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I didn?t find Patrick McGrath?s latest novel quite as memorable or gripping as his previous ones, ASYLUM and PORT MUNGO, but it is nonetheless a very fine piece of writing. Once again, McGrath delves into the stifling world of psychiatric hospitals and exposes damaged, dysfunctional and painfully lonely characters.
The narrator, Charlie Weir, counsels traumatized war veterans returning from Vietnam. His hold on sanity rapidly weakens and New York becomes an increasingly treacherous place to be as he struggles to cope with the guilt of a failed marriage, the suicide of his brother-in-law and patient and the drama of his own family life.
McGrath is a talented writer; his prose is clear and beautiful. Kevin T. Collins?s deep narrative voice is well suited to the story and TRAUMA is an intense, effective and enjoyable listen.
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This book captures the feel of New York in all seasons. The author conveys a sense of the architecture, sights and sounds of the city in his very psychological telling of this story, narrated by his protagonist, a troubled psychiatrist with complex personal relationships. The book is gripping and at times macabre - the overall production and telling of the story by the wonderful Kevin Collins brings you fully into McGrath's world. I recommend it to fans of McGrath's other books and to anyone who likes a good family drama with well drawn characters.
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