When the real you is someone you don’t know, then you sing the songs of the maniacs.
Who are we when we lose everything, including our personalities? From her office at a mental health institute in the tropics, a troubled young woman counsels deeply disturbed clients while coping with her own heightening concerns. These include frightening consciousness lapses, violent memories of a high school sexual relationship, a menacing stalker, and an annoyingly arousing visitor who may or may not be insane. All this on a single stormy day at a time when a new mental health disorder has become epidemic and is threatening to distort memory and identity, unmooring the validity of reality itself.
A seductive and chilling novella, Songs of the Maniacs takes readers on a fascinating descent into the abyss beneath the lush surfaces of contemporary American paradise.
A novella that focuses on a young woman counselling different troubled characters. They tell their own stories whilst the reader is trying to work out the connection between them. As the novella continues it becomes clear that these individuals clearly have an affect on the young woman, who is also dealing with issues of her own.
Songs of the Maniacs is a dark psychological read that will bring the reader to question a great deal of the events. In order to feel the full impact of the story the reader needs to take in as much of the early characters and their stories as possible, in order to see how the plotline is bound together in such a clever way.
After the reader senses which direction the novella is going in it is a completely engrossing read, with the reader questioning more and more. As you delve deeper and deeper into the psychological elements it seems to unfold some dark areas, but in turn twists and turns to the point that the reader themselves will question their own dreams and sanity.
This novella certainly messes with your head and left me feeling empty and cold, but only because of the superb writing, the suspense that is built up and the shocking surprises that come to light. There are some brilliant twists and Songs of the Maniacs will definitely have an impact on the reader. As the read comes to an end the title seems more fitting than ever!
Reviewed by Caroline Barker