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Human traces de Sebastian Faulks
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Human traces (original: 2005; edição: 2005)

de Sebastian Faulks

MembrosResenhasPopularidadeAvaliação médiaMenções
1,1533012,626 (3.34)33
As young boys both Jacques Rebière and Thomas Midwinter become fascinated with trying to understand the human mind. 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. As the concerns of the old century fade and the First World War divides Europe, the two men's volatile relationship develops and changes, but is always tempered by one exceptional woman; Thomas's sister Sonia. Moving and challenging in equal measure, Human Traces explores the question of what kind of beings men and women really are.… (mais)
Membro:BettyPrail
Título:Human traces
Autores:Sebastian Faulks
Informação:London : Hutchinson, 2005.
Coleções:Sua biblioteca
Avaliação:*
Etiquetas:2009

Detalhes da Obra

Human Traces de Sebastian Faulks (2005)

  1. 00
    The Magic Mountain de Thomas Mann (hilge)
    hilge: Philosophy, psychology, and sanatorium are key features in both books. Which are both really nice and long in the very best sense.
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[This is a review I wrote in 2007]

**A very involved, complex and philosophical novel.**

This novel is a true literary work of art. It's deep and complex, and Faulks approaches the minefield of "the mind" in a clear and sensitive way. He also writes "Human Traces" in a style quite reminiscent of the literary greats of the nineteenth century, so you have to be careful not to try and rush it along as you're reading.

The characters are likeable and believable from the beginning. There's young Sonia who almost as soon as the novel begins, finds herself in a clearly unsuitable marriage, her bright brother Thomas, to whom she is devoted, and the ambitious French lad Jacques who comes from a quite different background. The boys meet by chance and, overcoming the language barrier, discover their mutual passion for science and the human mind. They are kindred souls, and their quest for understanding the mind is to take them along many, and sometimes different, paths - the Salpetriere in Paris, a county lunatic asylum in England, and across Europe, until they are considered quite renowned in their field of psychiatry.

Faulks's novel traverses one of the most illuminating periods in the history of psychiatry - the transitional phase from the late nineteenth century across into the twentieth and the First World War. Covering changes in care from restraint, to moral treatment, to psychiatry and neurological and drug treaments, the novel is a really good introduction to the history of psychiatry and one of its' major developmental phases.

In a way its' strength is also its' weakness. There are just a few places where I wished that Faulks had concentrated slightly less on the psychiatry and slightly more on the plot and characters. The depth of detail about the psychiatry can be bewildering and is probably not of interest to everyone. However, it's a small criticism and overall I can highly recommend the book. ( )
  ArdizzoneFan | Nov 12, 2020 |
Only three out of five. A strange kind of novel, with Faulks' usual strong characterisations and settings intermixed with long and often tedious dissertations about the period's efforts to get to grips with mental illnesses. Many times I came close to giving up and at the end still wonder whether I should have invested my limited (therefore precious) reading time. ( )
  NaggedMan | Sep 23, 2017 |
Two young men one English the other French meet and set off together to find cures for mental disease in late XIX Century Europe. Along the way one spends some time in a grim Asylum in England the other attends lectures by Charcot as people begin to see how our characters are related to our brains. But the centre around which the novel turns is really Sonia, who tolerates her first loveless marriage hardly expecting anything better, then marries one of the brothers, and finds love with him and their doomed child Daniel.
There is lots of enjoyable circumstantial detail and perhaps a few blind alleys are explored. Including a rather unlikely escapade up a cable car.
Things don't end happily as the boys do not bring home a cure (which still eludes us).
The novel movingly displays the tragedy of mental illness, especially Schizophrenia.
Sonia however has given and received love, with several of the characters; is there anything more we can expect from life? ( )
  oataker | Sep 7, 2017 |
Started promisingly, but just became a research paper towards the end. ( )
  Soulmuser | May 30, 2017 |
Two men, one French, one English, at the start of the discovery of psychoanalysis, psychiatry and mental health. Their two wives, their children, their journey across Europe, from the start of humanity to the cusp of modernity. Faulks writes about such interesting themes; he has an interested mind that is capable of collecting and digesting enormous amounts of detail and recycling it as fiction; of shocking us with the basic and the crude and delighting us with the seashore and the revelatory. I just wish that I found his writing style a touch more compelling. The sheer amount of effort, of artifice, of planning, of execution that has gone into this monolith of a book really needs to be leavened by some more lightness of touch, some personality, some more writing that would make the pages sing rahter than plod.
  otterley | May 22, 2016 |
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As young boys both Jacques Rebière and Thomas Midwinter become fascinated with trying to understand the human mind. 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. As the concerns of the old century fade and the First World War divides Europe, the two men's volatile relationship develops and changes, but is always tempered by one exceptional woman; Thomas's sister Sonia. 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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