Gavin F (gavluvsga) wrote in 50bookchallenge,
Gavin F

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Book #33: Disturbing the Peace by Richard Yates

“Disturbing the Peace” is the story of John Wilder, who goes through a mid-life crisis and suffers a complete mental breakdown; the book does not hold back, starting with the main character being sent to a psychiatric hospital, and chapter 2, set entirely in the hospital has some very intense and harrowing moments.

The book then charts Wilder’s romantic affair with a woman called Pamela and their attempt at a career directing movies, despite the fact that it is fairly clear that he is not well mentally. The book is very shocking in places, but has a good mixture of drama, blackly humourous moments, and satire directly mostly at Hollywood.

The book had some unpleasant moments, but was not quite as bleak as I had expected it to be, and I did find some occasional moments that made me smile; some of the moments where Wilder goes crazy again are somewhat disturbing, and often very surreal (the book talks about the sky apparently changing colour).

The book is not easy to read in places, and sometimes I found myself having to re-read bits, but overall I found it very satisfying, and found it easy to sympathise with the central character. If you can handle deep psychological stuff, then this book is definitely worth reading.

Next book: The Light Fantastic by Terry Pratchett
Tags: book review, fiction, mental health, ominous, satire, thriller

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