All in the mind

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Hutchinson, Dec 9, 2008 - Fiction - 304 pages
Alastair Campbell's powerful first novel is a gripping portrait of the strange dependency between patient and doctor. Martin Sturrock desperately needs a psychiatrist. The problem? He is one. Emily is a traumatized burn victim; Arta a Kosovan refugee recovering from a rape. David Temple is a long term depressive, while the Rt. Hon. Ralph Hall MP lives in terror of his drinking problem being exposed. Very different Londoners, but they share one thing: every week they spend an hour at the Prince Regent Hospital, revealing the secrets of their psyche to Professor Martin Sturrock. Little do they know that Sturrock's own mind is not the reassuring place they believe it to be. For years he has hidden in his work, ignoring his demons. But now his life is falling apart, and as his ghosts come back to haunt him, the only person he can turn to is a patient. Set over a life-changing weekend, Alastair Campbell's astonishing first novel is both a comedy and tragedy of ordinary lives. It is rich in compassion for those whose days are spent on the edge of the abyss.

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User Review  - martensgirl - LibraryThing

I was very impressed with Campbell's insight into the world of mental illness- his experiences in his personal life add a richness to the characters. My only gripe is the occasional clumsy language ... Read full review


User Review  - Kirkus

A psychiatrist wrestles with his clients' demons—and his own—in the first novel from Tony Blair's former spokesperson.Campbell (The Blair Years, 2007, etc.) set the bar high for his fiction debut ... Read full review


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About the author (2008)

Alastair Campbell worked for Tony Blair when he became leader of the Labour Party, first as press secretary, than as official spokesman from 1994 to 2003.

From the Trade Paperback edition.

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