Tuesday, April 25, 2006

A Long Way Down

Sad but true: we're more than aware that medical students are fighting the demons of crippling debt and ever-increasing workloads. Add gossiping, bitching and a set of extenuating circumstances to the mix - it becomes evident why thirty percent of clinical students have suffered from clinical depression over the years. Given the prevalence of narcissism and perfectionism amongst our lot, it's unsurprising that more than one in six of us has considered suicide at one point or another.

Consequently, the feelings experienced by a depressed colleague/loved one are well worth exploring. Nick Hornby has done this in a most insightful yet darkly comic manner. Witness his latest opus, titled 'A Long Way Down'.

Stylistically, this is a most impressive effort, given the skill required to switch the narrative between four disperate characters and not have the story fold back on itself. The exploration of the issues surrounding suicide, depression and hopelessness is especially thorough and empathetic considering the stark differences between the lives the four unlikely acquaintances lead and the author's lack of a medical/psychological background.

4 comments:

Giskin said...

Welcome to the blog and thanks for reviewing this book. It sounds very interesting. In tonight's Evening Standard there was a long feature on a forthcoming book(published 4 May) by Tabitha Suzuma called 'A Note of Madness'. It chronicles familial clinical depression. This is obviously non-fiction compared with Hornby's fiction. I do agree with you that it is good to see a fiction writer sounding a medically plausible note.

S said...

Giskin - good to hear from you!

The new book sounds interesting; do you think the publishing house would be up for sending us a review copy?

Tabitha Suzuma said...

Hello, this is Tabitha Suzuma and I've just been reading Giskin's post about my book A NOTE OF MADNESS which came out yesterday.

I just wanted to let you know that the book is actually fiction, although the article in the Evening Standard was about my family. It was the experiences of me an my family's depression and bipolar disorder which prompted me to write a teen fiction novel about a university student suffering from bipolar disorder.

If you have the time, take a look at my website: www.tabithasuzuma.com

Even though the book is being marketed as teenage fiction, I'm hoping it will become a 'crossover' book as it was originally written for an adult audience in mind.

I would be thrilled if someone would be willing to read it and review it on this site.

Thanks very much for your interest.

All the best,

Tabitha Suzuma

Giskin said...

Hi Tabitha

Thanks for dropping in on our blog. Your publisher has sent a copy of your book and S. is going to review it. Thanks for putting me straight on the fiction/non-fiction bit! Good luck with the book.