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The Comforts Of Madness

3.70  ·  Rating Details  ·  158 Ratings  ·  13 Reviews
(Winner of the 1988 Whitbread Award, The Comforts of Madness is narrated by a catatonic who never speaks. To the rest of the world he is an inert body and is subjected to a variety of experiments, but his own consciousness is vital and reflective. This novel draws attention to the fact that we can never really be sure what is going on in the minds or imaginations of people ...more
Published July 1st 1989 by Sceptre (first published January 1st 1988)
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Claire Fuller
Jan 12, 2016 Claire Fuller rated it really liked it
Shelves: debut, read-in-2016
Probably 3.5 stars. Very quick, very short - a novella really. I liked how it was often unclear what was happening to Peter, the narrator. Peter is in a catatonic state after a childhood trauma and while he is aware of everything going on around him is either unable or chooses not to enter back into the world. Peter has to piece together where he is being taken, what plans people have for him and we have to do the same. And generally it is all bad, although Peter seems removed from all his pain ...more
Jun 18, 2013 Amie rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
THE COMFORT OF MADNESS is a strange, bleak and dark novel. I do think it is skilfully written. I work in a mental health home as a support worker and I sometimes saw slight glimpses of the residents at my home when reading about Peter's experience in this novel. It shows the ignorance of some people towards mental illness. I completely agree with what Perry said in his review which was:
'Sayer worked as staff nurse in a psychiatric hospital so he no doubt bases much of what he writes on first han
Jan 10, 2015 Pagulane rated it liked it
Paul Sayer. Hullumeelsuse mõnud. LR, 1997/14-15.

Teos on ülesehitatud pigem tavapäratule mina-jutustaja perspektiivile. Mina-jutustaja ja üksiti sündmuste keskel olevaks protagonistiks on Peter, kelle keha on liikumatu, kuid hing sees ergas, küüniline, ükskõikne. Ta ei saa rääkida - kuigi paljud leiavad ta olevat simulandi ning sunnivad teda "räägi nüüd ometi midagi!". Lugejana tean, mis ta sees reaalselt toimub, kuid kõrvaltegelaste jaoks ei ole see niivõrd ilmne. Nad teavad vaistlikult, et "ta
May 19, 2015 Tess rated it liked it
This is quite an unusual novel - it was recommended to me by a university professor when I was researching my dissertation and I ended up writing about it in comparison to One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest. Both novels explore the subject of mental illness within the confines of a psychiatric institution from the point of view of a mute protagonist but the contexts of the novels differed greatly. What I found particularly interesting was that despite gaining critical attention at the time (winning ...more
Oct 27, 2015 Velocity rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2-stars
I had a hard time with this book. It is skilfully written, but it ultimately falls flat. I would not expect salvation exactly, or a deus ex machina cure for our locked-in narrator, but the repetitive bleakness and the ever-increasing smothering feeling just meander... and meander... until there is, really, no point. And that's a real pity because at times it actually made me put the book down, go to the window and just take a deep breath.

Were it shorter, it would be a solid 4-star read.
Perry Whitford
Slim, unusual insight into the mind of a catatonic mental patient, utterly withdrawn due to trauma and lack of will yet aware of everything external, fighting a long-term battle with the doctors and their methods to care for and cure him.

Sayer worked as a staff nurse in a psychiatric hospital, so he no doubt based much of what he writes on first hand testimony. This being the case, his experiences must have left him with a poor view of both doctors and patients, because neither here were driven
Jul 23, 2009 Fita rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Novel ini berisi monolog seseorang yang dianggap gila oleh lingkungannya.. bagaimana sang tokoh menceritakan setiap perlakuan yg ia dapat dari orang2 yg merawatnya di rumah sakit jiwa dimana ia dirawat dan menceritakan orang2 dan lingkungan yang terjadi di sekitarnya. Intinya bagaimana seorang yang gila memandang dunia sekitarnya dari sudut perspektif kegilaannya dengan kata lain novel ini bercerita ttg dunia dalam kaca mata orang gila. Pembaca akan dihadapkan pada dua kata antara waras dan gila ...more
Apr 22, 2013 Mesbach rated it liked it
novel ini sangat detail menceritakan kehidupan sebagai orang gila, bagaimana pandangan orang yang diluar jangkauan pemikiran kita, sungguh brilian paul sayer
Nov 21, 2011 Zoe rated it really liked it
This has been sitting on my bookshelf for years and i have never read it. A very moving book..touches a nerve somewhere.
Ebing Ren
Sep 13, 2007 Ebing Ren rated it liked it
Recommends it for: The silent
Shelves: smart-fiction
Special monologues from the sick. Wonder how a sickness can make people being genious...
Jun 14, 2012 Kathleen rated it really liked it
Oct 13, 2012 Melanie rated it it was amazing
Simply brilliant.
Jun 18, 2009 sue rated it it was amazing
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