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[Wilven, Matt]のThe Blackbird Singularity
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紙の本の長さ: 288ページ Word Wise: 有効 タイプセッティングの改善: 有効
Page Flip: 有効 言語: 英語
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内容紹介

Shortlisted for an Amazon Rising Star Award

Longlisted for the Guardian Not the Booker prize 2016

Selected for WHSmith Fresh Talent 2017

Wilven does a masterful job of keeping his readers as off-balance as his protagonist... an intense and satisfyingly off-beat examination of a man lost in a landscape of unresolved grief and his heroic fight to find his way back home.' -- Melissa DeCarlo, author of The Art of Crash Landing

Vince stops taking his lithium when he finds out about his partner's pregnancy. As withdrawal kicks in, he can barely hold his life together.

Somewhere between making friends with a blackbird in the back garden and hearing his dead son's footsteps in the attic, he finds himself lost and alone, journeying through a world of chaos and darkness, completely unaware of the miracle that lies ahead.

Featuring a foreword from Dr Eleanor Longdon; Dr Longden's TED talk, Learning From the Voices in my Head, was featured on the front page of The Huffington Post and has been named by The Guardian newspaper as one of 'the 20 online talks that could change your life.'; It has been viewed over 3m times and translated into 36 languages.

レビュー

'Wilven does a masterful job of keeping his readers as off-balance as his protagonist... an intense and satisfyingly off-beat examination of a man lost in a landscape of unresolved grief and his heroic fight to find his way back home.'--Melissa DeCarlo, author of The Art of Crash Landing

登録情報

  • フォーマット: Kindle版
  • ファイルサイズ: 768 KB
  • 紙の本の長さ: 288 ページ
  • 出版社: Legend Press (2016/8/1)
  • 販売: Amazon Services International, Inc.
  • 言語: 英語
  • ASIN: B0189DS71S
  • Text-to-Speech(テキスト読み上げ機能): 有効
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: 有効
  • おすすめ度: この商品の最初のレビューを書き込んでください。
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Amazon.com: 5つ星のうち 4.5 6 件のカスタマーレビュー
5つ星のうち 4.0 Unusual and Abstract 2017/1/28
投稿者 Hannah - (Amazon.com)
形式: ペーパーバック
The Blackbird Singularity opens with a few novice writing techniques, but it's worth pushing through the initial pages to explore this book in its entirety. Once the book finds its stride, the story unfolds to reveal an engaging account of one man's struggle to grieve the death of his son and cling to a crumbling sense of what is real and what is not.

Vince makes for a compelling protagonist. He's a well-intentioned husband and father, though his actions sometimes suggest otherwise. As a writer, he's both reverent and dedicated to his craft. And he's self aware of the degree to which his mental wanderings favor morbidity; he's always cautious to avoid being indelicate toward others where his ghoulish thoughts are concerned.

As Vince's mind unravels, subsequent to his withdrawal from lithium, his world becomes stranger and more eerie. He ultimately reaches a lurid state described through visualizations with abstract qualities.

"[The blackbird] jumps and turns one hundred and eighty degrees and all the foliage behind him blurs and turns into a gold-and-green blur. He jumps and turns one hundred and eighty degrees again and I see faces everywhere, evil green faces made out of leaves, flat, monstrous, screaming in agony."

Every chapter opens with a paragraph detailing something of a scientific nature. These interludes are always fascinating and well-crafted for optimum intrigue.

The Blackbird Singularity is an unusual book that offers a captivating portrayal of mental illness.

--
Special thanks to Matt Wilven and Goodreads for a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
2 人中、2人の方が、「このレビューが参考になった」と投票しています。
5つ星のうち 4.0 Engaging and unflinching exploration of mental health and loss 2016/9/20
投稿者 Petra - (Amazon.com)
形式: Kindle版
When Vince lost his three-year-old son to cancer, he "went mad" and suffered a complete breakdown. Held on a psych ward in the aftermath, he was diagnosed with bipolar disorder and prescribed Lithium. A few years later Lyd, Vince's successful physicist wife, falls pregnant again. Vince decides to discontinue his medication in order to rediscover the version of himself prior to Lithium, prior to being a grief-stricken father, failing author, and distant husband, who is financially dependent on his wife. As Vince goes through the abrupt and secret withdrawal, he starts to loose himself. He becomes increasingly pre-occupied with blackbirds in his back garden, reality becomes fuzzy, but his creative mind seems to be on a roll.
In this well-written debut novel about mental health, which is told from the first-person perspective of Vince, Matt Wilven portrays all characters very convincingly. They come across as believable and the dialogue feels very realistic. As other people in Vince's life go through various stages of instability and change, you start to wonder where the boundaries between sane and mad really are. People around Vince make irrational decisions or are completely stuck in unhealthy relationships and depressing lives, but it is Vince who is judged to be the failing one.
The author starts each chapter with observations from philosophy or the sciences, which (not being particularly scientifically-minded) were sometimes a bit abstract for me and I had to read them twice to work out the connection to Vince's life. There was one point towards the end of the book (view spoiler) where the author lost me for a couple of pages.
But overall, this was a really original, honest but sensitive exploration of grief, loss, trauma, love and mental health. I finished this a couple of days ago and was initially going to give it 3.5 stars because of the difficulties I mentioned above, but I still keep thinking about the story and its characters, so for that reason, it has to be the full 4 stars.
Thanks to Legend Press who provided me with a copy via NetGalley.
5つ星のうち 5.0 is that the medication leaves him feeling fuzzy and not like he is really living so he makes the decision ... 2016/8/1
投稿者 sarah hardy - (Amazon.com)
The Blackbird Singularity is probably not my obvious choice of book but after reading the description there was just something about it that really appealed to me.

Vince and his wife are still trying to come to terms with the loss of their son Charlie. It is so hard to comprehend what a parent must go through in losing a child. I don’t think anyone’s grief is the same and everyone handles it differently. Vince obviously has had a total break down and has been put on Lithium so he can cope with life. The only problem is, is that the medication leaves him feeling fuzzy and not like he is really living so he makes the decision to come off them without telling anyone.

The relationship between Vince and his wife is very fragile with each of them trying their best to cope in their own way. Due to Vince’s break down and his very slow work as an author, it is very much left to his wife to be the bread winner as well as try and keep everything all together.

The story has quite a few characters who are all very interesting, especially Vince’s friend Jamal. Jamal reminds me of some sort of guru that has the answers to the universe. He is a sense of clarity in Vince’s otherwise mixed up world.

A lot of what Vince is experiencing I think is down to the effects of the withdrawal of the Lithium. The parts where he sees his son were very moving and I also loved the parts with the blackbird. It very much felt like there is this mist that is quite dark and dense to start with which starts to clear the further into the story we got.

The Blackbird Singularity is a beautifully written story dealing with loss, relationships and fighting your way back up to the surface of life again. It is moving and meaningful and one that will stay with me for a long time to come.

My thanks to Lucy at Legend Press for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
5つ星のうち 4.0 Really touching novel about mental illness 2016/10/1
投稿者 Sam - (Amazon.com)
形式: ペーパーバック
This is a really touching book that looks at mental illness and the toll it takes on families. The main character, Vince, is diagnosed with bipolar disorder after the death of his first child, and his decision to stop taking lithium threatens his sanity as he awaits the birth of another baby. While the book is narrated from Vince’s perspective, the reader is still able to follow the progression of his mania as he slips further and further away from reality. Vince is the perfect unreliable narrator, convincing the reader that he really is better without the lithium, though at the same time we see him lose control over his life and desperately struggle to maintain his composure through it all.

As well as writing mental illness in terms that everyone, even those who don't suffer from bipolar disorder, can understand, Wilven also incorporates a lot of cool science stuff into the book! Each chapter is introduced by a description of some scientific phenomena (like the singularity of the title!), and even though I didn't understand a lot of it, it was very interesting to see how he could tie in these scientific facts to the progression of the book.

There are of course very heavy themes in this book but, I think uniquely for a book of this genre, it lets you inside the mania so you can kind of see for yourself. And somehow, being inside it, it feels a lot more under control and calm. I would highly recommend this book to any reader, especially those who'd like a different view of mental illness!
5つ星のうち 5.0 This book does a very good job of taking something that the majority of us ... 2016/8/2
投稿者 Denita - (Amazon.com)
This book does a very good job of taking something that the majority of us will never experience – lithium withdrawal and the subsequent mental decline – and describing it in a way that makes it seem very real to the reader. The author takes you on the journey of the decline, allowing you to see how each step down leads to the next.

I found the characters to be very believable. Even though the book is written from the protagonist’s point of view, we can clearly see the effect his decisions and mental state is having on those around him. You find yourself pulling for him, but no less pulling for his wife who does not agree with some major decisions he has made, that have had fallout that she has had to deal with. It is all written in a way that allows you to see the characters as humans – with all their flaws and confusion, but also their intelligence and individual sense of self-preservation.

I had heard so much about this book on Booktube and Goodreads. It did not disappoint. I would have no problem with recommending this book and author to other readers. It was a very good read, I give it 5 stars.
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