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THE ONE by Paul Reed - Book Review

by Paul Reed

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Review by  Ticonderoga(6990) on 09/03/2004

This startling, terrifying debut novel takes us straight inside the head of a paranoid schizophrenic. So powerful is the writing that it virtually induces the tormented central character's state of mind in the reader. Relief, such as it is, comes in moments of hugely, horribly funny black humour.

Be prepared to be shocked, traumatized, very moved and extremely disoriented and distressed. This is almost unbearably real and true. Jools, the schizophrenic, is clearly the author, and everything he endures has the awful smack of lived experience.

Here is a mind where every fear, doubt, worry and inadequacy takes on a fully-fledged personality of its own.

Largely set in one of the oldest and roughest hoousing estates on the outskirts of Edinburgh, the novel has masterly dialogue which gutters with acutely observed, phonetically rendered broad Scots vernacular; there's a lot of swearing! But, the whole book sweats, bleeds and spews authenticity. Always uncomfortable, the narrative keeps you constantly hooked with its unflinchingly honest depiction of in-the-moment experience. Ultimately, and surprisingly, the effect is life-affirmimg and uplifting. A phenomenal debut. Please read this book.




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