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' 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. Moving and challenging in equal measure, "Human Traces" explores the question of what kind of beings men and women really are.
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"* 'It is of a Russian novelist, Tolstoy, that one finds oneself thinking while reading Human Traces - something about the novel's lovely but unnerving mixture of epic grandeur and shattering personal simplicity; the burning, idealistic engagement with the human condition of its principal characters; and the infinitely touching courage of their attempts to make a difference. This is a bold and remarkable work of imagination' - Jane Shilling, Sunday Telegraph * 'An erudite and lyrical exposition of early psychiatry which is as illuminating as a floodlight in the dark... Human Traces improves on all its predecessors in its scale, its complexity and its scholarship' - Independent on Sunday * 'Faulks emerges as a writer with muscle, with affinities to the great Europeans: Thomas Mann, Balzac, Stendhal... But Faulks has not jettisoned his novelist's instincts and what gives Human Traces its pathos and power is the sense of our abiding frailty before life's intransigent mysteries and the dimness of our rational understanding' - Sally Vickers, The Times * 'Shocking and enlightening... Faulks has a great ability to meld scientific theory with human drama... Its ambition is admirable; its entertainment value... is equally undeniable' - Philip Hoare, Daily Mail"From the Publisher:
The new bestseller from the author of Birdsong and Charlotte Gray
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Book Description Hutchinson, 2006. Paperback. Book Condition: Used; Acceptable. Dispatched, from the UK, within 48 hours of ordering. The book is perfectly readable and fit for use, although it shows signs of previous ownership. The spine is likely creased and the cover scuffed or slightly torn. Textbooks will typically have an amount of underlining and/or highlighting, as well as notes. If this book is over 5 years old, then please expect the pages to be yellowing or to have age spots. Bookseller Inventory # CHL1071953
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Book Description Hutchinson, 2006. Paperback. Book Condition: Used; Good. Dispatched, from the UK, within 48 hours of ordering. This book is in good condition but will show signs of previous ownership. Please expect some creasing to the spine and/or minor damage to the cover. Bookseller Inventory # CHL1139949
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Book Description Hutchinson 01/01/2006, 2006. Book Condition: Good. Will be shipped promptly from UK warehouse. Book is in good condition with no missing pages, no damage or soiling and tight spine. There may be some dog-eared pages showing previous use but overall a great book. Bookseller Inventory # 9053-9780091796877
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