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Saturday, November 10, 2012


Families and How to Survive ThemFamilies and How to Survive Them by Robin Skynner, John Cleese
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

An interesting and different book on psychology which is aimed at the average reader rather than the psychology student or medical expert. It takes the form of a conversation between English funnyman, John Cleese and his psychologist, Robin Skinner. Much like actual conversation, it tends to ramble at times, but it is quite witty. I could hear Cleese's voice in my head as I read. It also features cartoon illustrations which add to the "not too heavy" feel to the book.

As Freud blamed all psychological ailments on penises and patients' poor relationships with their mothers, so "Families and How to Survive Them", tends to, in my view, oversimplify some of the issues. Conversely, and a little paradoxically, it does explain and demonstrate quite clearly the complexities of human personalities and relationships.

Interesting, thought provoking, perhaps somewhat controversial especially with respect to the views expressed on homosexuality, funny and worth the read.



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