Synopses & Reviews
The eagerly anticipated debut novel by the highly visible author of The Blair Years
Martin Sturrock desperately needs a psychiatrist. The problem? He is one. Alastair Campbell, critically-acclaimed author of the bestselling memoir The Blair Years, offers much more than a glimpse into the mind of a man who is supposed to be helping heal other people's minds.
Emily is a burn victim. Arta is a Kosovan refugee recovering from rape. David is a longterm depressive, while Ralph is a Member of Parliament who lives in terror that his drinking problem will be exposed. Very different Londoners who share one thing: they all spend an hour each week with Professor Martin Sturrock, their psychiatrist. Little do they know that their doctor's own mind is not the reassuring place they imagine it to be. For years he has hidden in his work, ignoring his demons. But now his life is falling apart, and the only person he can turn to is a patient.
Comic in many ways, Alastair Campbell's first novel is rich in compassion. It is utterly gripping in its portrait of the human mind.
"Campbell, Tony Blair's former spokesman and director of communications and strategy, has crafted a skillful and compelling debut novel about Martin Sturrock, a psychiatrist whose simmering meltdown informs him that he may be in need of treatment of his own. The novel weaves together the stories of Sturrock's patients a woman victimized by sex traffickers, a philandering lawyer, an alcoholic MP, a depressed factory worker, an Albanian refugee raped during a home invasion on the streets of contemporary multicultural London. With their many flaws, Campbell's characters are fully formed people sharply observed and nicely nuanced and while plenty of time is spent in sessions, no prescriptions are ever issued, keeping Campbell away from clumsy aphorisms or magic pill answers to the problems that ripple out into the patients' (and shrink's) families and the wider world around them. Interestingly, Campbell takes a few swipes at his former political life, depicting it as full of backstabbing treachery and cutthroat competition. Despite the sometimes brutal subject matter, the many moments of kindness and hope make this a strong first novel providing much catharsis in its own right. (June)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
Martin Sturrock desperately needs a psychiatrist. The problem? He is one. The critically-acclaimed author of the bestselling memoir "The Blair Years" makes his fiction debut in this work that analyzes the mind of a man who is supposed to be helping heal other people's minds.