3.4 stars, after debating whether to rate this book on the basis of what the author intended to do versus what she managed to execute, finally rating it based on what was actually on the page & the amount of enjoyment I got from reading it. Admittedly, I likely have a different take on this novel given that it’s about a psychiatrist with Capgras’ syndrome. I think this set up for the story peaked my interest, yet it was less exotic than it would be for readers who are not psychiatrists. I have interviewed many a psychotic patient, including a couple who had variations on Capgras’ syndrome, and I think it’s a great inspiration for a novel. However, it really never got much beyond the inspration point. In interviewing patients with intractable psychosis, one thing I have personally found is that listening to psychotic people talk about their delusions form the first person point of view almost inevitably becomes repetitive and frustrating, no matter how bizarre the delusions. Seriously and dramatically psychotic people are stuck in an internally consistent thought loop that only they care about or understand, and there is no give or take, no conversation, no moving the dialogue forward. After the first couple of times, the themes become familiar. So, maybe if you don’t deal with patients like that a lot, the continuous delusional ramblings of the protagonist would remain intriguing or incredible. Instead, I just kept waiting for something to *happen* instead of having to be subjected to the ongoing blathering of the main character as he becomes more entrenched in his bizarre belief system.
The thing is, there were a lot of great questions and philosophical quandries and the writing was strong and I really do appreciate the concept. I just wish it had been either built into a real story, in the more traditional sense, or at least become more quirky and entertaining, like I found Amelia Gray’s Threats.