The Road to Wellville by T.C. Boyle

This is a novel about John Harvey Kellogg, the inventor of cornflakes. The story’s fictional, but there’s a lot of interesting history about the sometimes weird health crazes of the early 1900s, from which came the entire idea of breakfast cereal. Kellogg owned a health spa in Battle Creek, Michigan, where people came to eat vegetarian diets and do bizarre exercises, including “laughing exercises,” where everyone stood around and laughed without anything being funny. He was uncompromising, fanatical, and dictatorial, and Boyle's writing is funny and clever and, as usual, a little disconcerting (or a lot). Definitely an interesting read.


  1. and i believe was made into a movie that was pretty good too.... i will have to check into that...

  2. Yes, it was made into a movie, but I haven't seen it.

  3. i read this in high school and loved it... i think i read it in a couple of days.... mostly spent in the old trailer to avoid chores probably... it was a bit shocking and eye-opening... i remember feeling rather guilt ridden at the time.... boyle's writing is extremely engaging... i read drop city by him, which is very interesting and will make you want to move to alaska and own a team of dogs.... anyway the movie road to wellville is excellent, mathew broderick is the main character (the husband that's forced to go to the clinic)... it does include the "inappropriate" scene in the forest though... love your blogs erin!

  4. i read this book years ago (from the library of cadence actually) and really enjoyed it. the characters were wonderfully extreme and funny. i want to see the movie. i also read 'east is east' by boyle... it makes you want to go to the rural southeast and live in an artists in residence retreat and have a secret adventure... it was a a little more intense than 'road to wellville'. but, again, some of the characters were pretty funny...


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