Behind the Facade by Dennis Friedman

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Behind the Facade by Dennis Friedman

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Category: Short Stories
Rating: 4/5
Reviewer: Louise Jones
Reviewed by Louise Jones
Summary: A leading psychiatrist shares some of his most memorable cases in a collection of short stories. Compelling and thought provoking.
Buy? Maybe Borrow? Yes
Pages: 220 Date: June 2013
Publisher: Peter Owen
ISBN: 9780720615074

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We have all, at one time or another, wished that we had the ability to read minds. Imagine how interesting it would be to peer beyond the external appearance and to understand the various thought processes lurking beneath the surface. Psychiatrist Dennis Friedman gives the reader the opportunity to do just that with his collection of short stories Beyond the Facade.

Each story, based on a real-life case, is only a few pages long, making the book perfect tea-break reading. I was expecting a collection of unusual, extraordinary tales, but most of the scenarios featured within the book are surprisingly commonplace. Friedman looks at each case from a clinical perspective, examining why the people involved act the way that they do. In most cases, the characters in the stories are able to come to terms with events in their past that shape their current thinking and can then move on with their lives and change things for the better.

The book encourages self-reflection in the hope of shedding light on personal problems and emotions that may be clouding relationships. Each story is concise and to the point; the reader takes away a little piece of wisdom from each tale, but they are written in such a way as to allow the individual to interpret the lessons learned. They are also, perhaps, warning tales for parents, as most of the issues dealt with in the book stem back to parenting problems in childhood. Friedman makes no secret of his distaste for mothers who put their careers first and children second.

Reading the stories felt a little voyeuristic, but the brevity of each piece spurred me on to read the next one. Five minute tea breaks became 20 minute reading sessions due to Friedman’s compelling writing style.

Sometimes ordinary and everyday, sometimes shocking and unusual, Behind the Facade is a fascinating collection of cases that gives a rare glimpse into the work of the Psychiatrist and the process of mental analysis. An absorbing read.

For those who enjoy a moment of self-reflection, The Secrets of Happiness by Richard Schoch is another fascinating and insigtful read.

Buy Behind the Facade by Dennis Friedman at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Behind the Facade by Dennis Friedman at

Buy Behind the Facade by Dennis Friedman at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Behind the Facade by Dennis Friedman at


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