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At The Davies: A Novel of Medical Life

Review by J.A. Hitchcock

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At The Davies
Format: Paperback
Author: Raghu N. Mitra
Retail Price: 17.94 ($8.00 eBook)
Pages: 329
Publisher: Xlibris
Grade: B

This is the first time I’ve read or reviewed a book published by the web site Xlibris. I got the real book, an oversized softcover, and it was surprisingly well put together. It looks like any other book you’d buy at your local bookstore.

The premise of the book intrigued me, which is why I got it. And when I read it, I knew I was right - this is very similar to ONE FLEW OVER THE CUCKOO’S NEST, except from the doctor’s point of view instead of the patient’s.

The doctor, Dr. Martin (no first name anywhere in the book that I could find - he was always called Martin or Dr. Martin) is a psychiatrist hired to work at the Davies, a mental institution in New York state.

What follows is his memories of working there, from when he was hired to when he leaves. Every patient recalled in his memories are memorable indeed - I could picture Jack Nicholson playing one of them right off the bat. Some were sad stories, others were pretty, some downright scary, then there were a couple that thought they were either aliens or otherworldly beings.

This was an in-depth behind the scenes look at a loony bin of the first order, not only the patients, but the staff, local police, Dr. Martin’s personal life and the mysterious woman he is madly in love with, but cannot figure out why she won’t love him back.

I would have given this book an A, but there were many grammatical and spelling errors and some words left out, making sentences incomplete. I think this would be my one big problem with a “publisher” such as Xlibris. I don’t think they really edit an author’s work very well and seem to depend on the author to edit it themselves.

Otherwise, this is an intriguing book and a fascinating look at what a mental institution looks like from the inside.

J.A. Hitchcock is the author of seven books and freelances for several publications, including Cinescape, Naval History, Link-UP, and LAPTOP. Her seventh book, NET CRIMES & MISDEMEANORS, was published in August 2002.

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