Thursday, August 4, 2011

Vincent Macraven's Tales from the Mind of a Schizophrenic

Vincent Macraven’s Tales from the Mind of a Schizophrenic is a collection of thirty short stories that chronicle the human experience and the gamut of human emotions, from childhood and first love to old age and loneliness.  Macraven has a unique gift for illuminating the human condition and writing in such a manner that every reader can relate to the characters and their experiences, caring deeply about them.

Among his evocative tales, “Longing,” a story about a widow who is left with only memories of her husband to break the solitude in her life, and “She Shouldn’t Have Weight,” the story of eight year old Misha who carries her sadness like a burden, are among the most heartrending.  Other compelling tales include the story “Twenty Years,” in which a guitarist makes a pact with the devil and backs out at the last minute, coming with its own set of consequences, and “With All My Heart,” in which a high school student learns about the true meaning of love.  “A Case of Madness” is an utterly compelling story which details schizophrenia from the perspective of a schizophrenic who enters various levels of consciousness during a dinner party, struggling to maintain his outward façade as the inner landscape of his mind undergoes serious changes.

Macraven’s writing is deeply human and emotional, reminiscent of the great era of writers like Truman Capote and Tennessee Williams who treated the human experience in their literary works. Tales from the Mind of a Schizophrenic undoubtedly establishes Macraven as fulfilling the call for truly great writing in a generation that rarely goes beneath the surface to explore characters and emotions.  Macraven’s work is evocative, heartrending, and completely unforgettable, touching his readers on a deep level that elicits a visceral reaction of emotion and the sense of having been touched by greatness.