Martin Sturrock desperately needs a psychiatrist. The problem? He is one.
Emily is a traumatised burns victim, Arta a Kosovan refugee recovering from a rape. David Temple is a long-term depressive, while the Rt Hon Ralph Hall MP lives in terror of his drink problem being exposed.
Very different Londoners, but they share one thing: every week they spend an hour at the Prince Regent hospital, revealing the secrets of their psyche to Professor Martin Sturrock. Little do they know that Sturrock’s own mind is not the reassuring place they believe it to be. For years he has hidden in his work, ignoring his demons. But now his life is falling apart, and as his ghosts come back to haunt him, the only person he can turn to is a patient.
Set over a life-changing weekend, Alastair Campbell’s astonishing first novel delves deep into the human mind to create a gripping portrait of the strange dependency between patient and doctor. Both a comedy and tragedy of ordinary lives, it is rich in compassion for those whose days are spent on the edge of the abyss.
©2008 Alastair Campbell (P)2010 Random House AUDIO GO
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On the surface a book about mental health issues, politics and alcoholism doesn't sound a 'must read', however Alistair Campbell uses his intimate knowlelge of all of these to weave an absorbing tale of life in Britain today. He is fearless in raising the blunt realities of people's lives and never takes the easy route when it comes to the plot. At one point I literally came to a standstill, totally shocked by a character's action. This was a stunning book which despite it's tough issues did raise a laugh sometimes. It's characters will stay with me for sometime and I would recomend it to anyone who has ever had to deal with the effects of mental health on themselves or those around them.
I was pleasantly surprised by this book. It wasn't written amazingly well but the characterisation was good. I particularly liked the psychological aspects and I think Alastair Campbell has a good understanding of people. I would recommend it.
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