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The Fantasy Bond Hardcover – 1 Dec 1985
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This book is, without exaggeration, changing my life. I am in therapy, and bringing insights from this book into my sessions helped IMMENSELY. My therapist often comments that I have a grasp on insights that take others many years to get to, and this book has been central in this. I've begun to recognize my childhood issues, reasons for my relationship patterns, and in general the core issues that have kept me depressed for as long as I have been alive.
I have to say, though, that it took me FIVE YEARS to be able to even begin understanding this book. It's not a self-help book and it is not an easy read. There is absolutely zero sugar-coating of anything -- just straight concepts and pure insight. But once I was ready, boy did it just ring every bell out there! It's honestly helping me get right to the core of my neuroses -- and with the help of my therapist, to actually work on them rather than trying to stumble onto them through trial and error.
It takes WORK -- I have to read the book in small bites, then type out some of the more important passages and journal about them. But it's worth it. I've read probably over a 100 self-help and psychology books, most of which made me think a bit and maybe gain some insight, but not much more. Now I have read one that's actually HELPING ME CHANGE.
But I have two gripes with it, and they're both editing issues.
First, is the author's inconsistent use of the first person. Sometimes he says "I", other times he says "the author". The second one is really awkward. I know that sometimes in school we are taught not to use the first person when writing about scientific topics. What those teachers are really saying is that when you are writing about corrosion resistance or viral replication, don't bring yourself into it. But if, for whatever reason, you do have to mention yourself in your writing, use the first person. That's what it's there for.
The use of the first person was absolutely called for in this book. It typically is in psychology writing, especially when the author has done clinical work. He just needs to cut out all this "the author" nonsense.
My second gripe is the author's use of the block quote format when not actually quoting someone. He'll talk about a particular case with a patient, and use that smaller font and double indent. Any other writer would have just used a section break, if even that. When there's no massive interruption in the flow of the writing, don't act like there is. That just confuses the reader.
I mention these two gripes because they they stood out and distracted my attention every single time they happened. A properly edited book should not make the reader constantly aware of writing quirks. It's distracting and makes the book awkward to read.
It still gets 5 stars. It's nothing short of life-changing, and you should read it. I'm obsessing over these issues partially as a tribute, to highlight the fact that I have nothing else bad to say about this book. But I also really, really would like these issues taken care of in a future edition. I really believe this book could become a timeless classic if this stuff gets taken care of.
As long as I'm playing backseat editor, the last two chapters should probably be moved to an appendix.
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