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Books, Journals, New Media
March 3, 1999

Psychiatric NovelThe Portrait

Author Affiliations

Harriet S.MeyerMD, Contributing EditorJonathan D.EldredgeMLS, PhD, Journal Review EditorRobertHoganMD, adviser for new media


Not Available


Copyright 1999 American Medical Association. All Rights Reserved. Applicable FARS/DFARS Restrictions Apply to Government Use.1999American Medical Association


by Charles Atkins, 264 pp, $23.95, ISBN 0-312-18652-5, New York, NY, St Martin's Press, 1998.

JAMA. 1999;281(9):851-852. doi:10.1001/jama.281.9.851-JBK0303-5-1

The Portrait is an intriguing psychiatric novel, a suspenseful story that touches many aspects of modern medical care. A murder mystery, it features a psychiatric patient as the main character, a highly suspect individual. Chad Greene faces a plethora of adversities, and his hair-raising discombobulations make for a good tale. He suffers from manic-depressive illness and has just been released from the hospital. He is less than well—his illness is severe and unrelenting—and has a cavalier attitude toward treatment. His adversary would make Bela Lugosi's Count Dracula blush. Yet his allies are substantial, particularly his parents and his agent. His skills are considerable, his artistic abilities brilliant. Hope for him lies in devotion to his art and his distant relationship with his son.

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