In this 1970 Booker Prize-winning novel, Norman is the clever one of a closely-knit Jewish family in London's East End. Infant prodigy, brilliant barrister, the apple of his parents' eyesuntil at 41 he becomes a drug addict, confined to his bedroom, at the mercy of his hallucinations and paranoia....more
For those who love the writings and work of R.D. Laing who was a big influence on the author, this is a must read. The tragicomic exposing of the dynamics of family dystopia, the 'patient' elected to be the carrier of all ills, and the craziness of some aspects of the psychiatric system.
The silverfish are a side-effect of Norman’s addiction to amphetamines, which have destroyed his career and are now destroying his mind. His father, the elderly Rabbi Zweck, and his sister Bella, deci ...more
Somebody has to carry the burdens of a family, right? In this novel, the person elected to that office is the brilliant son of the family, Norman Zweck. The weight of it combined with his addiction to amphetamines drives him mad. Haunted by guilt and the hallucinations of floods of silverfish surrounding him, he cracks under the weight and spends the bulk of the book in an insane asylum. Fortunately, ...more
The family patriarch Rabbi Zweck immigrates to London, settles in the Jewish neighborhood and has three children. His youngest is excommunicated from the family. His oldest is stuck in perpetual childhood. And the only boy Norman, well Norman is going insane. Addicted to pills and seeing silverfish everywhere, Norman was once the pride ...more
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Next time I see a silverfish, I might start to worry.
Norman Zweck is messed up. He was a brilliant lawyer but now he is locked up in the family home where he sees silverfish everywhere. The book starts as his father and sister decide he needs to be committed. And so we get to know the family, including the other, estranged sister and the dead mother.
You will end up being ...more
At the beginning of the novel, Bella and her father call out the doctor for the umpteenth time after Norman has another bad bout of hallucination. The doctor convinces them tha ...more
Updated: Book Club Discussion
Publisher's description: "Norman is the clever one of a close-knit Jewish family in the East End of London. Infant prodigy; brilliant barrister; the apple of his parent’s eyes … until at forty-one he becomes a drug addict, confined to his bedroom, at the mercy of his hallucinations and paranoia. For Norman, ...more
The story opens with Norman Zweck a one time brilliant ...more
However, I DO hate it when everyone else likes a Booker read except me. Sigh. I was in the same position with Wolf Hall.