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Gotham Chronicles: The Culture of Sociopathy Hardcover – January 16, 2011


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers (January 16, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1442208171
  • ISBN-13: 978-1442208179
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1.1 x 9.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 2.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,013,987 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

Gotham Chronicles is a stunningly original, soaring achievement. In a poetic narration, Dr. Karasu forces us to confront what is plaguing our nation. This is an audaciously groundbreaking masterpiece—a haunting biography of America. (Chopra, Deepak)

It's a slippery slope from narcissism to sociopathy, as T. Byram Karasu shows deftly in his new, completely captivating story that transcends genre. If ever there was a book that you just couldn't put down, this is it. A mirror to culture, with a central character that you come to love like a daughter gone bad. I felt oddly voyeuristic reading this story filled with characters hollowed out by money and power and acting out in empty, aggressive sex. (Thomas Moore)

Gotham Chronicles is a profound, moving exploration of the life of a traumatized, deeply troubled young woman suffering from severely disturbed self-experiences and her problematic relations with significant others. The portrait of Mallory, the heroine of this novel, emerges gradually, viewed from both her inner experiences and from the empty, self-indulging and hostile psychosocial environment within which she tries to survive. With an apparently cool and detached, at times ironic, but, au fond, deeply concerned and empathic approach T. Byram Karasu analyzes the dialectic relationship between a severe personality disorder and a harsh and corrupt culture. This compassionate narrative permits the reader to identify fully with the confusion and suffering of a woman with a fragmented mental life, in the context of a cultural environment with significant deterioration and loss of ethical values. (Otto F. Kernberg, M.D.)

In an era where Enron, Bernie Madoff, and the Wall Street collapse make headlines, there can be little doubt that the culture of narcissism has undergone an evolutionary transformation into the culture of sociopathy. In this gripping new novel, Byram Karasu examines this phenomenon from the inside out, penetrating into the psyches of an assortment of New York characters on the make. The result is chilling and absorbing. (Dr. Glen O. Gabbard)

About the Author

T. Byram Karasu, M.D., a graduate of the Yale School of Medicine, Department of Psychiatry, is presently the Silverman Professor and University Chairman of the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Albert Einstein College of Medicine/Montefiore Medical Center, and the editor-in-chief of the American Journal of Psychotherapy. He is the author or editor of 20 books, including two novels, Of God and Madness and The Gotham Chronicles--The Culture of Sociopathy; a book of poetry, Rags of My Soul; the seminal work, Treatments of Psychiatric Disorders; and two best sellers, The Art of Serenity and The Spirit of Happiness. Dr. Karasu is a scholar, renowned clinician, teacher and lecturer, and the recipient of numerous awards. He lives in New York City.

More About the Author

T. Byram Karasu, M.D., a graduate of the Yale School of Medicine, Department of Psychiatry, is presently the Silverman Professor and University Chairman of the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Albert Einstein College of Medicine/Montefiore Medical Center, and the editor-in-chief of the American Journal of Psychotherapy. He is the author or editor of 20 books, including two novels, Of God and Madness and The Gotham Chronicles--The Culture of Sociopathy; a book of poetry, Rags of My Soul; the seminal work, Treatments of Psychiatric Disorders; and two best sellers, The Art of Serenity and The Spirit of Happiness. Dr. Karasu is a scholar, renowned clinician, teacher and lecturer, and the recipient of numerous awards. He lives in New York City.

Customer Reviews

2.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By sig le chien on October 11, 2012
Format: Hardcover
One purchases this book knowing that Dr. Karasu is an eminent psychiatrist and psychotherapist and that he has produced a novel bearing a subtitle - The Culture of Sociopathy - that leads one to believe the story will be informed by the perspective of an experienced clinician. The term used here, "sociopathy", is loosely interchangeable elsewhere with "psychopathy" or "antisocial personality" and refers to individuals who lack remorse or guilt, have shallow emotions, lack empathy, and violate the rights of others in order to achieve their own goals.
The book is dedicated to Christopher Lasch, the historian who published The Culture of Narcicissm in 1979 and "who anticipated the culture of sociopathy". We are prepared therefore for a dystopian take on current affairs: "There was no genuine love, there was no genuine hate, there were only genuine interests - interest in money, success, sex, and power. At the dawn of the second millennium, these excesses and unchecked exaltation of selves were celebrated by all the social, legal, political and financial cuddlings. "
A large cast of characters is introduced from amongst the various "cuddlings" in Manhattan. The characters constitute a rather bewildering array and interact with each other without empathy or deep connection, and therefore fail to induce any sense of empathy in the reader. Although the shallowness of their lives is surely a central theme of the book, it is difficult to develop much interest in the long lists of reprehensible behaviors, or to pause for reflection on hypotheses concerning the formation of such monsters. The characters are simply presented as active but unknowing participants in the sociopathic grind.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Angela Grosso on August 2, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Byram Karasu's insights and his character studies are intriguing. Drawing from years of professional and praiseworthy experience delving into the recesses of the human psyche, Dr. Karasu manages to draw in both the young and the more seasoned reader. One need only do a quick search of his credentials to be infected with the desire to read a novel written by a true renaissance man. You will not be disappointed.
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful By K. masters on March 21, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a heart rending account of how a culture of greed abused, abandoned,killed, and robbed a young woman of everything even her name.. As a last degredation, her former teacher stole her novel and claimed it for himself. It is the tale of mono delusional 22 year old NYU graduate, marijuana supplier, and massage therapist who is converted into a prostitute by her rich male clients and envied by their wives, perhaps even sexually. Every act of kindness she performs is abused until she observes that her 'tits are bleeding' and no one in the end cares, so she ends up decompsed in a trashcan.
It has echos of Fizgerald's Gatsby, when the narrator describes Daisy running over and killing the wife of a gas station attendant who has bed seduced by her boyfriend,Tom, and Gastby gets killed for it. " They were careless people, Tom and Daisy ­ they smashed up things and creatures and then retreated back into their money or their vast carelessness, or whatever it was that kept them together, and let other people clean up the mess they had made"
and as a Hemingway epitah on those who try to be decent: The world breaks everyone and afterward many are strong in the broken places. But those that will not break it kills. It kills the very good and the very gentle and the very brave impartially. If you are none of these you can be sure it will kill you too but there will be no special hurry.
Ernest Hemingway, A Farewell to Arms, 1929
US author & journalist (1899 - 1961)
The tension, particularly sexual is often almost unberable . It is worth reading and discussing
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1 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Pat on May 5, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is simply about terrible people. There are only a few decent people in the book and most of them die. It doesn't seem to have much of a point besides "terrible people exist". Judging by the subtitle I assume the author was attempting to convey that sociopaths are taking over modern culture. The book's clumsy narrative seems to only say there are bad people and not much else. It did get slightly interesting in the last few chapters and then the novel abruptly ends. I would not recommend this novel.
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0 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Dr A VINE VOICE on April 22, 2011
Format: Hardcover
A thin stream of this narrative does not quite carry a clumsy boat of author's message - the modern world gone to sociopathic dogs. It is a bitter rant of an old man: in my time people had values, the young had respect, sugar was sweeter, and the holes in cheese were much smaller.

Superficial, angry, and quite unsatisfying!
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