All in the Mind, Paperback
4.5 out of 5 (2 ratings)


Martin Sturrock desperately needs a psychiatrist. The problem? He is one. Emily is a traumatised burns victim, Arta a Kosovan refugee recovering from a rape.

David Temple is a longterm depressive, while the Rt Hon Ralph Hall MP lives in terror of his drink problem being exposed.

Very different Londoners, but they share one thing: every week they spend an hour at the Prince Regent hospital, revealing the secrets of their psyche to Professor Martin Sturrock.Little do they know that Sturrock's own mind is not the reassuring place they believe it to be.

For years he has hidden in his work, ignoring his demons.

But now his life is falling apart, and as his ghosts come back to haunt him, the only person he can turn to is a patient.

Set over a life-changing weekend, Alastair Campbell's astonishing first novel delves deep into the human mind to create a gripping portrait of the strange dependency between patient and doctor.

Both a comedy and tragedy of ordinary lives, it is rich in compassion for those whose days are spent on the edge of the abyss.




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Showing 1 - 2 of 2 reviews.

Review by

(BookCrossing 25 February 2012)I picked this up because my friend, Meg, pressed it upon me, and because I’ve already read Campbell’s “The Happy Depressive” and was interested to read his novel on the subject. I was not disappointed. Martin Sturrock is a top psychiatrist, entrusted with the care of a range of people, from a Kosovan refugee to a Cabinet Minister, and his favourite patient, David, who expresses his own and Martin’s depression in a way that is both lyrical and precise.Over the course of a long weekend, several lives appear to start to unravel, including Sturrock’s own, spiralling into boundaries being overstepped in a variety of ways, both positive and negative. Thoughtful, very perceptive about men’s and women’s experiences, and with a surprise denouement that is part of a schema or process of surprises that leave the book with a hopeful and positive ending, notwithstanding the somewhat brutal events along the way.Recommended, especially for the eloquent portrayal of depression.

Review by

I was very impressed with Campbell's insight into the world of mental illness- his experiences in his personal life add a richness to the characters. My only gripe is the occasional clumsy language and the surfeit of characters. I would have preferred fewer characters developing a deeper relationship with their psychiatrist.

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