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Objects of Our Desire: Exploring Our Intimate Connections with the Things Around Us Hardcover – August 2, 2005

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Akhtar, a poet and professor of psychiatry, has produced a tedious and disjointed analysis of things and our relationship to them in his 37th book. If "things" seems like an overly general topic, that's because it is, and while Akhtar tries to break the book into subtopics of things ("everything," "something" and "nothing"), this effort does little to clarify for the reader what the author would like to express. Akhtar frequently resorts to obvious, uninspired lists of things, such as "items left on subway trains" and items that people collect, from "A to almost Z." He jumps from "nostalgic things" to "sexy things" (with an explicit description of an adolescent boy's desire for his teacher that seems absurdly out of place) to "becoming a thing," describing in detail our bodies' possible fates once we die. The analysis starts to disintegrate when Akhtar says asking a child to give up some of his or her toys is "one less recognized type of 'child abuse,' " and continues its downward trajectory to the book's end, when the author offers an Indian parable that does little to explain his intentions for his explorations into such a broad subject.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Let others collect stamps or matchbook covers. Akhtar will collect collectors. Laying out his specimens with great care, this distinguished psychiatrist probes the diverse reasons one woman collects Dalmatians, one man collects fruit stickers, and one couple collects turtles. In this foray into the psychology of acquisition, Akhtar helps us understand how humans assuage their nostalgia, pacify a craving for the beautiful, or stimulate their libido by acquiring things. He shows how some acts of acquisition help bind communities together in shared appreciation, while others--such as those involving pornographers--threaten our sense of mutual respect. And although the hybrid objects born of cultural change can embody maturity and understanding, they can provoke insecure fundamentalists to rage and violence. And among the world's displaced refugees, Akhtar diagnoses a pain caused not as much by confrontation with unfamiliar objects as by loss of cherished ones. A subtle and multifaceted study. Bryce Christensen
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Harmony (August 2, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1400054443
  • ISBN-13: 978-1400054442
  • Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 1 x 7.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,039,932 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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This is a nostalgic reminiscence from a prolific and multifaceted M.D. who is a full professor of Psychiatry and a Psychoanalyst.
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