I was a little reluctant to read Bad City, simply because I sort of know the subject of the expose. I work in the world of ophthalmology and have had some dealings with the illustrious Dr Puliafito. He definitely has had a reputation in the industry, both as a very smart, savvy business man and a bit of a loose cannon. When this story broke, it circulated very quickly within the industry and was obviously insanely dramatic. But since then, Puliafito has begun to pop back up at meetings and is contributing pretty regularly now in 2022. So when Celadon offered a review copy of the book, I wasn’t sure what else there was to know but was intrigued to find out.
The book was only partly an expose of Dr Puliafito’s roller coaster ride right off the rails from genius innovator and doctor to drug addled sugar daddy. We get all the salacious and head shaking details of how this senior citizen decided to rocket his way into retirement by indulging in prostitutes and meth. But what we also get is the story of a dogged journalist who wanted to expose this respected, upstanding leader in the USC community for the aberration that he was but also to show how an institution like USC makes its own rules and throws ethics right out the window in the pursuit of money, power and prestige. The details of the main case and the other scandals (like Varsity Blues) plaguing the university were very compelling, although not surprising. The politics and drama of the process of getting the article published reminded me of watching Newsroom.
Thanks to Celadon Books for the gifted copy. All opinions above are my own.
What’s the last nonfiction book you’ve read?