Classmates of HMS ’68 and Rick Kluft:
Wow.  You guys keep hitting home runs.  I’ve read Bill Morain’s book about Joseph Smith Jr. and Art Boylston’s book about smallpox inoculation, and now Richard Kluft Good Shrink, Bad Shrink Karnac Books Ltd., London 2014.  They are all splendid. 

I shall not go into the contents but would rather leave Rick to Weave his spell.  I will go so far as to point out whether this is a novel or a book about ethics in psychiatry.  It’s a novel.  Just indulge me while I talk about his technique.  You are aware I’m a writer wannabe and I wish I had the command of the art that I have just seen in action.

The pace starts off slow and accelerates.  We go from scenes such as a department meeting in a university to wild free swinging action by the end.  There are classical narrative techniques like foreshadowing and recapitulation and they are built into the book by the structure of the narratives; people with reason to know guess what a character might do, and people have to bring other people up to speed as they join the adventure. 

It has been years since I read a novel, but some of the techniques seem so new that I suspect they are original rather than widely used tools.  It has been shown that writing in a difficult font with small size encourages a reader to slow down and increases comprehension and retention.  The type was set by V Publishing solutions Ltd of London.  They selected a quite readable font, but the text does the same thing early on, dropping the gambits as the pace steps up. 

One technique recalls Shakespeare.  My little brother once told me, “Don’t worry if a passage overwhelms you; if it’s important Shakespeare will make sure you know it at the right time.”  Some early passages are indeed a bit of a challenge, but later references to them make them clear.

I confess that at the beginning I was thinking, “A psychiatrist writing a novel; that’s unexpected,” and later was wondering, “Who else but a psychiatrist would write a novel?”  That is to say the characters are well developed and amazingly specific and interesting. 

I agree with the writers of the blurbs on the cover that this is a book that cries out for a movie.  It’s that action packed. 

So all around I found it a splendid read.  Now wasn’t there a fourth book somebody mentioned?  Please remind me; I’ll pounce on it.  Of course there is my book (well my favorite out of a number), but I would suggest you read these others first.  But don’t forget: mine is free, just give me the high sign and a destination for the snail (I tend to illustrate, and once I’ve done that it gets hard to send something by email) and I’ll try to get a copy to you. 



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