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Turning a psychological thriller with a cast that includes Sigmund Freud, Carl Jung and several important American politicians and millionaires from a rich textual experience to a gripping and exciting audio event requires a reader with many skills. Heyborne knows how to use just his voice to bring a variety of nationalities and social classes to life. He can catch the inherent smartness of a working-class detective in a phrase, and can as quickly mark a pioneering medical examiner as a dangerous crank. But where he really succeeds is in the three very different psychoanalysts who move Rubenfeld's story of murder and psychosis down its distinctive road. Heyborne's Freud is an all-too-human man of obvious charm and originality; Freud's disciple Jung is cold, calculating and obviously envious; and fictional narrator Dr. Stratham Younger is a bright and admiring early Freudian who is also somewhat skeptical about some of the Viennese master's theories. This goes a long way in easing listeners through some of Rubenfeld's longer monologues about life and architecture in New York in 1909passages that readers had the option of skimming without missing any vital nuances.
Copyright© American Library Association. All rights reserved
*Starred Review* Sigmund Freud's singular visit to the U.S.--which prompted him to label Americans "savages"--provides the premise for Rubenfeld's provocative mystery debut. As the novel opens, Freud, along with rival and protege Carl Jung, arrives in America in the steamy summer of 1909 to deliver a series of university lectures. He is soon enlisted by psychologist Stratham Younger to help solve the case of two New York debutantes preyed upon by a sadistic killer. The first young woman, Elizabeth Riverford, was found dead (whipped, mutilated, and strangled with the perpetrator's silk tie), but the second, Nora Acton, managed to escape--with no memory, alas, of the traumatic events that transpired. Under the guidance of Freud, Dr. Younger takes on Acton as a patient, becoming privy to her sexually repressed memories while fighting lustful inclinations of his own. Meanwhile, city officials pursue clues in the case, as Freud's detractors set out to ruin his reputation._Rubenfeld renders rich, complex characters, vivid period detail, and prose riddled with heady references to Hamlet. He deftly blends fiction and fact (a detailed author's note draws clear lines between the two), and his brisk, sinuous plot makes room for playful interpretations of the world according to Freud. When a dinner-party guest inquires as to the ramifications of her runny nose, Freud replies: "Sometimes a catarrh, I'm afraid, is just a catarrh." Allison Block
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.