Great read … to start with

September 19, 2008

Trauma, by Patrick McGrath (Bloomsbury, RRP $37.99):

I picked up this book and was riveted from the first page.

Sadly, by the third chapter the momentum was slowing.

By the fifth chapter, my get-up-and-go had got up and gone. I’d lost interest in the book.

It’s the story of Charlie Weir, a bloke who deals with other people’s demons for a living in his capacity as a psychiatrist in New York.

While he deals with the trauma suffered by his patients, he isn’t so good at dealing with his own problems: from his failed marriage and estrangement from his father to the dramas with his dying mother, to the finely balanced relationship with his brother Walt.

After his mother dies he has a short-lived fling with his ex, then meets up with a woman who seems to be every bit as damaged as the patients he sees daily.

Through all this, we get glimpses of some awful trauma lurking in the background of Charlie’s memories.

Unfortunately, by the time the author finally revealed just what that trauma was, I’d lost interest.

Jillian Allison-Aitken

I come from the other land down under, where men are men, and sheep are nervous. I'm a sub-editor and in the past have been a proof-reader, news editor and web editor. I am also an ex-columnist, and book and software reviewer for the local daily newspaper.I still read. A lot. And surf the web. Also a lot.You'll find a little about both of those pastimes here, and on By George.

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