My name is Doug Wykstra, and this is some of the stuff I've read and watched.
The following post was taken from my Goodreads review:
Just as compelling as the first time I read it. Barker seems absolutely fearless at making “fictional” characters from real historical ones, and it’s easy to forget that these people actually existed, they seem so fully realized on the page. I really love Dr. William Rivers, the way you feel like you can love a fictional character–he’s this island of compassion and empathy in a place where very few people possess these traits, least of all toward themselves. It’s easy to think of him as this idealistic creation of the author, and a bit of a shock when you find out that he was a real person. The saddest moment in the novel might be in the postscript, where Barker happens to mention one character, appends the dates of the real person’s birth and death to their name, and you see that they died about a year after the events of the novel.
Okay, I don’t have the words right now to describe why I like this book so much or what a good read it is–it’s difficult to pin down, and feels like a “minor pleasure,” but I keep getting the sense, reading it, that there’s so much more in its pages.
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