Great read … to start with

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.

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