Friday 4 July 2014

The Stonehenge Letters

Finished July 2
The Stonehenge Letters by Harry Karlinsky

This novel reads like nonfiction. A psychiatrist is researching why Freud never won a Nobel Prize, and goes through the Nobel Archives in Sweden. He discovers a file containing letters from several people including four Nobel winners. Each letter offers an explanation for some aspect of Stonehenge's origin or construction. As he continues to search for the why behind this file, he discovers a secretive prize that Nobel's executor created drawn of Nobel's intent to put great minds to the mystery of Stonehenge.
Besides offering details of Nobel's life and relationships and the behaviour that led up to the creation of Nobel prizes and his interest in Stonehenge, the novel also offers information about the creation of the Nobel prizes, including this secretive one, and the letters contained in the file.
As the speaker/researcher here is a psychiatrist with an interest in Freud, there are numerous references to Freud, and an appendix containing a Freudian analysis of Nobel. A second appendix discusses radiation poisoning.
There is also a complete list of sources for the quotations used in the novel, a bibliography of works cited in the author's research, and an informative note with acknowledgements from the author.
This is a very imaginative and different novel, drawn from a unique viewpoint. The author is a Canadian psychiatrist and as the book says "This novel is a work of the imagination, although it does incorporate some factual material. We leave it to the reader to determine which elements are indeed verifiably true."

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