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Human Traces (CD) Loot Price: R339
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Human Traces (CD): Sebastian Faulks

Human Traces (CD)

Sebastian Faulks; Read by Samuel West

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List price R395 Loot Price R339 Discovery Miles 3 390 You Save R56 (14%)

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The evolution of psychiatric treatment is explored through the intertwined lives of two 19th-century men.Faulks's epic is as daunting as the path of his main characters. Frenchman Jacques Rebiere, fascinated by science, is brother to Olivier, whose slow descent into madness from middle childhood drives Jacques's search for answers. Englishman Thomas Midwinter is desperate to escape the life planned out for him by his domineering parents. Early in their period of discovery, the two cross paths in a chance meeting precipitated by Sonia, Thomas's older sister. The men's conversation through their language barrier is the start of a long and productive partnership. Faulks (On Green Dolphin Street, 2002, etc.) takes great care in constructing his latest work to fit the narrative style of the period of which he writes. He uses lengthy scenes and a vast array of characters. Perspective shifts occasionally seem awkward: third-person narrative, letters, journal entries, first-person perspective, speeches. The story tracks the nascent profession across Europe and around the world. Each man is on an individual search for meaning, and their experiences run the gamut of dramatic moments. There are loves lost and found, career successes and failure, times of camaraderie and of estrangement. Behind the players, Faulks explores the evolution of thought about . . . thought. The time period covers the shedding of the old ways of thinking and the shift to a new respect for the power of the human mind. The change was arduous at times. The central theme for the author seems to be the delicate balance between the strength of the human spirit and the frailty of human emotion. Logic and reason will be challenged by love in all its forms. Though the work is somewhat confined by the period framework, Faulks paints a tableux of 19th-century life that is remarkably revealing.Epic in scope, this is an imaginative look at the rise of medicine for the mind. (Kirkus Reviews)
Human Traces explores the question of what kind of beings men and women really are. Jacques Rebiere and Thomas Midwinter, both sixteen when the story starts in 1876, come from different countries and contrasting families. They are united by an ambition to understand how the mind works and whether madness is the price we pay for being human. As psychiatrists, their quest takes them from the squalor of the Victorian lunatic asylum to the crowded lecture halls of the renowned Professor Charcot in Paris; from the heights of the Sierra Madre in California to the plains of unexplored Africa. Their search is made urgent by the case of Jacques's brother Olivier, for whose severe illness no name has yet been found. Thomas's sister Sonia becomes the pivotal figure in the volatile relationship between the two men, which threatens to explode with the arrival in their Austrian sanatorium of an enigmatic patient, Fraulein Katharina von A, whose illness epitomises all that divides them. As the concerns of the old century fade and the First World War divides Europe, the novel rises to a climax in which the value of what it means to be alive seems to hang in the balance. This is Sebastian Faulks's most ambitious novel yet, with scenes of emotional power recalling his most celebrated work, yet set here on an even larger scale

General

Imprint: Random House Audiobooks
Country of origin: United Kingdom
Release date: September 2005
Authors: Sebastian Faulks
Readers: Samuel West
Dimensions: 126 x 144 x 24mm (L x W x T)
Format: CD
Disks: 5
Pages: 6
Running time: 360 minutes
ISBN-13: 978-1-85686-974-4
Categories: Books > Fiction > General & literary fiction > Modern fiction
LSN: 1-85686-974-1
Barcode: 9781856869744

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