- Title: Cured Meat: Memoirs of a Psychiatric Runaway
- Author: Polly Trope
- Print Length: 232 pages
- Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
- Language: English
- ASIN: B00JUCH6DS
- Published: April 21st 2014
- Genre: Memoir
I am a psychiatrist and therefore you’ll understand I would be interested in a book with such a title. I didn’t expect what I got, though. This is an extraordinary book. Extraordinary both, in the sense of not your normal type of book (whatever that might be) and also because it is one of a kind and exceptional.
I’ve read some of the reviews comparing it to Sylvia Plath, Derek Jarman…I understand. This is a book that is told as a memoir, narrated in stream-of-consciousness, with poetic interludes and fragments that come slightly closer to a diary narrative, but vague, uninterested in places and times as such, and much more focused on sensations and feelings. The wandering nature of the narrative (we travel from Berlin, to London, New England, and back in and out again, and also travel inwards, into the inner bowels of the city, particularly London) reminded me of the Beat Generation, particularly On The Road. If Jack Kerouac’s book was so much more than a travel book, this is also a memoir of not only a person, but a place, a time, and extreme experiences.
The problems with mental health (or with the mental health services, although I’m not particularly familiar, other than what I’ve read and watched, with how they function in the US) of the protagonist, her difficulties with drugs, her fall into a bottomless pit of prostitution and drugs aren’t told as a news item or a call to action. Sometimes in the middle of the most abject experience or ugliness, there is such beauty in the language that it’s difficult to reconcile the content and the tone. But it is, after all, art.
Lyrical, full of brilliant lines, breath-taking description, but also harrowing passages, it is not a book for everybody, and it is not an easy read (both from the point of view of the language and of the emotional impact). But it is a very rewarding one for those who dare.
Here a brief example…
So here I am sitting before the pyre of an awful
past, a king in purple gown, a crown weighs me into my
throne, with golden fork and golden knife, and on the table
before me a high piled heap, the rusty pieces that on my
battles with the sea, when I was wielding my powers —my
magic sword, yeah— those rusty pieces I saw along the
side, never knew what they were, the arms of dead dolls,
perhaps the tusks of a mammoth?
This is not a book for everybody, but if you like a challenging read, that will make you think and will transport to places and experiences outside your comfort-zone, I recommend it to you. Be brave!
Buy it at: Amazon
Format & Pricing: Kindle e-book: $4.78
Realistic Characterization: 5/5
Made Me Think: 5/5
Overall enjoyment: 5/5
Overall Rating: 5/5
Thanks for reading, thanks to Polly for her outstanding book, and you know, if you’ve enjoyed it, like, comment, share…and CLICK
Olga Núñez Miret
8 thoughts on “#BookReview @OlgaNM7 Cured Meat: Memoirs of a Psychiatric Runaway by @PollyTrope”
Reblogged this on Smorgasbord – Variety is the spice of life and commented:
A review of Cured Meat by Polly Trope by Olga Nunez Miret on Lit World Interviews – as Olga describes the content of the book you could be forgiven for perhaps passing it by but stark reality sometimes needs to be acknowledged however uncomfortable.
Thanks for an informative review, Olga. Certainly the kind of things I would want to know about before buying. Hugs.
Thanks Teagan. Not a book for everyone for sure, but extraordinary in its own right.
Thanks for the review, Olga. For this kind of book, this is helpful and I agree with Teagan about knowing what to expect before purchasing. Certainly a different kind of read.
Thanks Tess. I did correspond with the author on Twitter, whom I guess was intrigued by what I might think when she read my profile. I thought judging by the title that it was going to be a somewhat humorous book but nothing further from the truth, although I must admit to not having read any of the comments beforehand, that sometimes might be the best way.
A lot of times, I don’t even read the back jack or the inside flap (if there is one), when a cover or title attracts my attention. I like to discover the plot / story for myself.
It’s a very good point. I’m reading a book now by mistake (I thought it was one in my pressing list but made a mistake) but it’s quite refreshing to read something with no expectations…
Yes, that’s how I feel a lot of the time.
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