Saturday, November 10, 2012

Book Review: "Crazy All The Time"

Crazy All the Time: On The Psych Ward of Bellevue HospitalCrazy All the Time: On The Psych Ward of Bellevue Hospital by Frederick L. Covan

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


Dr. Covan is chief psychologist at Bellevue Hospital in New York (or was at the time of this book's publication) and with help from Carol Kahn, he has written a highly entertaining account of one year's crop of interns and some of the patients they encounter and try to help.

There is Kitty, whose paranoid schizophrenic patient spins tales of having slept with six presidents of the United States. This is perhaps not as challenging as Kitty's marriage, in which her husband expects her to come home and cook and clean for him.

We meet Nick, the son of artists, who wears an earring and a ponytail, who must try to convince a woman that there is still a reason to live after having contracted AIDS from her husband.

Then there is Garrison, the son of a famous psychiatrist, whose female patient, a dermatologist, complains of having panic attacks at the sight of skin, and then announces that she and her therapist are in love and that she is carrying their baby. Her swelling belly and starry eyes say so, but Garrison swears it's impossible.

Finally, there is Wayne, an academic nerd accepted for an internship primarily on his research skills. His first patient is a statuesque, raven-haired, traffic-stopping beauty who wants to drop out of college, where she has become aimless and depressed, and become a call girl. Wayne, who has fallen in love with his patient, has to first get a grip on himself, and then help her to reveal the devastating secret from her past that has been haunting her. This was my favorite part of the book.

Crazy All The Time is fast-paced, fascinating reading designed for a lay audience. I highly recommend it for anyone interested in medical subjects or simply human drama.



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6 comments:

Sherry Blue Sky said...

Sounds like my kind of book, kiddo. Thanks.

hedgewitch said...

It scares me that this is drawn from real life. Yeesh. Great review, Shay.

Mama Zen said...

This sounds awesome!

Shawna said...

Nice:

"a dermatologist, complains of having panic attacks at the sight of skin, and then announces that she and her therapist are in love and that she is carrying their baby"

This certainly sounds like an entertaining book!

Margaret said...

It doesn't get crazier than real life. My husband has a ton of interesting stories from the hospital. I think I'll enjoy this. I'll look for it at the library

Marion said...

Sounds like a fascinating read. My husband worked for 6 years on a psych ward. I think the crazies were running the crazy shop. :-) Thanks for the book recommendation. (Have you read "The History of Love" by Nicole Krauss? It's an amazing read, pure poetry. I highly recommend it.) xo