Saturday, April 14, 2007

Inside Out by Terry Trueman

Inside Out by Terry Trueman.

I was really moved by this book. I found myself drawn to the characters immediately. It was amazing to me the depth of character development that Trueman created in such a short book. I felt I got a true sense of what a person with schizophrenia goes through…I thought Zach’s character was extremely well done. I really liked the technique Trueman uses in the beginning of each chapter to interweave excerpts from Zach's psychiatric records into the novel. The first person account of the robbery really gives the reader an insight into Zach’s problems. But being the eternal optimist that I am, I thought that since Zach was able to cope and keep Dirtbag and Rat at bay he was getting better and this episode was going to help him prove to himself that he could learn how to deal with his illness. I was crushed when we learn that he committed suicide. Didn’t see that coming.

I loved the empathy that Alan has for Zach. Again, I think Trueman very quickly, in a minimalist way, creates a situation in the novel that really evokes emotion from the reader. I end up really feeling for these two robbers. One of my favorite passages is when one of the older women calls them punks, and says they deserve what happens to them. Her friend responds, with a touch of her friend’s arm, “Ethel, please. They’re just boys whose mother is ill….” And I love Alan for being so kind and understanding of Alan! Again, I know those rose-colored glasses are on but I don’t want them to go to jail either. In the real world would this be wrapped up so nicely? Probably not, but I was happy that Dr. Curt agreed to help them.

Lastly, I felt that because this was such a short book, and a quick read, it would have appeal to reluctant readers. Anxious to hear what you all thought.