Therapist Jan Sayer pulls together a group of individuals in need of therapy, perhaps more-so than most. There is Harrison, The Monster Detective, once known as the Boy Hero of Dunnsmouth. There is Stan who survived his captivity by cannibals, though he was partially eaten. There is Martin, who never takes off his sunglasses. Barbara who has a message carved on her bones. And Greta, who may be a mass murderer.
Most people don’t believe the things that have happened to this group, but Sayer does and encourages them to talk through it with one another, though they are all reticent to share their stories. They each believe that they are unique because they are survivors of something horrific. And while Sayer understands and encourages their uniqueness, she also wants them to understand that they are not alone and that these very specific people may actually understand them.
Daryl Gregory’s writing is very clear and sharp and he has done a wonderful job of creating some very unique individuals with specific, horrifying issues. It would be easy to root all the stories as simply having each person tell their portion (and in some sense, that is what happens) but the stories come out very organically and they are quite interesting.
But the story doesn’t go anywhere.
It’s not a novel, but a novella, and a really good character study, but a study for what?
I consider this a psychological thriller, and Gregory’s writing is first-rate, but I would have appreciated a story within the confine of these pages.
Looking for a good book? We Are All Fine by Daryl Gregory is a good study in character, and motivation, but lacks the plot to keep the reader truly invested.
I received a digital copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
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We Are All Fine
author: Daryl Gregory
publisher: Tachyon Publications
paperback, 182 pages