HEADSPARKS by Robert Coles


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This is another of Coles' two-dimensional, one-issue fictional constructs, in which the focal character scarcely exists outside of her problem and the others don't live at all. However, this is less didactic and manipulated than some of the others, and if Cole doesn't make much of a story out of Cathy's ""freaking out,"" her strange attacks of panic and fear that she's losing her mind, he doesn't make an object lesson of it either. The prospect of blanking out and being seized by terror and crazy urges is sure to intrigue young adolescents, and Cole of course is well acquainted with the age group's psychological anomalies. Further, he manages to suggest possible sources of the trouble (not only her boyfriend's imminent departure for college but her denial of any resentment toward her parents) without going out of his way to make sure you pick up on them, and he is content to end the story, after Cathy talks to her old pediatrician and agrees to a few more sessions with him and a psychiatrist friend of his, with some relief but no tidy resolution. Little more than a case study in easy language, but an honest one.

Pub Date: April 1st, 1975
Page count: 96pp
Publisher: Atlantic/Little, Brown