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Riven Rock

valutazioni:
4/5 (6 valutazioni)
Lunghezza:
647 pagine
10 ore
Pubblicato:
Jul 1, 2011
ISBN:
9781408826799
Formato:
Libro

Descrizione

This extraordinary love story, based on historical characters and
written with Boyle's customary brilliance and wit, follows the lives of
two scarred creatures living in a magical age. It is the turn of the
century. Stanley McCormick, the twenty-nine-year-old heir to the great
Reaper fortune, meets and marries Katherine Dexter, a woman of 'power,
beauty, wealth and prestige'. Two years later, Stanley falls victim to a
tormenting sexual mania and schizophrenia, and is imprisoned in the
massive forbidding mansion known as Riven Rock. He spends the next two
decades under the control of a succession of psychiatrists, all of whom
forbid any contact with women. Yet Katherine Dexter, now famous as a
champion for women's suffrage and Planned Parenthood, remains strong in
her belief that someday her husband will return to her whole.


Based on a true story of love, madness and sexuality this is a tragic
book with enormous depth and scope. Set in America at the turn of the
century, it is full of fascinating historical detail.
Pubblicato:
Jul 1, 2011
ISBN:
9781408826799
Formato:
Libro

Informazioni sull'autore

T.C. Boyle has published fourteen novels and ten collections of short stories. He won the PEN/Faulkner award in 1988 for his novel World’s End, and the Prix Médicis étranger for The Tortilla Curtain in 1995, as well as the 2014 Henry David Thoreau award for excellence in nature writing. He is a Distinguished Professor of English at the University of Southern California and lives in Santa Barbara.

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4.0
6 valutazioni / 5 Recensioni
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Recensioni dei lettori

  • (4/5)
    I have severe interest in voice hearing or what science calls schizophrenia. I also am a farmer so the characters couched in the McCormick family of International Harvester, Inc. I found very entertaining. Of course Boyle is a clever crafting and hip writer.
  • (4/5)
    As he did in The Women and Inner Circle, Boyle took real people and situations and created a fictional character to drive and shape the story. I think this is the best vehicle to show how well he writes. He can write the house down. Using Eddie O'Kane, head nurse for the "hopelessly insane" Stanley McCormick, worked really well. It fleshed out what might have been too-narrow a story. There is so much detail that as a reader I wondered where the line was between the fictional and the fact. I think Boyle gives us author's notes in later books that sheds light on this question, but not so in this one. I also found that while Eddie pitied Stanley, he too was incapable of controlling himself and some of his urges which led to his own downfall. Neither man is totally destroyed by his mental aberrations, but they are both severely wounded and brought low; way lower than their individual potentials.The weakness is women, for both of them. Boyle spares the reader no detail in each man's use and abuse of the women in their lives, but neither does he blame the women. Come to think of it he doesn't put them on pedestals either. Instead they are characterized as 50% of the human race and are remarkably free of idiocy or lack of agency. None exist merely to make the men in the story more heroic. Even Giovanella in her brainless emotion takes her life into her own hands. The source of Stanley's condition, initially diagnosed as schizophrenia (or dementia praecox as it was then known), is pretty clear and it's more heartbreaking to realize that treatment could be achieved today. Not so in Stanley's day and age when Freud, Jung et al, were just scraping the surface of "the talking cure". As a matter of fact, the very idea of curing or at least treating insanity was practically unknown. Restraints of all kinds were the norm. Limit the patient's movements, diet, activities and mental stimulation and he could be controlled. Put out of the way. Made less inconvenient or downright dangerous. Katherine herself is an amazing testament to the power of love, devotion and loyalty. Reading the story of their meeting and romance (I use that word lightly), was so difficult in full light of the future facts. Even at the time though, I would have had serious doubts, as Katherine had, but unlike her, I would have called it off permanently. He showed enough disturbing symptoms before their marriage to make any would-be bride run for the hills. But no, Katherine thinks that only she is capable of settling him, of balancing him and understanding his fragility and sensitivity. She also wants to rescue him from his mother; something she does in body, but not in mind. Nettie's hooks are in him too deeply and like many mothers, she has corrupted her fruit with the best of intentions. Not that she ever understands that. Ok, maybe she's too much of an evil mother archetype, but she was an effective villain for Katherine and to some extent, Stanley.The ending, as you'd expect, isn't a happy one, but neither is it a let-down and while dire, I wouldn't characterize the book as depressing, but its realism does make one think about chemicals and how they drive human response and action.
  • (4/5)
    I decided to read Riven Rock by T C Boyle after reading The Women. Boyle writes of an unforgettable cast of characters, and once again, I was left wondering how much was real and how much is fiction. Since his story is based on actual characters it leaves me wanting to know more about the actual history of the McCormick family, which had all the money and prestige that money could buy, but not everything could be cured with cash. Stanley, the mad schizophrenic, his newly married wife, the doctors and nurses who all live at Riven Rock a castle-like mansion in the wilds of California, which in all ways is like a prison. There are really some bizarre characters and moments in the story, and those who like psychological fiction would love it.
  • (4/5)
    Boyle is a master with words, and this book is at once dark, hilarious and full of soul searching angst. The characters are so fully drawn, you can't help empathizing with them in every bizarre situation, of which there are many.
  • (4/5)
    Riven Rock remains one of my favorite T C Boyle novels. Boyle brings you an unforgettable cast of characters, the mad schizophrenic who cannot tolerate the sight of a woman, his newly married wife, who continues to visit him, always hidden from his view. The doctors and patients who work and live behind the walls of Riven Rock. Boyle handles all of this with sympathy, yet somehow puts a comedic spin on the entire story. Definitely not one to miss if you're a Boyle fan.