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Carolinec (Carolinec)
Username: Carolinec

Registered: 06-2009
Posted From: 82.38.75.85
Posted on Sunday, August 09, 2009 - 05:04 pm:   

Well, I got Sanity and Other Delusions in the post yesterday, so I couldn't resist reading a couple of stories before bedtime.

Now don't ask why, but I never seem to read stories in the order in which they're presented, so I started with Beggars Belief and then read Projecting Malice. The first is good, but Projecting Malice is fantastic - probably one of the best examples of creeping paranoia I've ever read (with a great title for a psychologist too!).

The result? Disturbed sleep and nightmares. Thanks, Gary!
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Des (Des)
Username: Des

Registered: 06-2008
Posted From: 81.155.107.41
Posted on Sunday, August 09, 2009 - 05:36 pm:   

My review of 'Sanity':
http://weirdmonger.blog-city.com/sanity_and_other_delusions__by_gary_fry.htm
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Gary Fry (Gary_fry)
Username: Gary_fry

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 86.26.90.161
Posted on Sunday, August 09, 2009 - 07:47 pm:   

Hurrah! Always happy to upset people to such a degree that they lose sleep, feel out of focus for a few days, and, preferably, far worse.

:-)

Thanks for your comments, Caroline! They're treasured.
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Carolinec (Carolinec)
Username: Carolinec

Registered: 06-2009
Posted From: 82.38.75.85
Posted on Monday, August 10, 2009 - 05:57 pm:   

Just re-read your review of Projecting Malice, Des - maybe I shouldn't have skipped to the end to read this story before most of the others? It's a bit like reading the end of a novel before anything else!

Ah well, I don't think it will harm the way I see the rest of the stories. I had the "psychological horror" tag firmly in my mind when reading both stories anyway - but Projecting Malice was definitely far more powerful than Beggars Belief in that regard. I'm looking forward to reading the rest ...
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Gary Fry (Gary_fry)
Username: Gary_fry

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 86.26.90.161
Posted on Monday, August 10, 2009 - 06:55 pm:   

Looking forward to hearing what you make of The Familial, Caroline. It's a favourite child of mine. Based on the worst nightmare I've ever had. Can still remember it from 20 years ago.
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Carolinec (Carolinec)
Username: Carolinec

Registered: 06-2009
Posted From: 82.38.75.85
Posted on Monday, August 10, 2009 - 08:13 pm:   

Ah, I almost went for The Familial when I opted for Projecting Malice instead. So that's now next on my list - but maybe I'd better not read this just before bedtime ...?

By the way, I'm not trying to highjack Des' idea of real-time reviewing. I wasn't intending to review all of them here as I read them. Besides, I have a nasty habit with all my collections and anthologies of dipping in and out of different ones at different times - I rarely read one right through before I start on the next book. I do finish them all eventually, but it's impossible to tell when that will be!

So my real-time reviews would be most confusing affairs - skipping from one book, and one author, to another!
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Des (Des)
Username: Des

Registered: 06-2008
Posted From: 86.169.220.101
Posted on Monday, August 10, 2009 - 08:56 pm:   

So my real-time reviews would be most confusing affairs - skipping from one book, and one author, to another!
=============

What a good idea! :-)
Hmmm...
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Carolinec (Carolinec)
Username: Carolinec

Registered: 06-2009
Posted From: 82.38.75.85
Posted on Tuesday, August 11, 2009 - 12:24 am:   

>>So my real-time reviews would be most confusing affairs - skipping from one book, and one author, to another!
=============

What a good idea! :-)
Hmmm...
<<


Oh dear, what have I potentially started here?!

Right, I read The Familial tonight. Before I go back to read what Des has said about it, there were several words which sprang to mind about it:
haunting; disturbing; strangely beautiful (a mother's desparate, suicidal attempts to protect her son); Sigmund Freud ...

Eh? Yes, Sigmund Freud. Gary, can I ask you, is each one of these stories based on some aspect of Freud's theories?
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Gary Fry (Gary_fry)
Username: Gary_fry

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 129.11.77.197
Posted on Tuesday, August 11, 2009 - 10:51 am:   

Not explicitly or consciously, Caroline, but I buy in to the whole psychoanalysis school, particularly the less mechanistic developments of Freudianism. I like Melanie Klein, for instance - in fact, I'd say The Familial comes more from her work. Though as I say, unlike in some of my other tales (eg, Beggars Belief), I didn't set out to fictionise a theory.

Delighted you, er, enjoyed it.
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Steve Jensen (Stevej)
Username: Stevej

Registered: 07-2009
Posted From: 82.0.77.233
Posted on Tuesday, August 11, 2009 - 12:50 pm:   

Have you read Erich Fromm's The Anatomy of Human Destructiveness, Gary?
It's one of my favourite books. Very interesting indeed.
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Gary Fry (Gary_fry)
Username: Gary_fry

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 129.11.77.197
Posted on Tuesday, August 11, 2009 - 12:59 pm:   

Yes, I have. I enjoyed it a great deal. I like the way he re-examined Zimbardo's infamous conclusions, especially. I was very persuaded by the argument in that book.
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Steve Jensen (Stevej)
Username: Stevej

Registered: 07-2009
Posted From: 82.0.77.233
Posted on Tuesday, August 11, 2009 - 01:15 pm:   

I guess I was drawn to Fromm's very human and fundamentally positive outlook; even in the rather clinical analyses of, say, Hitler and Himmler, Fromm's humanism still manages to shine through. After reading hoary old junk like Ludovici's Man, An Indictment, Fromm's essential goodness was a breath of fresh air.

From a layman's point of view, I found that despite the dry Freudian/technical terminology, there were essential truths about the human condition to be learned from the book.
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Gary Fry (Gary_fry)
Username: Gary_fry

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 129.11.76.229
Posted on Tuesday, August 11, 2009 - 01:26 pm:   

Indeed. Anyone who says humanity is fundamentally rotten is a hopeless essentialist. Anyone who paints an unrealistically rosy picture of it is a hopeless essentialist. Fromm, like only a few other subtle thinkers, seems to get the compelxity of the issue right, whether you buy into the theoretical framework or not.
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Joel (Joel)
Username: Joel

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 217.37.199.45
Posted on Tuesday, August 11, 2009 - 01:35 pm:   

Fromm is terrific, yes. Perhaps his radicalism is a little more watered-down than that of Marcuse, but Fromm is a lot more readable. The Frankfurt School in general are brilliant: Fromm, Marcuse, Benjamin and especially Adorno whose 'negative dialectics' did for Marxism what Joy Division did for rock music.
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Joel (Joel)
Username: Joel

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 217.37.199.45
Posted on Tuesday, August 11, 2009 - 01:36 pm:   

And there's Bettelheim, of course.
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Carolinec (Carolinec)
Username: Carolinec

Registered: 06-2009
Posted From: 82.38.75.85
Posted on Tuesday, August 11, 2009 - 05:26 pm:   

Heck, you lot have gone way over my head now!

But, yes, I am enjoying "Sanity", Gary - and now I'm going to be watching out for Freudian connections in all your work.

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