The interpretation of Murder
4 journalers for this copy...
(11/11) First the positives; Jed Rubenfeld is obviously a very intelligent expert in Freud and this particular period of great change in neuro-science, psychiatry & psycho-analysis in the early C20th, and he’s written a complex minutely-researched period thriller. Hey, maybe that’s good enough for a first novel? On the downside, he’s thrown the whole kitchen-sink at this, wasting material enough for several more tightly-plotted books, i.e. not running to 500+ pages with more twists & turns than Alton Towers! Fer-instance, the whole Hamlet ‘to be or not to be’ analysis, the machinations of Oedipus, ‘inverse’ Oedipus, father figures, sadism & masochism, transference etc. etc. left my little head reeling!
One critical passage, which I didn't make a note of, was the idea (Jed's own?) that humans struggle to reconcile enjoying the moment with seeking to understand, which requires looking back and planning forward. Very few, if any, of the leading characters seem to be happy with their lives...maybe this a sideswipe at the whole psychiatry business??
JR does try to lighten the whole mix with a couple of jokes, notably the fictional(?) conversation between Jung and Freud, the latter suffering from catarrh, ’sometimes catarrh is just catarrh’! Also, the interchanges between the heroes, New York ‘tec Littlemore and society doctor and would-be psycho-analyst Statham Younger, would make a great buddy-movie. However, I did pick up a whole new language to show-off; analysand, Charaka, somatic, aetiology, bilocation to name but a few.
JR brilliantly captures the wildly energetic city of Manhattan of the time perfectly, the race to ever-higher symbols of power and prestige, the burgeoning of the Wall Street-centric superpower, the social divisions, the corruption, and the growing sense of self-awareness of the so-called [Roosevelt] ‘hyphenated Americans’. Also, to finish, the brilliant comments about the new world attributed to Freud;, ‘Prudery is brittle…it will shatter in a whirlwind of gratification. America, I fear, is a mistake’
WILD RELEASE NOTES:
Taking along to tonight's Leeds meet-up, my first.
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WILD RELEASE NOTES:
I'm taking it to the bookcrossing meet.
Altogether quite a challening read which I will share with friends.
I picked the book up in a B & B in Belfast and took it back to Australia with me; I'll have to think of a way of making it travel further.