BookBrowse Reviews Human Traces by Sebastian Faulks

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Human Traces

A Novel

by Sebastian Faulks

Human Traces
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  • First Published:
    Sep 2006, 576 pages
    Aug 2006, 618 pages

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An extraordinary novel that brings to vivid life the epic quest to map the human mind. Historical Fiction

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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