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IN THE FLOYD ARCHIVES

A PSYCHO-BESTIARY

A charming, respectful examination of Freud’s work in comic form.

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Boxer’s debut graphic novel takes a satirical look at Sigmund Freud by way of anthropomorphic animals who regularly see an avian psychoanalyst.

Mr. Bunnyman enters Dr. Floyd’s office and says that he’s hiding from a wolf that’s chasing him. The doctor believes the wolf is merely a symbol for Mr. Bunnyman’s deeper fears. But later, there’s a Mr. Wolfman at Dr. Floyd’s door who’s questioning his own identity. His father, he says, used to dress him up in lambskin, which he admits that he enjoyed. At his next appointment, Mr. Wolfman, dressed as a lamb, introduces his alter ego, “Lambskin.” Dr. Floyd insists on seeing them separately, so Mr. Wolfman routinely drops off the Lambskin costume at the office. It can talk but not move on its own; the doctor carries her to the couch for therapeutic discourse. Another recent patient is Rat Ma’am, a self-professed thief who fixates on returning a pair of glasses that she says she stole from Dr. Floyd—despite his assertion that he’s still wearing his own spectacles. There’s a bevy of material for the doctor to psychoanalyze, such as Mr. Wolfman’s apparent fear of castration and Lambskin’s discernible limpness. But when the patients’ increasingly complicated lives begin to intersect, it may be a bit too much for even Dr. Floyd to handle. Boxer explains in a preface that although she doesn’t “worship” Freud, neither does she condemn his work. Her book is an endlessly amusing parody of some of Freud’s real-life case histories, including the “Wolf Man” and the “Rat Man,” which Boxer meticulously details in concluding notes. The novel, however, has a hysterically off-kilter tone, particularly when it comes to Dr. Floyd’s literal-mindedness. For example, when Rat Ma’am’s sessions consist of giving the doctor crumbs of information about herself, he complains of the literal crumbs she’s leaving on his couch. Boxer’s line-art illustrations are appropriately stripped down—Dr. Floyd’s office is just a door and a couch—and the squiggly renderings of her characters make them appear animated.

A charming, respectful examination of Freud’s work in comic form.

Pub Date: May 17, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-949093-18-6

Page Count: 160

Publisher: International Psychoanalytic Books

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2019

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MAGIC HOUR

Wacky plot keeps the pages turning and enduring schmaltzy romantic sequences.

Sisters work together to solve a child-abandonment case.

Ellie and Julia Cates have never been close. Julia is shy and brainy; Ellie gets by on charm and looks. Their differences must be tossed aside when a traumatized young girl wanders in from the forest into their hometown in Washington. The sisters’ professional skills are put to the test. Julia is a world-renowned child psychologist who has lost her edge. She is reeling from a case that went publicly sour. Though she was cleared of all wrongdoing, Julia’s name was tarnished, forcing her to shutter her Beverly Hills practice. Ellie Barton is the local police chief in Rain Valley, who’s never faced a tougher case. This is her chance to prove she is more than just a fading homecoming queen, but a scarcity of clues and a reluctant victim make locating the girl’s parents nearly impossible. Ellie places an SOS call to her sister; she needs an expert to rehabilitate this wild-child who has been living outside of civilization for years. Confronted with her professional demons, Julia once again has the opportunity to display her talents and salvage her reputation. Hannah (The Things We Do for Love, 2004, etc.) is at her best when writing from the girl’s perspective. The feral wolf-child keeps the reader interested long after the other, transparent characters have grown tiresome. Hannah’s torturously over-written romance passages are stale, but there are surprises in store as the sisters set about unearthing Alice’s past and creating a home for her.

Wacky plot keeps the pages turning and enduring schmaltzy romantic sequences.

Pub Date: March 1, 2006

ISBN: 0-345-46752-3

Page Count: 400

Publisher: Ballantine

Review Posted Online: June 24, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2005

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THE CATCHER IN THE RYE

A strict report, worthy of sympathy.

A violent surfacing of adolescence (which has little in common with Tarkington's earlier, broadly comic, Seventeen) has a compulsive impact.

"Nobody big except me" is the dream world of Holden Caulfield and his first person story is down to the basic, drab English of the pre-collegiate. For Holden is now being bounced from fancy prep, and, after a vicious evening with hall- and roommates, heads for New York to try to keep his latest failure from his parents. He tries to have a wild evening (all he does is pay the check), is terrorized by the hotel elevator man and his on-call whore, has a date with a girl he likes—and hates, sees his 10 year old sister, Phoebe. He also visits a sympathetic English teacher after trying on a drunken session, and when he keeps his date with Phoebe, who turns up with her suitcase to join him on his flight, he heads home to a hospital siege. This is tender and true, and impossible, in its picture of the old hells of young boys, the lonesomeness and tentative attempts to be mature and secure, the awful block between youth and being grown-up, the fright and sickness that humans and their behavior cause the challenging, the dramatization of the big bang. It is a sorry little worm's view of the off-beat of adult pressure, of contemporary strictures and conformity, of sentiment….

A strict report, worthy of sympathy.

Pub Date: June 15, 1951

ISBN: 0316769177

Page Count: -

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: Nov. 2, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 1951

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