Island of the Mad

Author(s): Laurie Sheck
Original Publish Date: Nov 21, 2016
Product Number: EB00673452
Released: Nov 21, 2016
Business Term: Purchase
ISBN: #9781619028654
Publisher: Counterpoint Press
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The acclaimed author of A Monster's Notes delivers a novel that's "compelling, mysterious and hard to shake . . . utterly one of a kind" (Junot Diaz). Following on the heels of her exciting and widely praised A Monster's Notes, and with Sheck's characteristic brilliance of language, Island of the Mad follows the solitary, hunchbacked Ambrose A., as he sets out on a mysterious journey to Venice in search of a lost notebook he knows almost nothing about. Eventually he arrives in San Servolo, the Island of the Mad, in the Venetian Lagoon, only a few minutes boat-ride from Venice. At the island's old, abandoned hospital which has been turned into a conference center, he discovers a mess of papers in a drawer, and among them the correspondence and notes of two of the island's former inhabitants-a woman with a rare genetic illness which causes the afflicted to gradually become unable to sleep until, increasingly hallucinatory and feverish, they essentially die of sleeplessness; and her friend, a man who experiences epileptic seizures. As the sleepless woman's eyesight fails, she wants only one thing-that her friend read to her from Dostoevsky's great novel, The Idiot, a book she loves but can no longer read herself. As Ambrose follows their strange tale, everything he has ever known or thought is called into question. "If there is one thing to take away from the powerful collage of allusions, imagery, and lyricism in Laurie Sheck's Island of the Mad, it is the fundamental importance of human connection . . . [a] warm and lyrical narrative." -Los Angeles Review of Books

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