Thursday, January 29, 2009

Suicide Notes by Michael Thomas Ford

I was hoping to find the edginess that was missing from Vizzini's book ITS KIND OF A FUNNY STORY and this title does has that. Jeff wakes up confused in what he grows to understand is a psychiatric hospital. Although he is initially in denial, he has tried to commit suicide and is in for a 45 day stay to sort things out. He claims to be perfectly normal, plain, boring, doesn't need to be there. Through his experiences with other patients eventually he comes to understand that he was indeed crazy like they all were. The suicide attempt came when his relationship with a long time friend Allie came abruptly to an end at the same time it became apparent that he didn't know for sure what his sexual orientation was. His relationship with Sadie who has tried twice to kill herself and comes to find that she no longer has any fear of death is especially interesting and with Martha who doesn't speak are especially interesting and revealing. Then there is Rankin, football star, also normal who doesn't need to be there but climbed in bed with Jeff while he slept and was shipped away elsewhere. The way Jeff goes from denial to understanding to determination to resolve his issues was very well done and not hurried as I have found many endings of late. JDW 1/29/09

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