on 24 May 2013
Firstly I must direct you to Josephs website After Psychology on which he posts blog material that is an excellent precursor to reading any of his powerful yet understated works. You will be able to much better appreciate the source of his understanding and empathy in writing this challenging, somewhat shocking reworking of a classic fairytale.
Joseph has re-written this story in such a way to highlight the effect of an emotionally toxic and undernourished childhood and home life. The fact that we all know the story so well makes for effective juxtaposition and as such is even more alerting. Joseph is a experienced therapist in the psycho-dynamic psychotherapy field and has the experience and understanding to present the challenging and shocking aspects of this story with proper reasoning and structure, rather than for the sake of inclusion for illustrative or dramatic purpose.
I would highly recommend that a prospective reader check out his blogs and sample his other material to confirm the safety of the hands they are in. All three of his books are excellent companions to each other. He is very adept at dealing with the most toxic and dangerous aspects of our psyche and personalities and I would suggest reading my review of his book "Why do I do that?" for further information on this.
This version of the story is graphic, challenging and painful because Joseph has displayed a further string to his bow in that he is also a very adept storyteller. The imagery and language used is effective and emotive, and it does well to pay kind and objective observation to our own reactions, rather than to put up defence to the nature of some of the subject matter. We can learn a lot from our reaction to (and perception of) the scenarios that arise. It is to this end that I think readers would benefit from and learn the mechanics of the story by visiting Mr Burgos other material.
We can all find something here that rings of truth in our lives, frightening though that may seem, in embracing it we are brought closer to the story and characters. Those unsure of, or struggling to appreciate, how narcissism works in a family or relationship will find enlightening material here. Sibling rivalry, sexual oppression, greed, aspiration, jealousy, personality disorder, personification and favouritism and many other psychological phenomena all creep in to what is a very real, grounded and lifelike re-telling. Reading again brings a 3 dimensional understanding of the characters involved and I feel that is a very telling attribute of the quality of this work. The fact that it can stand reappraisal under those conditions is a virtue of the writers real appreciation for the inner mechanics of the architecture that exists between the characters. I highly recommend this book, for those ready to read it, those who feel a need to read it, and for those curious, as it will stimulate a response that I hope will drive them to seek further understanding. Be mindful of your reactions for they will be as much to your perception of the material, as to the actual content itself.