The Contortionist's Handbook by Craig Clevenger
3 discussion posts. Sam said: Did you like the ending, did you feel it was abrupt or lacking, or how did you interpret the ending? I kind of felt as. Irvine Welsh on Craig Clevenger's The Contortionist's Handbook, a novel for independent journalism with a year-end gift to The Guardian. The Contortionist's Handbook has ratings and reviews. It's the sort of book I wasn't sure I liked very much until the very end and then it became.
The Contortionist's Handbook - Thoughts on the ending? Showing of 3
The novel has substance too; its biting critique of American psychiatric and criminal justice systems often evokes a modern One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest. The hero of this seldom less than gripping tale is John Dolan Vincent, a highly gifted forger who suffers from life-threatening migraines and black-outs. In order to escape from the terrible skull-crushing pains he experiences, Vincent self-medicates. Following such episodes he invariably wakes up in a county hospital compelled to undergo psychiatric evaluation.
At this point, things get interesting. Taking his forging skills to their apogee, Vincent emerges into a new identity he's previously faked for himself, to avoid detection for crimes committed in his previous lives.
If you have an extra finger on one hand, and ginger hair to boot, this requires great vigilance as well as skill. The main problem for Vincent, though, is that he needs to outwit the psychiatric evaluators and convince them that he is neither a suicide risk nor insane and thus worthy of release from hospital.
The stakes are high and the writing a match for it: Sharon Worked with Sudden at the nightclub Vincent frequented.
She needed her life to get cleaned up in order to keep her son that the State was threatening to take, so Vincent gave her and her son Paul new identities. Sharon took her son to live with her parents in Virginia, and so Vincent used the identity that he had made for her son to his advantage.
The relationship was doomed from the start as her lifestyle was that of excess, and his of course one of staying invisible.
On their first official date together, they went to a place where Vincent had failed to make a reservation. After waiting twenty-eight minutes, she gets indignant with him.
He responds and she slaps him, twice. Never judge a book by it's cover folks. The book is about John Vincent.
The Contortionist's Handbook by Craig Clevenger | LibraryThing
John is a man who suffers from such severe headaches that he usually ends up overdosing on painkillers and various prescription pills in an effort to stop the torture.
When this happens, nine times out of ten, he gets picked up by paramedics and brought to the hospital in an effort to save his life.
Once revived, it's mandatory that he meets with a psychiatrist to determine whether or not the OD was accidental or an attempt to end his life.
Knowing that this will most certainly happen again as this is the only way he knows how to deal with the headacheshe's forced to create an entirely new identity so that if he is picked up again by medics, he's not tossed in a mental institution. The narrative jumps all over the place from the present a conversation with an evaluator due to his most recent overdose to the various identities he's stolen in the past.