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The Surgeon's Mate: A Dismemoir by [Clark, Alan M.]
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The Surgeon's Mate: A Dismemoir Kindle Edition

5.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Length: 244 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1610 KB
  • Print Length: 244 pages
  • Publisher: IFD Publishing (19 Feb. 2016)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B01BZMANTO
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Screen Reader: Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,017,364 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Format: Kindle Edition
The Surgeon's Mate is a crazy, genre bending novel that doesn't disappoint. Clark takes the reader on a journey that's part autobiography, part historical fiction, part horror. Having read some of Clark's books before, one thing that stands out throughout them is the deep compassion that he has for his characters, and The Surgeon's Mate is no exception. There is no point in the novel that the reader doesn't understand the motives of the characters, and Clark's portrayal of family life, loss, and alcoholism are honest.
The story follows the lives of Aiden, a writer and illustrator, and Frederick, a nineteenth century Surgeon's mate and genuine psychopath, and how the lives of these two people become entwined.
I really enjoyed The Surgeon's Mate , and I can't recommend it highly enough, especially if you're a fan of horror, and/or historical fiction. This book is incredibly well written and the tension that builds between Frederick and Aiden as the story reaches a frantic climax makes the book impossible to put down.
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Format: Paperback
I was given this book as an introduction to Alan M Clark's work, started it out of curiosity and ended up being unable to stop reading. It's a fascinating piece of fiction which isn't all exactly fiction, a book which leaves you re-reading it to ponder on what was real and what wasn't. Two narratives which really shouldn't fit together are skillfully developed and then interwoven; two flawed men, one heading for a sort of redemption and one losing any chance of it. An unusual book which amply repays time spent with it.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta) (May include reviews from Early Reviewer Rewards Program)

Amazon.com: 4.9 out of 5 stars 11 reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Rich and Compelling Story of Art and Murder 6 Mar. 2016
By E.P. Clark - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
"The Surgeon's Mate" is a genre-bending book in the vein of...well, I'm not sure, actually, but the closest example I can come up are Peter Hoeg's books like "Borderliners" or "The History of Danish Dreams." Like them, "The Surgeon's Mate" combines history, fiction, autobiography, and a bizarre dash of surrealism and magic. Taken together, the mixture creates a rich and thought-provoking stew that is well worth sampling.

The book alternates between the narratives of Aiden Clark, illustrator and writer in contemporary America, and Frederick, a surgeon's mate and serial killer in Victorian London. Aiden experiences seizures that cause him to hallucinate that he is Frederick, although he doesn't realize what is happening, or that he is actually inhabiting Frederick's mind, until near the end of the novel. The tension created by the alternating points of view, and the opposing life trajectories of the two characters--Aiden starts off as an alcoholic, but then sobers up, saving his career and his marriage, while Frederick sinks further and further into depravity--builds and builds to a climax that plunges the characters into a confrontation in Jack the Ripper's London.

The prose is spare but evocative, whether depicting Aiden's largely idyllic Tennessee childhood or Frederick's grim and grimy existence in 19th-century London. Readers should note that there are explicit scenes of death and dismemberment--this is a story about a serial killer, after all!--but the main thrust of the work is Aiden's struggles with his addiction and his pull towards the dark side of human nature. As someone who's always enjoyed the macabre and who has made a living out of writing and illustrating horror fiction, he is both connected to and repelled by his alter ego Frederick, and is forced to explore his own interest in the dark and gory. Not the lightest of subject matters, but the clean prose style and the ultimately uplifting trajectory of Aiden's own story make this a swift yet satisfying read.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Delightfully twisted. 4 Aug. 2016
By D and J - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book is a fascinating blend of truth and fiction. I hope. It is done so well that, as the reader, I was never really sure the fictitious section was fiction. The "truth" part is an autobiographical account and the fiction part takes place in Jack the Ripper's London. The main player in the autobiographical part, Aiden/Alan has a seizure and glimpses the world of a British naval surgeon's apprentice, Fredrick. Both men struggle with compelling addictions that, if allowed to take over, will harm not only themselves but others. Your heart breaks for one of them and turns cold for the other.

This is not a book for the faint of heart. If you are at all familiar with the disturbing and disturbingly beautiful art of Alan M Clark, you know that he has a talent for painting horror. In The Surgeon's Mate: A Dismemoir, he paints horror with words.

I recommend this book.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Surgeon's Mate 5 May 2016
By Jill Bauman - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The Surgeon’s Mate: A Dismemoir by Alan M. Clark is a story that I found so compelling as I read it that I couldn’t put it down. Mr. Clark impressed me with his openness about his personal journey through his addiction, illness and recovery. I was also fascinated by themes in his art and writings. I found myself still thinking about this story long after I finished reading it. I am really looking forward to more of Mr. Clark’s novels.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Compelling Story! 1 Mar. 2016
By Li88 - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Delve into the mind of a brilliant artist and author with this story. As a fan of art in all its mediums, this story really put it all on the table for me. I was fascinated by the author's semi-autobiographical history (what brings out those amazing images he creates) and impressed with how he easily moved in and out of that into the historical fiction part of the book with Frederick. The author is so convincing, I wasn't quite sure what to believe, and was left with an unreliable narrator, but I didn't realize it until the end of the story.

Frederick is a disturbed man living in 19th Century England who suffers from seizures, as does the author living in modern times in the story. The two move back and forth into each other's lives through these episodes and then connect at a point toward the end of the story, and it changes both of their lives forever. The ending was unexpected and very moving. I highly recommend this book. Particularly if you are a fan of nonfiction, historical fiction, thrillers, and horror. There's even a touch of sci-fi in it.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Truth as powerful as the best fiction 12 Dec. 2016
By Gerald T. Guinn - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Jim Morrison, the poet and singer for The Doors, in his epic poem AN AMERICAN PRAYER, asks: “Did you have a good world when you died? Enough to base a movie on?”
In THE SURGEON’S MATE: A DISMEMOIR, Alan M. Clark, author and painter known for his work in the horror/dark fantasy genre, has looked back upon his own life and found that he has a harrowing, revealing, unsettling yet also beautifully honest life story that, yes, deserves to be told and shared.
This is an autobiographical novel, but once the story’s protagonist, Aiden (a stand-in for the author), survives a brain infection only to find himself plagued and possessed by a time-traveling Victorian-era serial killer named Frederick, readers might understandably feel that Clark has taken considerable liberties with the constraints of reality. But if one interprets the goal of non-fiction to be “truth”, then it more than applies here, for Frederick is as real in Aiden/Alan’s life as he is in the filthy London streets he menaces. Frederick represents truth as sharp as his surgeon’s blade: the truth of the darkness in all of us, that potential for savagery which a horror artist not only can’t ignore, but must embrace and mine for its ugly ore; the truth of the costs that come from every decision we make, the sense of how violently the “might have been” versions of us are ripped away like phantom appendages with each step we take along the path we choose.
Followers of Clark’s brilliant series on the lives of Jack the Ripper’s victims will find much in SURGEON’S MATE that connects to those works and Clark’s meticulous research and depiction of that Victorian world. Meanwhile, the artist’s own story reveals a fascinating insider’s look at the struggles of trying to live a creative life against the fickle, shifting demands of niche markets, at the same time he must also deal with the internal demons of alcoholism and crippling feelings of self-doubt and unworthiness.
For horror fans, there is more than enough creepiness, suspense, guts ‘n’ gore in THE SURGEON’S MATE to keep the pages turning…but the greater reward is the example of Clark’s brutal self-reflection and remarkable courage in dissecting the life he could have had and excising the tumors of guilt and regret. It’s all there on the operating table if you dare to lift the sheet…
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