Review - Nightmares and Other Therapy

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Title: Nightmares and Other Therapy
Author: D. W. Carver

"Hospitals are supposed to help. Michael found that wasn’t always true.

Book 1 of the Smithson's series.

Michael couldn’t understand the nightmares that made him violent on waking, mostly because he didn’t have the courage to think his problem through. Eventually, pressured into entering a mental hospital by his employers he thought that here he would find answers and a way..."

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** Author provided a copy in exchange for an honest review. **

First I must confess, I do not usually read this type of books. If you took a look at my shelves you would see that I basically lived in a paranormal world. But it sounded interesting so I thought I would give it a try. The book is so much more than the blurb makes it sound like.

The story follows Michael, who is not quite mentally balanced. He has violent nightmares. If that wasn't enough, he has an imaginary sort of boy living in his head. The boy reacts to the outside stimulis for him. I thought that part was rather well done. It fits with the character, and yet is unique enough to add a bonus element to the story. I believe those were some of my favorite parts of the story.

Michael manages to cost his way through life until one unfortunate incident where he harms someone and cannot remember it. The result is he is given a choice, admit yourself, or we'll toss you in to the mental hospital.

Originally I thought the story would focus here and then we'd see treatment and getting better. And while the story does have some therapy -the life changing kind, not the blah blah bs kind- late on, the hospital is one scary place. This part of the book really reminded me of a couple old time movies. The kind where the people at theses institutions get screwed over while the nurses play god. And boy, is there abuse of power going on here. I am not sure I could handle the stuff that he is forced to endue. Yet Michael, despite his flaws, has the necessary strength to continue on and eventually save himself.

The plot thickens from there. And with the help and support of his new girlfriend, he sets off with a plan that unknowingly brings him the kind of life lessons and assistance that provides him with the help he truely needs to become more balanced. If you like dramas, or the "real" life type books, or even a book that makes you sit back and listen, then this book is for you. But be warned, if you are sensitive, this book has some scenes that might give you pause.

The book is well written, and the author does a good job with Michael's point of view, you can really understand him. My biggest problem -well, only problem really- is that parts of it felt a little long. When stuff happens, stuff happens, and we are good. The slower spots don't happen often, but when they do, I just wanted to rush through it to get to the next bit so I could find out what happened next.

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