The likely failed protection of one little girl: what was it worth?After his brothers death from polio in 1946, Josh Bozeman deliberately collapses his emotions and capacity for empathy. As a psychiatrist working under MK-Ultra in Newfoundland in the 1970s, Dr. Bozeman struggles with his patients illnesses, his assignments, his desires and his conscience. An unexpected andThe likely failed protection of one little girl: what was it worth?After his brothers death from polio in 1946, Josh Bozeman deliberately collapses his emotions and capacity for empathy. As a psychiatrist working under MK-Ultra in Newfoundland in the 1970s, Dr. Bozeman struggles with his patients illnesses, his assignments, his desires and his conscience. An unexpected and apparently paranormal connection with a former patient and subject in 2003 draws him back to Newfoundland and to a chance of redemption....
|Number of Pages||:||173 Pages|
|Status||:||Available For Download|
|Last checked||:||21 Minutes ago!|
I enjoyed this tightly constructed, visceral novel, a work that's been labelled sci fi by some but is more literary psychological suspense (not that categories matter). Plot elements (the study of, and apparent discovery of telepathy, or 'reachers' as they're called in the novel, who are studied for their potential as Cold War weapons) could certainly have steered the novel in a purely science fiction direction, but that's not the author's desire; her goals are bigger than this. Entertainment be damned, she has bigger fish to fry. (Which is not to say the book isn't entertaining. It's gripping and there's ambition in the lean prose. The humour is wry, cynical, subtle. And the book makes you think. It's well-researched, inventive when it needs to be.) I can love a book solely for it's approach to narrative, its style. In Double-Blind, Butler Hallett works hard to keep the experience true, to immerse the reader in her world without resorting to easy explanations and guidance. Events happen as you would experience them. Too few writers write this way (especially in Atlantic Canada) and it shows a tremendous respect for the reader. Do the work and be rewarded.There are not a lot of moments of light in Double-Blind, it's all dark corners and shadows. Thing are often only half seen. Dialogue is clipped, tense, and little time is spent on scenery (yet setting comes across wonderfully). Dr Josh Bozeman is a memorable, conflicted character, skillfully created, fully human, and the novel races along, artfully handling large progressions of time and development of character.Recommended for readers who don't want the same ol' same ol', who don't want a pigtailed redhead skipping off into the sunset, who think there can be more from this region than quaint, huggable stories.
I reviewed Michelle Butler Hallett's first novel, which came out after her collection of short stories, The shadow side of grace, for Amazon.ca. She's a writer with a good future. Check her out.
Heard of the MK Ultra project? Neither had I until I read an interview with the author about 'Double-blind'. The discordant, sometimes confusing style of this book chimes perfectly with its subject - using vulnerable, disturbed children to conduct experiments into brainwashing. The main protagonist, Dr Bozeman, a military psychiatrist recruited to the project, endeavours to follow orders in a humane manner, unlike his colleague Fraser. Yet he never seems to question that what they're doing might be wrong. An intriguing story.
I know I'm biased, being married to the author and all, but the work continues to grow and impress anyway.