The Madman's Tale by John Katzenbach
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Hands down 5 stars! I absolutely loved this mystery. There is nothing typical about this read from the POV to the characters to the setting all are original.
Francis Petrel is an aging schizophrenic living on his own when a visit to his former mental hospital that is being renovated brought back memories. Upon returning home Francis "C-bird" Petrel begins to write his story, having no, he writes upon the walls. Spiraling back down into madness, C-bird relives a harrowing time at the hospital. Told from his point of view we see life as it was in the hospital as well as how it felt to be Francis. To hear the whispers of the voices as they directed him. How he fought to be sane.
This book is in no way condescending of the mentally ill. Quite the contrary. Francis was not only brave in the face of evil but also in relation to his own inner struggles. Its also no quick read. Although its only 450 pages it took me quite a while to get through it as every word is important. I love the way the story is woven in the past and the present. And how threads of different aspects and characters are woven together to create stories within the story.
This is an awesome read for so many reasons. I would recommend this to anyone that loves a good mystery or anyone that wants something more than a YA drama that tends to be so popular these days. (not that there's anything wrong with those, its just that sometimes you want more).
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