Too Bright to Hear, Too Loud to See

Juliann Garey, Author
Juliann Garey. Soho, $25 (304p) ISBN 978-1-61695-129-0
Reviewed on: 10/01/2012
Release date: 12/26/2012
Paperback - 289 pages - 978-1-61695-344-7
Compact Disc - 978-0-7927-9261-1
Open Ebook - 1 pages - 978-1-299-57450-2
Open Ebook - 191 pages - 978-1-61695-130-6
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In Garey’s debut novel, Greyson Todd is a high-flying movie executive who, in 1984, leaves his studio job and his wife and eight-year-old daughter, and embarks on a worldwide tour. Ten years later, he is in a New York hospital being treated for bipolar disorder—which he has struggled with for decades—and given electroshock treatment. In between, we get the story of Greyson’s conflicted marriage to Ellen, and his childhood with a failure for a father. As he travels around the world, Greyson hops from Rome to the Negev, Bangkok, Santiago, and Uganda, but his adventures seldom rise above the level of travelogue. Only when he finally lands in New York, where he settles down in Chelsea, and the author details the steps leading up to Greyson’s nervous breakdown, does the story become sufficiently dramatic. Otherwise, the achronological structure works against the narrative by not allowing the reader to chart the progress of Greyson’s mental illness. The author’s take on what it was like to be raised on the show business periphery of Beverly Hills in the late 1950s feels authentic. In the end, though, this earnest novel about depression breaks no new ground in its depiction of the subject. Agent: Paul Bresnick, the Paul Bresnick Agency. (Dec.)
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