“Human Traces” by Sebastian Faulks

When I started this challenge to blitz my TBR shelf, I had three Sebastian Faulks books to read. The first I tried was A Week In December which I didn’t get on with, and so the other two are finding themselves moving further and further down the list, but there comes a time when all books on that shelf must be read, and Human Traces time had come.

The book follows Jacques Rebière and Thomas Midwinter from their early meeting as teenagers both interested in medicine and the mind, through their education and on to their careers during the early years of the development of psychiatry and psychology, taking them to London, Paris and Vienna.

I’m finding it really difficult to put into words how I felt about this book. I loved reading it, found it a compelling read, but I can’t put my finger on why. It’s well written, well plotted, and I loved the way through the early chapters the story alternated between the two main characters. The subject matter is intriguing and although I’ve seen some reviews by critics which didn’t appreciate some of the long passages about the brain and the investigative nature of this area of medicine, but it was actually very interesting to read, as I remember when reading Saturday by Ian McEwan where the main characters was a neurosurgeon, and found the detailed description of brain surgery in full on medical terms quite tedious to read.

It’s been almost a month since I read it now, at the time, I sang its praises, but now I’m not sure what to say really, a good read, very compelling, but just hasn’t made a big enough impact to remain with me.

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