This is an exquisite story about a man diagnosed with schizophrenia who heals himself by paying attention to his hallucinations. Beautifully written and flawlessly edited, it leaves you feeling somewhat purified and decidedly uplifted, not just by the beautiful language but also from the underlying theme that if we trust ourselves, we may find ourself more whole than we thought, or at least find a way to bring about that wholeness.
Simon’s story exposes society’s fear of those with a different kind of perception. He sees the world differently, more poetically, than is the norm. He senses things that others miss, and his hallucinations, rather than random aberrations of the brain, are symbols to help him understanding his world. As he says, if he tells you what he’s thinking you will put him in hospital and give him drugs to make him see the world like everyone else. The drugs dull his senses, make it fuzzy around the edges. He understands that his illness has caused him to attempt suicide twice and he understands that he must accept the drugs in order to be considered well, but it is his journey into his own mind, written as if he really did go back in time and meet Walrus and the children, that gives him the key to a happier, healthier life.
The characterisation was exemplary, deep and sensitive. I could delve into technical aspects of the story, but to keep it short, I will just say that I could find no fault with this book, and I recommend it to everyone who enjoys deeply moving and inspiring writing.
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