14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
Yhe Vision of Love Through Salvation,
This review is from: The White Hotel (Paperback)
"Thomas takes us beyond Freud, beyond Eros and Thanatos, and thus challenges the very substance of the Freudian text. Within the analyses and, he suggests, buried within her individual neurosis, is the subtext of history--the Final Solution. And beyond the horror is the transcendent vision of salvation through love in the mythical state of Israel. In this bold, intellectually challenging novel, Thomas goes beyond both history and historical fiction: he explores the shadowy realm of perception and perceiver with breathtaking vision and artistry." Reviewed by Daniel Weiss, Virginia Quarterly Review
'The White Hotel' is an extraordinary book. It was given the highest recommendation by my best friend, and it is a read I will never forget. It is taken from the case history of Lisa Erdman, an early patient of Sigmund Freud; the book explores her case of sexual hysteria and finds the way to self destructiveness. The scenes with Lisa and Dr.Freud are fascinating. They take her back into childhood and into her dreams. Lisa's erotic dreams are almost visions. They are premonitions to Lisa of death and destruction. Freud helps Lisa to resume her normal life as an opera singer, and we are brought into the world of opera as Lisa finds it. She remarries and settles in the Ukraine with her husband and step-son, and then the unraveling begins. Their harrowing adventures will leave you on the edge. As life as Lisa knows it begins to crumble, so do we.
"Lisa's story is told three times. Once, as a long letter of erotic ramblings by a psychotic, once in image steeped poetry, and finally, as narrative prose, in the dry tone of a doctor discussing a case, complete with musings and asides. By the end of the third rendition, the reader begins to understand something the eminent psychologist never will. That Anna is not only a product of, but a metaphor for the collective fall of European consciousness into madness that still scars the entire century."
'The White Hotel' is much like a mystery, and we are part of the unraveling. I was filled with melancholy and a dream like stance while reading this book. I have not read a book that is so well written. and at the same time lays groundwork of the extraordinary. A trip for Lisa becomes a trip that we will not soon forget. Highly Recommended. prisrob 2-18-07