From the book jacket: What is it to be human? This question, as in
Birdsong, is at the heart of Human Traces. Set in the late 19th and
early 20th centuries, this is an extraordinary novel that brings to vivid life,
through the story of the volatile friendship and dedicated careers of two
determined men, the epic quest to map the human mind.
Comment: Faulks's latest novel, a 550 page epic that took him four years to write, is not so much a novel about the dawn of modern psychiatry, as a history of psychiatry wrapped around a novel. It's an incredibly ambitious, intelligent work, sufficiently well researched that I wouldn't be surprised if it becomes required reading for medical students. In fact, the grasp that Faulks has for his material is sometimes quite overwhelming, to the point that I must admit to skipping the occasional page here and there ...
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