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Blake's Therapy by Ariel Dorfman
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Balancing Accounts James L. Cambias
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Petri Parousia by Matthew Hughes
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Blake's Therapy: 01/18/08

Blake's Therapy

Blake's Therapy is another book I've completed for the Jewish Literature Challenge. It was also the very last book I read in 2007, bringing last year's total of books read to 411. I have never managed to read this many before in the 20 years I've been keeping track of my reading.

Although Blake's Therapy is a short book it is one that needs pondering over. It is difficult to discern reality and truth among the conflicting narrative voices. The book opens with a lecture from an unnamed therapist who proclaims that we are here to help Graham Blake. What follows is what appears to be the therapy where Blake, a CEO of a huge multinational company is at the verge of a breakdown and must learn to weigh his power over the personal comfort and freedom of his employees. From there things get sketchy: are the people Blake is interacting with real or just actors? Has his therapy ended by the close of the book? The last chapter is a report from our unnamed therapist to Blake's ex-wife but the details here are still fuzzy.

If you enjoy clear cut plots and well defined characters, Blake's Therapy isn't for you. If however you like to be challenged and enjoy stories with multiple realities, then I recommend Blake's Therapy to you. In terms of tone and general themes, the novel reminds me of the Argentine film Hombre mirando al sudeste (1986). If you haven't seen the film, then I recommend a weekend combo of watching the film and reading this book.

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