Review of The Idiot – I Was A Lunatic From A Geordie Grangetown by David Poulter

Many psychiatrists and psychologists have written books on what it is like to suffer from paranoid schizophrenia, offering their wisdom and social commentary of the effects the disease on those unfortunate enough to have it.
The thing is though, wouldn’t it be better for someone who has been living with the disease a long time to tell the story from their point of view rather than just listen to someone who has read about the disease do it? David Poulter’s The Idiot – I was a Lunatic From A Geordie Grangetown is that story.
The Idiot is an autobiographical memoir that charts the growing up and adult life of a man who has voices in his head but a will to continue to live his life no matter what is thrown at him.
From his roots in the North-East of England, Poulter charts a story of despair, triumph, loss, discovery and a determination to not let the problems and pitfalls of life bring him down, even though he suffers a lot to bring him down.
For a story with so much trauma and depressive states of mind, you would be forgiven for thinking that this book could be one to avoid unless you like to read something that is the written equivalent of Eastenders, full of doom and gloom. The book actually manages to maintain an uplifting overtone throughout the bad times as Poulter takes the read from England, to Wales, to Ireland and on to Taiwan, through careers working with the soil and becoming an English teacher out in Taiwan.
Through all of these changes of location, the constant in his life is the voices in his head, voices that are both good and bad. The way this internal menace is dealt with exudes strength of character that is not often put across in depictions of people with paranoid schizophrenia, and acts as a very good example of how whatever life throws at you, there are always ways to cope and deal with it.
The book reads with ease, and at only 118 pages isn’t a marathon run of repeated prose and unnecessary padding. It tells the story that is has to tell in a succinct yet in depth way without resorting to being patronising, languid or getting bogged down in wallowing self-pity which it so easily could have.
Certainly a book worth reading, whether you have an interest in how someone with schizophrenia manages to live their life as normally as possible, or whether you’re just looking for a book that will draw you in for a few hours. Definitely one I would recommend. Reviewer: Anthony Lund Allbooks Review Int http://www.allbooksreviewint.com

Title – The Idiot – I Was A Lunatic From A Geordie Grangetown
Author – David Poulter
Publisher – Chipmunkapublishing
ISBN : 978-18499-12105
Price : £10.00
For more info: http://chipmunkapublishing.co.uk/shop/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=2&products_id=1644
Jan2012

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