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Peter D. KramerFaulks understands the difficulties inherent in using fiction to convey these complex arguments. He offsets his characters' earnestness—and his own—through attention to settings and plot details. He sends his protagonists to California and Tanzania to fill in pieces of the puzzle. He allows Rebiere to indulge in titillating sexual obsessions. Generally, the effort to entertain succeeds. And Human Traces can be moving, as its characters grapple with the limitations of knowledge and reason. Despite its shortcomings, the book should serve as a popular vehicle for reassessing the history of psychiatry and confronting the mystery of consciousness.
—The Washington Post