Monday, June 28, 2010

Book Review "Memoirs from the Aslyum"

"Did Ya' Ever Notice" is all about finding things that others miss or don't take the time to see. Most of the times I will be posting about things that I see while out in the world and asking the question...
This week is a little different.
Sometimes I trade my book "Sensitivity 101 for the Heterosexual Male" with another author and we do reviews of each other's work on Amazon. This is one of those weeks.
I was able to read Keeneth Weene's "Memoirs from the Asylum" and was shocked at what I read. The book is a behind the scenes look at mental illness and the life the people who live in these institutions lead. It was a hard read, not because it wasn't written well-- it was written extremely well--it was just the subject matter and how open Mr. Weene was able to convey it.
Anyway, read my whole review and then read the book.

In “Memoirs from the Asylum” Kenneth Weene allows the reader to enter a world most of us pray we never have to…the world of mental illness and the effects it has on both the victims and those that are paid to help them.
There’s Marilyn, the catatonic schizophrenic, who spends all of her time seeing an altogether different world through a crack in her bedroom wall. It’s the world she once related to and is populated by those of her past who meant something to her. How will she respond when the crack gets repaired?
Dr. Buford Abrose is the first year resident who also has seen his share of problems. From a loveless marriage to the feelings of failure on his part when he can’t balance the paperwork aspect of the job from the actual attempt to make a difference, he is caught within the walls of the asylum. The closer he tries to understand the patients, the farther he falls from his own life.
The unfeeling workers of the asylum add to the misery and complications these, and the other characters, of the book experience. Their answers normally include medications and isolation for the patients…or is it for themselves?
There is a feeling of connection between these characters that becomes apparent as the book goes on. Although they all react in their own way, the connection that they share is that of fear. Fears that were brought on by the “real world” when they were younger…probably none of their own doing. Possibly a death of someone close, maybe the physical abuse of a parent or friend…something made these people afraid and wanting to escape. Now that they did, all they really want is freedom, whatever that means to them.
In the unique style of narration, Weene allows us to see what really happens in the minds of those that are institutionalized. Sometimes the book was hard to read, using words and imagery that the normal person may not understand or relate to and was lacking an actual plot, but somehow at the end it all comes together.
Not one to be a spoiler, all I can say is that “Memoirs from the Asylum” is a book that everyone should read and at the same time pray to the God of your choice that the freedom you have is the freedom that you really want.

So "Did Ya' Ever..." find something that others never have? That's how I feel after reading this book. Another unknown author who should be well known. Do yourself a favor and get "Memoirs from the Asylum."

1 comment:

  1. Phil, this book is already on my ever-growing and ridiculously long to-read list. The title caught me right from the start. After reading your review, I know that I need to move it up to the top of that list. Thanks for sharing!