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This is a well concieved and written window into the world of mental health problems. I have read a number of reviews regarding this book. Many of those individuals reportedly enjoyed Dr. Sommer's book, and yet were uncertain as to the best way describe it. A "psychological thriller" is a good description, as it held my rapt attention throughout. However, what this book does very well is to provide a vivid sampling of the stories and lives that psychologists and/or other mental health professionals work with on a regular basis.
It is nice to have stories with a clearly defined "villain." Although, despite what we like to believe, most people in the real world are far too complex to fall in the narrow categories of good and evil. As a psychologist myself, I would argue that one of the most fascinating things that Dr. Sommers accomplishes with his novel is to portray the multiple sides of his characters (including the antagonist). It is easy to dislike some of his characters, but as we learn more about their thoughts, motivations, and histories it becomes increasingly difficult judge them. In my opinion, this is well worth the read regardless of your connections with the world of mental health.
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Oh, where to begin? Ok, here goes...
I read a really good review for this book on Amazon.com. So I looked it up on Audible, and thought, "Holy cow! It's only $11!" Well, there's a reason for that. The recording sounded like it was done on an old fashioned tape recorder in the back room of someone's house during Thanksgiving dinner, while the rest of the family is in the background watching the game. You can hear men talking and people walking around the whole time. Was this an audition, or perhaps a first run? Whichever it was, I'm fairly certain this wasn't supposed to be the final take. The narrator isn't really that bad. She has a nice steady voice that was pleasant.
The story itself is interesting. It's like House meets The Dragon Tattoo books. My biggest disappointment is, I didn't get to hear the very last sentence of the book because the crappy music swells and drowns out the narrator. Who is Curtis? Now I'm gonna have to go to the bookstore and find the book so I can read the last sentence.
That's 6 hours and $11 I can't get back.
Sommer's novel is a fantastic psychological thriller but Rachael Jamison's narration is absolutely awful and really takes away your enjoyment of this book. Additionally, the quality of the recording is so poor - you can hear edits and even people talking in the background - never ever had this on any audiobook before!
The book would get 5 stars, but this audiobook version is hardly worth 1.