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The Madman's Tale
The Madman's Tale
Author: John Katzenbach
It's been twenty years since Western State Hospital was closed down and the last of its inmates reintegrated into society. Francis Petrel was barely out of his teens when his family committed him to the asylum, after his erratic behavior culminated in a terrifying outburst. Now middle-aged, he leads an aimless, solitary life housed in a cheap ap...  more »
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ISBN-13: 9780345464828
ISBN-10: 0345464826
Publication Date: 2004
Pages: 576
Rating:
  • Currently 3.7/5 Stars.
 69

3.7 stars, based on 69 ratings
Publisher: Fawcett
Book Type: Paperback
Reviews: Member | Amazon | Write a Review

Top Member Book Reviews

horizontallies avatar reviewed The Madman's Tale on + 16 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
What a fabulous thriller! it had me from beginning to end, i couldn't put it down. The character development is great. Would highly recommend to anyone who likes this genre.
spartacusaby avatar reviewed The Madman's Tale on + 81 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
Many books are hyped as something entirely new in the mystery genre; this book is exactly that.

Set in a mental hospital in the 1970's, the primary plot line concerns the murder of a young nurse-trainee, and the repercussions of that time on one of the patients many years later. Seeing the events through the eyes of a schizophrenic is both eerie and compelling. The portrayal of life for patients in a mental hospital in that time period is painfully accurate and disturbing, their treatment basically a program of constantly adjusted medication cocktails and farcical group therapy sessions. The reader grows to know and sincerely care about the characters of several patients; the characters of the doctors are far less sympathetic.

The book succeeds on many levels: as compelling character study, genuinely puzzling mystery, page-turning thriller, and portrayal of fairly recent history. It's also occasionally reminiscent of "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest," but with less black humor and more edge-of-seat drama. If you're in the mood for a very different puzzler, give this book a try!
reviewed The Madman's Tale on + 8 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
a crime is revisited through a mentally ill mans memories.
ilovedale3 avatar reviewed The Madman's Tale on + 524 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Really good mystery. When a nurse is found murdered in a mental hospital, the patients are the perfect scapegoat. Great characters too!
reviewed The Madman's Tale on
Helpful Score: 1
Excellent. I worked in a psych center for 10 years and this book nails it.
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Phantene avatar reviewed The Madman's Tale on + 72 more book reviews
An enjoyable read full of interesting characters and an intriguing plot.


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