Conservative psychiatrist Dr Cipriano works on a ward in contemporary England where Professor Hawthorn will do anything to further his own career. Paranoia is rampant on the ward. Desperately needing a break, at a health farm Dr Cipriano begins a relationship with an ex-patient’s partner. Suspicious deaths follow on the ward, and Dr Cipriano’s brother is murdered in Cyprus, but then appears in England. Dr Cipriano ends up sectioned on the ward and takes part in Hawthorn’s specially devised televised group therapy. Dr Cipriano’s Cell confronts the binary approaches to pathology concerning the sane and insane, exploding the obsession with power and control which often dominates psychiatric discourse and practice. A Gothic comedy, with powerful psychological insight, Dr Cipriano’s Cell plunges the depths and corridors of the psychiatric system in true Kafkaesque style.
See The Journal of Psychiatric and Mental Health Nursing
What is normal? This is certainly a key question of our era, and Dr Cipriano`s Cell examines this in detail. Part crime novel, part literary fiction, part comedy, and substantially a test for the reader and its characters concerning what we believe to be our boundaries, the originality of this book makes it stand out. I found the narrative fast flowing and the structure tight. The psychological insight was profound and comprehensive taking us inside the head of the title character. This would work well as a film and wouldn’t need much stripping down. Think of Will Self and Ken Kesey crossed with Kafka, and you will be getting close to the style and content. And don`t forget R.D. Laing. But the originality is situated in its contemporary veracity, and the way it reveals ego and paranoia, often led by the media, can eat away our very souls. Dr Cipriano is an ordinary psychiatrist in an extraordinary world. Part philosophy part faction, this novel moves fiction into darker and deeper waters. Read this masterful account, enjoy and be entertained beyond the norm. Who do you really trust? What are we? Who should be locked up? Who is sane or insane? When the system fails to work who is responsible? My only problem is this novel could be longer but to cover all this in such space is an achievement.
Amazon review by RG.