‘A novella in the vein of Freud vs Marquis De Sade, interesting dark read.’
- Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
- Published: 19 February 2014
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1496190939
- ISBN-13: 978-1496190932
Available in Paperback and Kindle edition:
“The Brain, within its Groove, Runs evenly – and true – But let a Splinter swerve (…)”” This line by Emily Dickinson gives the title to this horrid tale about madness, lust, and the dangers of exploring our darkest memories. An old, agonizing Psychiatrist learns that his only hope of recovering his sanity lies in a patient from his past who suffered from an unusual kind of amnesia. The sinister remembrances he will uncover from this dark past will send him into a nightmarish downward spiral of insanity and fear.
What did I like about this book?
I do enjoy philosophical rumination of psychology and this certainly does pose some intricate ideas to consider, which I enjoyed. It felt a little like I was back at study with Freud preparing for an essay.It certainly is a challenging and interesting work with a gothic horror touch to it.
I did enjoy the idea of the novella and subject matter, the ideas were well thought out and clever and even though I struggled with the style of writing I wished to continue reading to the end. I enjoyed the psychologically dark nature of it. If you are not a fan of ‘dark’ books then you may not appreciate it. The characters were interesting in the fact they remained somewhat a mystery, although I would have like to have got to know Isadore somewhat more.
A psychoanalyst with much belief in his own theories he fails to notice that it is not shared by others. When he is asked to treat a woman patient that has confounded all others he sets out on an experimental journey that encompasses the darkest, depraved sexual fantasies that is instrumental in his own demise. The writing reminded me a tiny amount of Marquis De Sade books which lacks the use of such extensive language. Different century but literature that both fascinates and disgusts.
What I found not so great.
I love the use of ‘old fashioned’ language, but the erudite use of language meant that I spent half of my reading time looking words up in the dictionary. My own vocabulary is reasonable but not so extensive that it includes many words rarely used today. I am certainly not averse to using the dictionary, on the contrary I welcome understanding our language however, I struggled with wading through this convoluted tale and for me this detracted from the enjoyment of what I was reading.
I was confused as to when the story was set because the language suggested early 20th century, but mention of hippies and drug experimentation in the 1960’s is used historically. This is because from the writing, in my mind I pictured a scene much as it was in the late Victorian/Early Edwardian era, but I could not have been so wrong. Certainly the mention of the Doctor’s thinking he has seen his wife in a white dress conjured up a ghostly Victorian woman for me.
The author himself tells the reader that each book he writes as being a ‘new draft of the very last one I’ll ever write’….which hope eventually “when I am satisfied that I wrote a book good enough to stand side-by-side with the greatest works of Universal Literature”. He invites the reader to ‘share impressions with him and the rest of the world’. I feel that great literature does not necessarily obscure a great story with superfluous and outmoded wording, which affected my rating of this book.
Many thanks to the publisher via NetGalley for a copy of this book in return for an honest review.