The result is both smutty and pretentious. Unhappy men are all alike. They are to tour New York before Freud delivers a lecture series at Clark University that promises to revolutionize modern thought. Meeting the boat are the real-life psychiatrist Abraham Brill and an invented character, the ambitious young psychoanalyst Stratham Younger.
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So credit Mr. Rubenfeld with a smart, jocular approach to an elaborate undertaking. His will be no ordinary pop-cultural sensation. No one will take it seriously. But these are Mr. The scholarship came first. Then came a breathless murder plot in which all these elements are busily incorporated. And then, as icing on the cake, came the icing and cart-horse-type locutions, which can play shamelessly with psychoanalytical constructs.
In a prologue Mr. What it can do is imagine a pre-Worcester, New York City interlude during which the city is in the grip of Freudian intrigue. Rubenfeld must contend with his own warring impulses along with those of his characters.
On the other, his eagerness for formulaic success leads him to churn up kinks, twists and action sequences until the book is crammed with them. Rubenfeld pastes it together. Stratham Younger. Despite Mr. The best of this book makes similarly teasing use of Freudian tenets. For instance he can comfortably send up the Holmesian deductive fastidiousness with which the new doctrines are sometimes applied.
Rubenfeld engages both Younger and Jung in Oedipal maneuvers with the maestro. In the latter case he deploys real ammunition on both sides of the conflict.
He does this at the risk of making the gaggle of psychiatric giants sound like characters from a Woody Allen humor essay. That excitement is as palpable as it is peculiar. In a book that pays too much homage to contemporary suspense templates, there are still deep reserves of insight, data, wit and anecdote upon which the author ingeniously draws.
And there is an interesting contemplation of psychoanalysis, from its initial impact to its lasting legacy. Home Page World U.
Search: Title Author Article. Rate this book. Yet Nora Acton, suffering from hysteria, can recall nothing of her attack. Asked to help her, Dr. As Freud fends off a mysterious conspiracy to destroy him, Younger is drawn into an equally thrilling adventure that takes him deep into the subterfuges of the human mind. Richly satisfying, elegantly crafted, The Interpretation of Murder marks the debut of a brilliant, spectacularly entertaining new storyteller. There is no mystery to happiness.
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Sep 05, Minutes Buy. Among those waiting to greet him is Dr. Yet, suffering from hysteria, Miss Acton cannot remember the terrifying incident or her attacker. Asked to consult on the case, Dr. The Interpretation of Murder is an intricately plotted, elegantly wrought entertainment filled with delicious surprises, subtle sleights of hand, and fascinating ideas. Currently the Robert R. As a Princeton undergraduate, he wrote his senior thesis on Freud.
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This first novel by legal academic Jed Rubenfeld represents an act of will on the part of its author. Rubenfeld, a professor of constitutional and criminal law at Yale, has written non-fiction books on his specialist subjects, which sold "about six copies". He hankered for book sales that at least crept into double figures, and decided to take the route that brought Umberto Eco such phenomenal success: a "popular" historical thriller, with ideas freighted into the assiduously researched detail. Certainly, Rubenfeld shows real acumen in the choice of the acorn from which his novel grew. In , Sigmund Freud arrived by steamship in New York.
A New York Murder Mystery With Freud at the Center
Jed Rubenfeld is a modern-day Renaissance man. A professor of law at Yale University who has also taught at Stanford and Duke, he is an expert on constitutional law, privacy and the First Amendment. He studied theatre and Shakespeare at Julliard and wrote a thesis on Sigmund Freud during his senior undergraduate year at Princeton. He is also the author of six books, two of which are novels.