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Fascinating, annoying, unnerving - a must read.
am 30. April 2000
Famed radical psychologist R.D. Laing's bizarre, one-of-a-kind (or at least first of its kind) book consists of five chapters of increasingly weird 'knots' - internal conversations that develop into obsessive debates. Laing uses his deceptively flat, simple style to brilliantly shed light on the way the mind works, and most of all the way it deals with relationships. It starts out easy enough to follow, but watch out - in the second chapter Laing turns the 'If it is me, it is not mine' knot into a masterpiece of convoluted reasoning, actually numbering each line and turning them into impossibly complex diagrams. Next comes the 'There is something Jack knows that Jill does not, but he does not know he does not know...' knot, which might prompt you to hurl the book at the wall after six pages of interminable mental gymnastics. But once you've made it through that, the rest of the book is a breeze, and the fifth chapter, the most opaque, is even a little disturbing. After you close the book, beware of turning every question that pops into your head into a knot - it starts to get a bit compulsive!