Benjamin is kinetic company, his rangy intelligence matched with a fondness for rarefied locution (he can never resist a “lickerish” mouth) and indelible images. “We are skull-jumpers,” he says of his profession. Often, his descriptions embrace polar opposites.. But it all contributes to a gathering sense that something is not quite right, that the ground has become unstable beneath the reader’s feet...The book’s second half fuses an alarming, increasingly claustrophobic psychodrama with irresistibly sharp cultural commentary that makes even greying bugbears such as listicles and the misuse of the word “literally” seem fresh.
Let Me Not Be Mad is full of the provocative reflections of a discontented, challenging mind. Benjamin is concerned, above all, with exploring the disappearing line between the neurological and the psychological, and the changing relationship between physician and patient. These are compelling ideas that intrigue the author and then terrify him. What if all of the patients bundled together are really a composite of AK Benjamin? He is the kind of physician to whom, halfway through your visit, you might glance up and say: “Doctor, have you looked at yourself recently? What’s wrong?”