Shiva Mukti is a hard-working and conscientious psychiatrist, who, in the inauspicious surroundings of St. Mungo's - a central London hospital of more than average decrepitude - does his level best to staunch the flow to mental illness. But Mukti is not a happy man. Beset by thwarted ambition and sexual frustration, he now finds himself in thrall to the more successful and urbane Dr. Zack Busner, consultant psychiatrist at Heath Hospital, and an originator of the once modish Quantity Theory of Insanity. Why is it that Busner seems so intent on fostering a professional relationship with Mukti? Is it his way of putting his junior colleague in his place? Or is Busner - as Mukti begins to suspect - a member of a sinister cabal? And what about the schizophrenic patients Busner refers to Mukti for his opinion: are they merely sick people, or in fact human weapons in a bizarre psychological duel?
Self returns with another collection of short fiction and, by now, we should know what to expect. Those who have read The Quantity Theory of Insanity will also be eased into this collection by the knowledge that its unsettling psychiatrist Zack Busner also features in the principle story in Dr Mukti. Busner again plays the supreme anti-hero in a story with much competition for that role. We witness Dr Mukti's decline from diligent psychiatrist to potential patient as Self cruelly twists and stretches what could be a pedestrian tale of mid-life crisis. Mukti, spurred on by professional jealousy, and his friend Elmley, clumsily confronting his own demons, soon find their lives and their future mental health in the hands of Busner.
|Dr. Mukti||p. 1|
|The Five-swing Walk||p. 181|
|Conversations with Ord||p. 213|
|Return to the Planet of the Humans||p. 245|
|Table of Contents provided by Blackwell. All Rights Reserved.|
Number Of Pages: 272
Published: 1st February 2004
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 21.6 x 16.2
Weight (kg): 0.49
Edition Number: 1