradley{at}

The relationship between an elderly woman in the final stages of progressive multiple sclerosis and her alcoholic son is probably not the most immediately appealing subject for a film, which may be why this, Rick Moody’s third novel, has yet to be adapted for the cinema. The two screen adaptations of his work (The Ice Storm and The Garden State) are certainly more widely appreciated than the books from which they were derived.

Hex Raitliffe, the central figure of Purple America, is a stammering, physically awkward alcoholic who returns to his family home. …

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