Something’s Wrong – Sam Smith

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Something’s Wrong is the diary of a paranoid schizophrenic. Written in the form of transcriptions from audio tapes, it reveals the thoughts and feelings of a man struggling to understand the world. Through his observations we slowly learn that he suspects that he has murdered a young girl.

The book is fast paced, but the fragmented thoughts were often confusing. I don’t know much about schizophrenia, but the book appears to be well researched and provide an accurate portrayal of someone suffering from this condition. 

To be honest I don’t understand many people. Not ordinary people. All that I have truly known is a theory of people.   

The fogginess of the narrator’s thoughts meant that we got an insight into the condition, but I didn’t connect with him on an emotional level.

As the book progressed it seemed to shift from focusing on the schizophrenic, to analysing the roles of those who care for them – calling for better supervision of privately run care homes. I found this to be overstated – telling me, rather than showing me the problems within the system.

This is an original book, which held my attention, but I didn’t enjoy seeing the world through the eyes of someone with schizophrenia.

I recommend this book to anyone who has an interest in the care of those with mental health problems.

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5 Comments

  1. Jenny says:

    I love this as an idea, and I think mental illness is fascinating, but I tend to steer clear of books that deal with it in this way, because they often aggravate me. I’m afraid I’m an awful snob about mental illness in fiction! My parents are both therapists and I’ve been volunteering at a suicide/crisis hotline since university; it’s made me extraordinarily defensive of the mentally ill. Hmmm…

    1. Jackie says:

      Jenny, I find mental illness really interesting too. This book is good in that the schizophrenic is portrayed in a realistic manner and not belittled. I’m sad to hear that you shy away from these types of books, as I would have thought you’d find them the most interesting.

  2. Kathleen says:

    The idea of the book sounds interesting but it doesn’t sound like it translated into an interesting read which is a shame! The whole paranoid schizophrenia thing fascinates me but I will probably wait for a better book!

    1. Jackie says:

      Kathleen, I think the problem is that the schizophrenic is the narrator in this book, so it is all quite fragmented. Fantastic if you want to understand what it is like to suffer from that illness, but not good from a plot point of view. It depends what you are looking for. It was interesting to see things from their point of view – you realise what a terrible illness it is.

  3. Jenners says:

    This is one of those books that I suspect may sound more interesting to hear about than to read.

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