Saturday, February 18, 2012

Scar by Ryan Frawley

Published by 529 Publishing
Reviewed for Review the Book

I began this book in an erroneous state of mind. I was sure I was reading non-fiction, but no, this book is a novel, in fact it is Ryan Frawley's debut novel. It must say a great deal about the author's ability when the reader can err between fact and fiction. In my own defense, there are several passages that were obvious and deliberate fiction. Regardless, this is an exceptional story from the mind of Dermot Fallon, a man who has the ability to keep a journal illuminating the mind of a schizophrenic, a man who is suffering from and hospitalized with schizophrenia. His psychiatrist collaborates on the story which has been written in journals he has provided his patient with to put down his thoughts and memories. The results have been outstanding.

Reproduced from Dermot's own writing, the psychiatrist's footnotes help sort the story out. The storyline by its very definition of mind fracture would be difficult to write, but handle it Ryan Frawley accomplishes this complex story very well. This is the first time I have felt the stirring of understanding schizophrenia, and just how rampant this particular disease of the mind or psyche is. Dermot is a patient in Riverview Hospital, a real mental health facility near Vancouver, BC. I was born and raised in Vancouver, which makes me feel almost as an onlooker of important tragedy in this large city.

This is a very powerful book. It is well-researched and portrayed. Reading the book brought me through pain and elation, through Irish mythology and human relationships. Partway through the book, I began to notice a puzzle. Not the obvious coded puzzle that is a part of Dermot's history, but a puzzle for the reader to solve. This was very interesting to me, a little bit of mystery in the mix. What does this mean? Well, that I am going to leave up to future readers because I will not give it away, if indeed there is anything to give away. I do believe I am right, though, and it will be interesting to see if other readers feel the same. A fascinating, frightening yet entertaining book overall.

No comments: