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How does one make an accurate map of somewhere they’ve
never been? The psychiatric model holds no more water than the flat-earth
theory: don’t wander beyond the well-travelled routes, for there be monsters.
Don’t sail too close to the edge or you’ll fall off. A wry take on eighties
counterculture and noughties support groups, ‘Hum’ charts Skye’s journey into
insanity and back. A young Sydney art student, she falls for Zane, a healer,
and joins his underground pagan cult. He promises Skye and her girlfriends
shamanic initiation. Instead, sex, drugs, rivalries, betrayals and lies
initiate Skye into psychosis. Two decades later, still recovering, Skye
consults a qualified therapist. At first Josh seems helpful, but he runs his
own cult. When his unorthodox brand of group therapy steers her towards madness
again, Skye must trust her own navigation.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 260 pages
  • 152 x 229 x 15mm | 387g
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 1907461590
  • 9781907461590
  • 991,434

Our customer reviews

On the surface, this novel offers a roller-coaster tongue-in-cheek journey through mid-eighties alternative culture. Positive affirmations, yoga, chakras, Wicca, communal dope use, astrology, magical thinking, magic mushies, cabbala, teepees, ashrams, Buddhism, rebirthing, karma and more yield grist for the satiric mill. But this entertaining ride exposes a personal, not just a social, dimension as the 23-year-old narrator Skye's psyche implodes. And yet Jensen doesn't ask us to venture into darkness without a torch. Reflections from the noughties intersperse the main story. At first no longer than epigraphs, this commentary gradually expands - until, in an ironic twist, the eighties plot meets the noughties plot, changing its course. Hum charts both the unfolding of drug-induced psychosis and Skye's self-rehabilitation - not a return to a former norm, but an uncertain search for a new world defined by compassion and acceptance of dualities. This novel holds much to interest those who've survived an eclipse of what passes for sanity, or who know someone who has, or who question psychiatric methods. In most madness-themed fiction, it's usual, if not downright obligatory, for the main character to do time in a psych ward (which can turn out well or poorly, depending on the author's world view). Hum's narrator undergoes a less predictable rite of passage - raising questions about how narrowly our society defines sanity, and what our fear of loss of control might ultimately cost us in terms of more
by Michael Azzopardi