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Mount Misery Paperback – July 1, 2003
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Shem (the pseudonym of psychiatrist and playwright Dr. Stephen Bergman) delights in broad parody. He creates, for example, characters such as Dr. Heiler who gives lectures entitled "Borderline Germans and German Borderlines," or Dr. A. K. Lowell, whose devotion to Freudian analysis is so extreme that she refuses to speak to patients at all. Though the humor can be clumsy at times, Shem makes some serious points about the perils of psychotherapy in which the therapist is not above reproach. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
From School Library Journal
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
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Top Customer Reviews
... we hit page 439 and it's like Shem (the pseudonym of author-psychiatrist Stephen Bergman) switched personalities, or another author took over the writing. No more Joseph Heller-style social parody, no more witty insights into psychiatric destructiveness masquerading as treatment (such as the keen observations on psychoanalytic use of silence as a weapon). Basch's epiphany consists of a trite, 12-steppish philosophy that eschews formal theory in favor of being in the present ("breathe," his mentor repeatedly tells him) and connecting with others' suffering. Hardly new concepts, these form the backbone of many theories of psychological treatment. And I would vehemently argue with Shem's simplistic claim that the only purpose of psychiatric theory is to create distance between "expert" and patient; for just one contemporary example of a psychiatrist's use of theory to inform humane treatment (of severely traumatized children, in this case), check out Bruce Perry's The Boy Who Was Raised as a Dog: And Other Stories from a Child Psychiatrist's Notebook Child Psychiatrist's Notebook--What Traumatized Children Can Teach Us About Loss, Love, and Healing.Read more ›
~ ~ As an MD who spent lots of time in 3rd and 4th year doing clerkships studying Psychiatry, at about the time this novel takes place, I have to admit it is an entertaining and frighteningly accurate illustration of the confusion that reigned in most Psychiatry training programs in the 70's and 80's.
~ ~Readers of "House of God" will enjoy this semi-autobiographical story. It is continuation of the story of the young doctor who spent a disillusioning year in a medical Internship in a prominent Boston training hospital, took a year off, and decided to leave the physical Medicine for Psychiatry.
~ ~Friends who have worked "M. Hospital" the prominent mental hospital (outside Boston), that Mount Misery is clearly modeled after, tell me that the characters in the book are also very thinly disguised versions of real life prominent Doctors in the training program.
~ ~It's not necessary to have much medical knowledge to enjoy the cutting humor of the book. The story will probably be more entertaining, the more knowledge you have of the field of Psychology. Be prepared though, this book isn't one you want to read to give you confidence in your Psychiatrist!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Mount Misery by Samuel Shem- pseudonym for Dr. Stephen Bergman - (Sequel to House of God)
Dr. Read more
The last half of the book is extremely disappointing. It's as if he ran out of material and left us to read through his first draft of nonsense.Published 1 month ago by lauren herzog
This book is a Catch-22 type of satire. The author is training to be a psychiatrist and he begins by thinking he can ride through his internship smoothly; however, he comes to... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Amazon Customer
Unless you are a mental health care worker, I don't think you care for this story.Published 3 months ago by Amazon Customer
This is a gift for my brother so I can't attest to the story. He requested this book.Published 5 months ago by T. Shiurba
I first read it as a psych resident and now that I am an attending hand it to residents, students and staff
This still describes particular angst and Sturm and Drang of being... Read more
Verrrry interesting. If you want to know what it's like to be a psych dr. in the late 20th century, read this. Shem is a great author, easy to read and understand.Published 14 months ago by Molly A. Block