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The Therapist

4.33  ·  Rating details ·  52 ratings  ·  23 reviews
In this bittersweet and hauntingly surreal tale, a couple finds the distance between them mirrored in a strange epidemic sweeping the globe. Little by little, each victim becomes transparent, their heart beating behind a visible rib cage, an intricate network of nerves left hanging in mid-air. Finally, the victims disappear entirely, never to be seen again.

‘I dreamt that
Published August 1st 2019 by Fairlight Books
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Amalia Gavea
‘’It’s as if someone is cutting into me while I sleep and gradually stitching weights into the muscles and tendons of my body. And though it’s not debilitating I find it harder each day to fight to the surface.’’

A married couple is trying to cope with the tragic loss of their onlychild while a strange illness is sweeping over the USA. Starting from Oregon, it spreads all through Washington, Nevada, Idaho and soon the entire country becomes a victim caught on deadly claws. Sudden fever
Actual rating: 3.5

Thank you to Fairlight Books and NetGalley for this copy.

This is a beautiful and moving story of the natural revolutions of grief and loss, while inhabiting a dystopian world wherein a devastating disease has become epidemic.

The narrator and his wife, Simone, are seeing a therapist to talk through the death of their young son. It’s heartbreaking stuff, for sure. But what this novella does brilliantly is keep the commonplace in the foreground, and in the background add in this
Jun 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
Despite its virulence, little is known about the disease. They say that it attacks the brain and spinal column. That victims suffer encephalitis-like reactions. Lethargy, confusion and changes in personality are all common. The media report cases of grandiose delusions and memory loss. Some hear voices, other see impossible realities. All eventually disappear.

A previously unknown, fatal disease grips Oregon and then, eventually, spreads across the States. As panic mounts, the narrator and his
Meredith Miller
Apr 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book is meticulously crafted. It blends Gothic and dystopian genre effects with a modernist narration reminiscent of Anais Nin's novels and H.D.'s HERmione. Like Nin, Giacomelli uses surrealist imagery that personifies psychic forces and creates an architectural sense of the unconscious. The novella's allegorical tendencies never reduce the complexity of its emotional landscape. This is a story about grief and loss, but also about how the social fabric of our world shapes our most personal ...more
Jul 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
“The Therapist” by Nial Giacomelli is a surreal examination of our grief and how it shapes us. Told by an unpredictable narrator, “The Therapist” captures the reader, an innocent pendulum, and hurls us into the unknown. As we vacillate between two storylines, dipping ever so briefly into one before being violently flung to the other, each swing, each turn of the page, chips away at all that is familiar to us until there is only a shell of a person, and then nothing at all. In this nothingness, ...more
Jul 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley, fiction, uk
Another novella from the Fairlight Moderns series, The Therapist by Nial Giacomelli is a heartbreaking meditation on loss and guilt.

A devastating disease ravages the USA from West to East, causing mysterious symptoms, delusion and euphoria, and then the disappearance of the body. At the same time the (unreliable?) narrator and his wife struggle to deal with the loss of their young son in a tragic accident.

Told in breathtakingly beautiful prose, this is at once a haunting study of grief, a
Chad Guarino
Jul 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: netgalley
Nial Giacomelli's The Therapist, part of the Fairlight moderns novella series, is a searing meditation on loss expertly juxtaposed with a world ravaged by a devastating disease.

The story focuses on a couple who have lost their son recently to an accident, and is told from the husband's point of view as he attempts to deal with the conflicting emotions associated with the accident as well as attending therapy sessions with his detached wife. As they navigate their new normal, a new disease crops
Aug 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
I always find it interesting when an author can take a plot which has been done a few times and manage to give it a new twist. Nial Giacomelli’s The Therapist does this.

The premise is one which has become common in dystopian literature: a disease is eradicating the human race. We’ve read about it before. In Station Eleven, Severance and Bird Box. This particular infection causes people to disappear and it is spreading at an alarming rate.

The narrator of this story and his wife are coping with
Amy Riddell
Jul 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The Therapist is the second of the upcoming Fairlight Moderns novella series which I managed to get my mitts on, and the first to blow my tiny mind.

A strange illness blooms on the West coast of America, one which causes rapid physical deterioration in its victims. Their skin reddens and their eyes bulge outwards, as if the very flesh is being siphoned from them. Then, at last, they begin to disappear altogether, their frantically beating hearts the last to fade into nonentity. The disease is
April Taylor
Jul 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The Therapist is a beautifully written novella that explores the nature of grief. When the story begins, we learn that the two main characters have suffered a horrible loss. Around the same time, people start coming down with a horrifying illness that causes them to literally fade away to nothingness.

Expect the unexpected from the unreliable narrator. He doesn’t want to remember the truth, so he tells himself - and the reader - a lie that’s only slightly more comforting than his reality.

Oct 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing
'The Therapist' by Nial Giacomelli is a surreal experience. A man approaches a therapist to repair his failing marriage and get over the grief of losing a child. Parallely an epidemic is spreading through US, the victims disappearing slowly after a prolonged fever and hallucinations.
Giacomelli brings in gothic and dystopian storytelling together in this book. On one hand, its about coping up with life after the loss of a child, but also feeling his presence throughout the house and a mysterious

A beautifully crafted novella which focuses on a couple after the devastating loss of their young son. Told from the husband's point of view, The Therapist charts the couple's life and their struggle to fight for their marriage in the wake of their son's accident, going so far as to seek help. If this wasn't enough, a bizarre pandemic, causing panic and terror, begins to mercilessly sweep across the country leaving nothing in its wake.

This was an excellent read and difficult to confine to one
Oct 30, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
Another exploration of grief and the process people go through to get beyond it. I have read so many novels with this central theme that I wondered if there was anything new to be written about it. Yet it seems there is. The difference this author brings to it is the main character - not a very likeable man at first, especially when compared with his poor wife, but I found myself sympathising with him by the end and that was no mean feat. For much of the story I found the extended metaphor of ...more
Christine Sandquist (eriophora)
This review and others can be read on my blog, Black Forest Basilisks. Thank you to Fairlight Moderns for providing this ARC in exchange for an honest review.

“I sit perfectly still and try to visualize the internal mechanics of my own body. To disassemble my molecular structure. To reduce my body to its purest form. To release a lifetime of guilt and regret. Until I am left with only the goodness in me.

But I find the person who remains unrecognizable.”

The Therapist by Nial Giacomelli was more
Aug 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Excellent writing, compelling story.
Casey Pettifer
Aug 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I have just finished this beautifully written novella. Wonderfully intriguing and a stunning insight into living with unimaginable grief. I had started recommending this to friends before I was half way through, and now I have finished it I will be pushing it twice much!
Kate (Looking Glass Reads)
A surreal novella by debut author Nial Giacomelli, The Therapist is a story of grief and loss, how it is processed, and how it affects us. The novella is a new addition to Fairlight Books Fairlight Moderns series, featuring a beautiful cover and art by Sam Kalda who has won and been nominated for awards such as The Society of Illustrators Gold Medal, the World Illustration Awards, and Young Illustrator Awards. Two guides, one for reading groups and one for writing groups, can be found for The ...more
Pamela Scott

@FairlightBooks via #NetGalley and voluntarily reviewed

Oh my God, this book, this amazing piece of writing completely blew my mind. Once I started to read I couldn’t set my Kindle aside. I had to find out if the couple would find the way back to each other, the truth about how they drifted apart in the first place and where the strange epidemic would read. This book is incredibly sad and haunting at times. The couple clearly still love each other but
Isabella Kratynski
Jul 26, 2019 rated it it was ok
The Therapist by Nial Giacomelli is a slim novel with weighty aspirations. It's wholly atmospheric and a little strange.

I didn't enjoy this book much, and most of that's on me. It covers depressing subject matter, the kind of emotional drama that just isn't my jam. It's about grief, a couple dealing with grief, and I think I can just leave it at that so as not to spoil anything for you. I have yet to read a book that takes on grieving as a theme in a way that resonates meaningfully with me.

Sep 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
this book has broken me
Nov 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: own-ebook
Nothing I expected, and the ending was wonderful
Aug 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: amazing-books
Read the synopsis of this book and then dismiss any assumptions you may have about it. It’s a dystopian-horror-sci-fi-fantasy novella all wrapped up in a stunning 118 page bundle.

I don’t say this easily – this is, without doubt, one of my favourite books so far this year. It took me about two hours to read (read, devour, demolish) and it was flipping amazing.

It would be too easy to ruin this book, so I’ll keep this short. It’s a story of grief, for most of us, of the unimaginable variety. But it
rated it it was amazing
Feb 26, 2019
Carly Downes
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Sep 18, 2019
Elizabeth Marriett
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Sep 18, 2019
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Dec 21, 2019
Contrary Reader
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