" . . . powerful; beautifully written, well-observed and effective." --Kirkus Review
In 1970, a seventeen-year-old trainee enters the psychiatric technician training program at Sonoma State Hospital. Having volunteered there as a high school student, he feels fairly well prepared and presumes that conditions like those in Jack London's 1914 short story about the place, "Told in the Drooling Ward" are a thing of the past. He soon discovers that what really happens behind the closed doors of the institution has not changed much since London's time, certainly not for the better.
Taught the "necessary" skill of how to choke out a patient on his first day, and told with a shrug that sometimes when patients run away to the nearby hills, they're never found, the young trainee is thrust into a world of austere realities that most adults would balk at entering.
Based on author Ed Davis's real-life experiences, In All Things is an honest reflection of a pivotal time in his life, as well as a compelling social commentary on how mental institutions were run in the 1970s. Told as a fictionalized, first-person narrative and expressed with stirring compassion, his story is an open door into a dark part of our history that will stay with you long after you read the last page.
|Publisher:||The Wedgewood Press|
|Product dimensions:||5.25(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.18(d)|
About the Author
Sonoma Valley writer Ed Davis lives a short distance from Jack London's famous Beauty Ranch and from the sprawling institution that is the setting for his latest story. During the summer of 1970, when he was just seventeen, Davis enrolled in the psychiatric technician training program at Sonoma State Hospital in Eldridge, California. Now, over forty years after completing his training, Davis has penned a fictionalized account of his experiences. In All Things offers a candid perspective on the way things used to be inside the wards and behind the closed doors of US mental institutions.
Davis is also the author of Road Stories, a collection of travel essays, and he is currently putting the finishing touches on The Last Professional, a semi-autobiographical hobo novel, which will be available by the end of 2015.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
A remarkable literary piece that gives readers a glimpse into a dark aspect of history. In All Things follows Ed Davis as he worked as a psychiatric technician trainee at Sonoma State Hospital in 1970. It is intriguing to read about the secret hospital practices that occurred out of the public eye. Jack London previously wrote about the hospital's grueling moments in his 1914 short story Told in the Drooling Ward. Remarkably, Davis's experience showed how little the hospital had progressed since London's book. Davis's and London's stories show the need for oversight in medical institutions for the well-being of patients. In All Things has given Told in the Drooling Ward a newfound strength and chance to give life to fair treatment.