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Looking Through the Windows of Madness by Leo Vine-Knight

Looking Through the Windows of Madness by Leo Vine-KnightLooking Through the Windows of Madness by Leo Vine-Knight

This story is presented as a mosaic of romantic/erotic encounters, reminiscences, case studies, news stories, diatribes, dreams and psychotic episodes, which piece together into an eye-opening critique of contemporary mental health care. There are no formal chapters – the story progresses through a series of steppingstones based on three main themes:

The Unit

The nurse relates his soul-destroying experiences within the mental health unit, showing how absurd bureaucracy, patient over-dependence and professional expedience have ‘killed the unit, stone dead’. He becomes increasingly frustrated and angry as the weeks go by, and this sets him on a collision course with all those around him. There are arguments with loved ones, conflicts with management and impatience with the residents in his care. There is a serious ‘accident’ on the unit, and he finally suffers a psychotic breakdown of his own.


The nurse’s marriage has been under stress for some time, and he strongly suspects that his wife is having an affair with one of her colleagues. In response to this, and on a background of general disenchantment, he embarks on a steamy relationship with ‘Kate’; an ex-nursing assistant from the unit. For a while they grow closer, but the relationship hits trouble when they have an illicit weekend away, and discover some fundamental disagreements. Kate concludes they have no long-term future and the relationship fails, but when the nurse reaches his lowest point, he turns once again for Kate’s support. She strongly suspects that he has assaulted a resident on the unit, and reports him to the authorities.

The Past

A mystery character (Llewelyn) periodically reminisces about his past, tracing his personality – and many of his current problems – to childhood isolation, parental divorce, maternal hypochondria and a number of failed attempts to ring ‘truth’ from the world. It reveals him to be a sensitive and idealistic introvert, who can only struggle in the face of modern cultural excess. There is also a skeleton in his closet, which might explain the ‘accident’ on the unit.


There is a triple twist in the tail, as the nurse survives a suicide attempt and hears that the assault investigation (now a suspicious death) has declared him innocent. Meanwhile, his wife discovers some unsavory facts about her lover, and…

Kate returns.

Editor’s note: This is a free, downloadable book.

[tags]humour, modern times, mental health[/tags]

Short URL: http://www.bookclubbuddy.com/?p=892

Posted by Pearl on Aug 27 2010. Filed under Fiction. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Responses are currently closed, but you can trackback from your own site.
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