Human Traces

by Sebastian Faulks

eBooks of the Month Modern and Classic Literary Fiction The Real World

LoveReading View on Human Traces

Bright young men bond in their teens and vow to become doctors to cure the brother of one.  His infliction: schizophrenia, cruelly treated at that time.  Both qualify and follow opposing sides of the developing science, one rational, one Freudian.  This is an impressive work which details their long lives  and the study of  the early theories of psychiatry. It's beautifully written as one would expect, just, perhaps, a tad too long I felt.

Sarah Broadhurst

Human Traces Synopsis

Human Traces is Sebastian Faulks’ most ambitious novel to date, with scenes of great emotional power recalling his most celebrated work, yet set here on an even larger scale.

Set in the 19th century Human Traces explores the excitement of the time at the very beginning of psychoanalytic thought. Two friends, Jacques Rebière and Thomas Midwinter 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.

However, it is Thomas’s sister Sonia who becomes the pivotal figure in the volatile relationship between these two men; a relationship which threatens to explode with the arrival in their Austrian sanatorium of an enigmatic patient, Fräulein 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 question of what it means to be alive seems to hang in the balance.

Vivid, 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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All versions of this book

ISBN: 9780091794552
Publication date: 29/08/2005
Publisher: Hutchinson
Format: Hardback

Book Information

ISBN: 9780091794552
Publication date: 29th August 2005
Author: Sebastian Faulks
Publisher: Hutchinson
Format: Hardback
Genres: eBook Favourites, Literary Fiction, The Real World,
Categories:

About Sebastian Faulks

Sebastian Faulks was born and brought up in Newbury, Berkshire. He worked in journalism before starting to write books. He is best known for the French trilogy, The Girl at the Lion d'Or, Birdsong and Charlotte Gray (1989-1997) and is also the author of a triple biography, The Fatal Englishman (1996); a small book of literary parodies, Pistache (2006); and the novels Human Traces (2005) and Engleby (2007). He lives in London with his wife and their three children. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature in 1993 and appointed CBE for services to literature in 2002. He lives in London with ...

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